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Which Attribution Model Should You Use for Your Event PPC Campaign?

What are PPC attribution models, and which attribution models are worth considering for event PPC campaigns?

You’re running multiple pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to drive attendance for your upcoming event.

How do you know which campaigns, keywords and types of ads are driving conversions and delivering the best return?

Think … PPC attribution models.


What are PPC Attribution Models?

PPC attribution models are a set of rules that define how much credit is assigned to different touchpoints and conversions along the digital consumer journey.

The goal of these rules is to give a determined amount of credit to each click, so you know which elements contribute to the bottom line – even if they don’t deliver direct conversions.

For example, PPC attribution models help uncover answers to questions such as:

  • Which keyword should I give credit to?
  • Where did these visitors who converted come from?
  • Did these conversions turn into actual sales or event registrations?
  • How are my top of the funnel campaigns working?


Why Should You Use PPC Attribution Models?

According to Nielsen, on average, customers make 6 website visits in the conversion process. When it takes a user multiple visits to convert, attribution models help determine how that conversion and revenue data is divided up among the clicks.

PPC attribution models also allow each touchpoint or conversion to have a different value, based on goals and the importance of the activity.

For example, with event PPC campaigns, different values can be set for an incremental activity like a brochure download versus revenue-generating activities like ticket sales, or visitor registration or exhibitor sign-ups – depending on goals and the importance of each conversion.

As Google Premier Partners, we are up-to-date with best practices for PPC campaigns and try to always  use attribution models in our clients’ program to determine which campaign types should be assigned credit for each conversion.

Otherwise, without attribution, it’s near impossible to gather insights and information to determine if event PPC campaigns are working, let alone identifying opportunities to improve campaign effectiveness or how best to allocate budgets going forward.


What Are the Types of Attribution Models?

1. Position-based

This attribution model gives 40 percent of the credit to both the first-clicked and last-clicked ads, and the corresponding keyword, with the remaining 20 percent spread out across the other clicks along the customer’s path.

This model recognises the first click and the last click as the most important. But it also acknowledges the steps in-between, distributing attribution across multiple touchpoints because the conversion likely would not have happened without that first interaction.

The position-based model is recommended for longer purchase journeys, such as paid visitor registration.


2. Time-decay

The time-decay attribution model gives more credit to clicks happening closer in time to the conversion. Credit is distributed using a 7-day half-life. In other words, a click 8 days before a conversion gets half as much credit as a click 1 day before a conversion.

This model is very similar to the last-click attribution model. In this example, the keywords/ads that consumers interacted with within a few hours of conversion receive the largest attribution.

The time-decay model is recommended for shorter customer journeys, including information or brochure downloads or free registration.


3. Linear

The linear attribution model distributes conversion credit equally across all clicks on the path.

In this model, specifically every touchpoint that contributes to the user’s conversion journey gets the same score  – meaning any and all keywords that have a role in a user’s consideration process each receives a sprinkle of credit towards a conversion.

Because each keyword receives a small amount of credit, the linear model is only recommended for first-time campaigns where the goal is to gain a better understanding of all the different touchpoints along a customer’s journey.


4. Linear

The data-driven model is the most accurate method. Unlike the previous models, data-driven attribution uses machine learning to evaluate all the converting and non-converting paths across and identifies the proper credit for each interaction.

However, because this model distributes credit for the conversion based on past data for the conversion action, the data-driven model is only available if your account has enough data.

To use this model, in the last 30 days there needs to be a minimum of:

  • 15,000 clicks on Google Search ads
  • 600 Google Search conversions

Provided you have enough information, the data-driven model eliminates any guesswork since it is based on real account data — making it ideal for just about any event PPC campaign.


Keep in mind, once you or your PPC agency choose an attribution model to use, you don’t need to stick to that one model.

Based on your goals, you can use multiple attribution models to test which approach suits your objectives best. To discuss which attribution model is best for your event PPC campaign, contact the Tag Digital team.