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GA4 Attribution Model is a Game Changer 

July 28, 2022
Jay Vora
Jay Vora
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Now you can finally see the true value of your campaigns with GA4’s new data-driven attribution

While picking the correct attribution model in Google Analytics has been a complicated topic for many businesses in the past, Google’s new GA4 offering has upgraded its attribution settings to provide customers with a multi-faceted approach to assigning attribution. Below we outline the difference in GA4 attribution offerings from Universal and some of the benefits of the new options.

Assigning an attribution setting properly is more critical than ever

Let’s define what attribution is and why it is crucial. Attribution is the act of assigning value or credit for a conversion engagement to a specific traffic source. An attribution model can be a rule, set of rules, or data-driven algorithm that assigns conversion credit based on the touchpoints in the user’s conversion path. It’s essential to define these to provide an accurate picture of the channels doing the work to support your conversion activity and improve overall marketing results with GA4. Setting attribution appropriately allows for better budgeting on campaign tactics and better decisions when optimizing campaign attributes. 

What else is different about GA4’s attribution offering? 

With GA4’s new attribution offering, there are three types of attribution models available:

  • Cross-channel rule-based models
  • Ad-preferred rules-based model
  • Data-driven attribution

These attribution models differ from Universal Analytics’s typical offering, which attributed all credit for the conversion to the last ad customers clicked. 

Introducing the data-driven attribution GA4 model

Data-Driven Attribution(DDA) is an intelligent model that explores the touchpoints for converting and non-converting paths. This model then reviews the impact of conversion outcomes utilizing a counterfactual approach, such as taking device type, the number of ad interactions, and more than fifty touch points (as compared to four touchpoints in Universal Analytics) to drive conversions and revenue. The smarter and more efficient DDA in GA4 gives credit to each channel and more intelligentscenarios in which it will convert. 

Cross-channel rules-based attribution models with GA4

The cross-channel rules-based models include five more common models analysts may be familiar with.

  • Cross-channel last click: Attributes 100% of the conversion to the last channel that the customer clicked through prior to converting. It does not include attribution to Direct. 
  • Cross-channel first click: Attributes all credit for the conversion to the first channel that a customer clicked before converting. 
  • Cross-channel linear: Distributes the credit for the conversion equally across all channels a customer clicked before converting. 
  • Cross-channel position-based: Attributes 40% credit to the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions. 
  • Cross-channel time decay: Attributes more credit to the touchpoints that happen closest to the conversion. 

Ads-preferred attribution model with GA4

The ads-preferred last click model attributes 100% of the conversion value to the last Google Ads channel that the customer clicked through before converting. If the Google Ads is not linked, the model falls back to cross-channel last click. 

Top benefits of the new Attribution models in GA4

GA4 provides a robust offering of attribution models compared to Universal Analytics. The main benefit of the GA4 attribution models is the option for more factors to contribute to your attribution model. Whether you incorporate the machine learning opportunities of the data-driven model or the time-based focus of the cross-channel time decay, the importance lies in broadened impact factors that support conversion activity. This drastically improves the old model used in Google Analytics and provides more effective outcomes, as the channels’ attributes are evaluated throughout the touchpoint journey instead of the sole focus being on the last channel engaged. 

In sum: GA4 supports better conversion analysis and opportunities for optimization.

Interested in hearing more about how ROI·DNA can support your attribution needs? Connect with us today to learn more about GA4 and attribution modeling. 

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