How To Make Every Marketing Dollar Count with Attribution and Lift Measurement

The difference between marketing that drives business growth and marketing that fails to deliver lies in your understanding of how each media touchpoint contributes to your goals. You need the right tools to help you learn how consumers respond to your ads in order to make every marketing dollar count. This way, you can take appropriate action to improve your results. Attribution in Google ads services has introduced certain improvements which also include YouTube ads and a substantial expansion in the availability of data-driven attribution. The lift measurement solutions have also been updated with new ways to measure incremental conversions in an accelerated time frame to get your results even faster. 

What Exactly Is Attribution?

Attribution is the term used to describe how Google ads assigns sales and conversions credit to specific touchpoints in a given campaign’s conversion path. In plain terms, we are talking about the different paths people take before they convert. As described by John Chen of Google, “It awards credit for conversions to different ads, clicks and factors along the way, so that you can focus your investments on the media having the biggest impact on results”. It pays huge dividends if you understand how the various levels of attribution of your Google ads campaign can shed light on the exact areas where you need to improve your conversion rate. There are 3 updates by Google ads services for paid media advertisers: 

  • YouTube Attribution Reports
  • Data-driven Attribution
  • Improvements to lift measurements

YouTube Attribution Reports

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting most parts of the world and work-from-home becoming the new norm, more and more people were spending time at home. Google has added YouTube attribution reports to help you better understand the role that video plays in your customer’s path to making a purchase. As an example, fuboTV, a live streaming platform which includes sports, movies and news used attribution reports to understand how their customers interact with their YouTube and Search ads before converting. They identified that for every conversion YouTube drove directly, it assisted two more Search conversions. These insights helped them see the full value of video. You can always outsource your campaign to a reputed marketing agency that offers Google ads management services to make the best of your campaigns. Attribution reports for YouTube is currently in beta, however eligible advertisers are able to opt-in by going to Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads. From there, you will be able see YouTube ads in the “Top Paths”, “Assisted Conversions” and “Path Metrics” reports, near the Search and Shopping ads. 

Data-Driven Attribution

Data-driven attribution (DDA) is a clever type of attribution model that leverages Google’s machine learning to define how much credit to assign to each ad interaction along the customer’s journey. How does this work? According to Google, “DDA continuously analyses unique conversion patterns, comparing the paths of customers who completed a desired action against those who did not, to determine the most effective touchpoints for each business.” DDA gives credit based on the incremental impact created by your ads as the machine has been trained and validated against incremental experiments. DDA is the recommended attribution model. This is because of the constant updating and machine-learning based approach which ensures you are always getting accurate results that have already taken into account the latest changes in consumer behavior. The following has to be kept in mind: 

  • To build a precise model, DDA will require a certain minimal volume of data. 
  • In order to make DDA available to more advertisers, Google is lowering the data requirements for eligibility. 
  • Each conversion action in your Google Ads account that has at least 3000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions in a 30-day period will be eligible for DDA. 
  • This is only possible due to the constant improvements to the machine learning algorithms allowing them to do more with less data without sacrificing on accuracy.

As a paid advertiser, DDA can precisely pinpoint where you can improve your Google PPC online advertising campaign based on the latest changes in consumer behavior and also note which parts of your campaign are already working well. 

Improvements In Lift Measurements

Attribution is best suited for day-to-day measurement. It is effective for determining ad budgets and informing bid strategies on a campaign of channel level. Businesses that are ready to move beyond DDA can use randomized controlled experiments known as lift or incrementality to optimize future campaigns or to set channel-level budgets. For several years now, marketers have made use of Search Lift and Brand Lift to evaluate YouTube ads’ impact on the behaviors and perceptions throughout the consumer buying journey from brand awareness to the purchase decision and lift in organic searches on YouTube or Google. Conversion Lift is available in beta and it measures the impact of your YouTube ads on driving user actions like website visits, sign ups, purchases and similar conversions. The added bonus is that these tools are available at no additional cost to run these experiments. Google’s lift measurement tools use best in class methodology to ensure precision and accuracy. Also launched recently was Brand Lift so that you can get the brand perception metrics which matter to you sooner. It also has the ability to re-measure over time. 

Search Lift and Conversion Lift are being reported as soon as they become available so that you can see the changes more frequently and over time. You can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign in order for you to get quick, actionable results across the entire consumer journey. 

Why Does All This Really Matter?

All these updates that have been rolled out by Google Ads services are intended to provide a holistic user journey and to improve every interaction with data. It should come as no surprise that more of us shop online than ever before and advertisers are looking for the best ways to optimize each touchpoint they’ve created. Equipped with this new data, there will be plenty of opportunities for optimization to help you or your clients to achieve better results and more bang for your buck.

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Article Author Details

Simon Wells