Google analytics has released some new reports to help advertisers understand user journeys before an online conversion.

Customer attribution is a huge huge topic and there are some very strong opinions on it. 

Ok, so what is customer attribution? Imagine you sell “Blue Widgets”.

A potential customer journey

Step 1 – Your Blue Widget customer  discovers your brand in a magazine.

Step 2 – They then see a Facebook advert featuring the importance of your Blue Widgets.

Step 3 – They then search for your product with a generic term “Best brand of Blue Widget” they don’t buy.

Step 4 – The customer come back to your site and searches “best blue widgets online shop”.

Step 5 – They purchase £500 worth of top of the line Blue Widgets.

Attribution is the process of determining how much each step of the journey was worth to that purchase. 

By default Google Ads and Google Analytics apportion all of the value to the final step. In this case where someone searched for “best Blue Widgets online shop”.

It can be argued that this final step would not have happened if it was not for the preceding ones.  Not an exact science by any margin, the most complex systems are based on huge assumptions still.

If you log into Google Analytics and look at the bottom left side of the screen, here is a link to the attribution section. It might also say ‘beta’ next to it.  You will have to go through the setup process. The system will ask you which Google Analytics account you want to use and what goals you want to import. It is quite a simple self explanatory setup.  

Now have a rest the tool take 72 hours to 14 days to setup the first model.  Once you get this initial data you will be able to see some quite insightful information.

1. How many of your conversion journeys had multiple touch points before converting?

2. Did people switch between devices if they interacted with your site through multiple channels?

3. Performance of Attribution Models. You can also compare the relative performance between different attribution models and see which campaigns have generated the most assists.

This is really interesting information but there are some limitations. It only really includes Google owned properties and ultimately does not count all of your channels such as offline ads in newspapers or magazines or adverts on terrestrial TV.