What is a last-click attribution model?

A last-click attribution model is when you give all of the credit for a conversion to the last touchpoint in the buyer’s journey - it assumes the final touchpoint is what ultimately influenced the lead's decision to convert.

This early form of attribution is extremely useful - For example, if someone orders a pair of shoes, there will be data to tell what advertisement the customer most recently clicked on.

This means that the user saw one of your paid ads, clicked on it, and then made a purchase immediately without going to any other websites. These types of conversions are the most valuable because the click leads directly to the conversion.

What are first click and last-click attribution?

First click attribution differs from last-click attribution because it assigns all of the credit for a conversion to the first touchpoint or channel (e.g. interaction on your website or with a marketing campaign) that a customer had before conversion. First click attribution is helpful if you want to know which of your marketing efforts are generating initial traffic in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.

Similar to last-click attribution, this is a helpful attribution method on a small scale — combining it with other attribution methods is recommended in order to get a clear picture of your marketing attribution efforts.

Why is last-click attribution modelling popular?

Last click attribution is the most popular channel because its implementation and usage are incredibly simple. This might be okay for a small business, but if you are in charge of a medium-sized or big business, you really need to utilise the different models when appropriate.

The beauty of last-click attribution lies in its elegant simplicity and the fact that it provides you with a rather decent way of knowing which campaigns are most effective in converting prospects into purchasing customers. It’s also very easy to track and set up.

What is a non-last click conversion?

Last non-direct click attribution models give 100% of the credit to your customers’ last non-direct touchpoint.

Often, people are searching on multiple devices and do extensive browsing and research before making a purchase. Understanding the impact that higher-funnel keywords have on conversions can help better utilise spending, cut out waste and inform other digital marketing channels such as SEO and social media.

As Google continues to push automated bidding strategies like maximising conversions, maximising conversion value and targeting ROAS (just to name a few), using non-last click (NLC) attribution becomes even more important.

These algorithms are designed to optimise ad spend based on specific criteria, but if they’re only seeing a small slice of the pie, you could be missing out on valuable traffic and giving too much credit to lower-funnel searches, like brand terms.

The Model Comparison Tool report in Google Analytics looks at historical data and gives estimates for how many conversions you would have had if you leveraged a different model. This tool can help you decide which model (Position-Based, Linear, or Time Decay) aligns best with your user flow.

Making the change to NLC is simple:

  1. Log into Google Analytics
  2. Navigate to the Conversions tab, then click on the conversion action you want to change
  3. Click “edit settings” and then choose whichever attribution model is right for you

If you have multiple conversions being counted, make sure to change all conversions you’re tracking in the account.

How can Blend help?

If you need help reading and analysing your ecommerce data, get in touch and let's get the conversation started.

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Marketing Strategist

Our problem-solving enthusiast and Marketing Strategist, Carmen, has expertise that lies in the realms of analytics and strategy, where she’s been known to work magic and famously knows all the answers. What truly sets Carmen apart is her unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She’s continually adding new skills to her arsenal, all with the goal of making Blend an even better place and providing comprehensive solutions for our clients when it comes to their overall marketing strategy, whether on-site or through marketing.

Published: November 24 2021

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