We have explained the five attribution models offered by Google Ads and our best practice suggestions.

It goes without saying that it's quite significant to utilize the tools that could help you shed light on your conversions. The Google Ads Attribution Models are among the most fruitful ones that would serve very well in order to help you have a better idea of your approach towards Google Ads.

As stated by Google:

Attribution models let you choose how much credit each ad interaction gets for your conversions. They can give you a better understanding of how your ads perform and can help you optimize across conversion journeys.

In a nutshell, it becomes way too easy for you to get the best out of your Google Ads once you opt for the right model. Before we start with the details, kindly make sure you have the Google Ads Conversion Setup on your Shopify store. You can simply verify this by viewing the "Conversions" section on your Google Ads account.

They are such a game-changer that going for the right model could make the whole story look different. As each and every step can take you to a different path, it becomes extremely important to embrace the most useful one so that you make sure you are on the right track.

Though it’s very pleasing to have numerous options, things might get a bit blurry once you ignore the benefits and advantages of a certain model. That’s to say, while a seemingly wrong and improper attribution model might spoil the party in your successful conversions just because it misleads the way you analyze them, picking out the right one would make it possible for you to change the whole complexion of your conversions positively.

What are the Google Ads attribution models?

There are 5 attribution models in total. While it's possible to say that each and every one of them might have a massive role in many aspects, planning to go for a model that would bring the best outcome might sometimes be quite a big deal. At this point, it's important to note that each website has a different sort of conversation path and that's exactly why we have different attribution models.

Let’s jump right into them one by one to have a broader perspective on how they work:

Google Ads Attribution Models

Let's see how each and every model affects the whole story in a detailed example:

You own a retro clothing store called "Quality Retro" in London, England. A customer happens to land on your website by clicking on your ads after searching with the keywords seen below. Then, she decides to buy some garments after clicking on your ad which appeared with the last keyword which is "best vintage stores in London". So, according to this example:

Keywords Used in Search

The Outcome








1- “vintage stores London”

2- “vintage stores UK

3- “large vintage stores England”

4- “best vintage stores London”         

- If you opt for the "Last click" attribution model, the last keyword, "best vintage stores in London" would receive 100% of the credit for the conversion.

- If you choose the "First click" attribution model, the first keyword, "vintage stores in London" would receive 100% of the credit for the conversion.

- If you pick the "Linear" attribution model, each keyword  in the shortlist would share equal credit, which is 25%, for the conversion.

- If you prefer the "Time decay" attribution model, while the keyword "best vintage stores in London" would receive the most credit since it was searched closest to the conversion, the "vintage stores London" would receive the least credit due to the fact that it was searched first.

- If you select the "Position-based" attribution model, the keywords "vintage stores London" and "best vintage stores London" would each receive 40% credit. Accordingly, the other two in "vintage stores UK" and "large vintage stores England" would each get 10% credit.

- If you go for the "Data-driven" attribution model, the system would analyse how much each keyword contributed to the conversation and the credit would be shared between all the keywords accordingly. 

How is it used and how to change it?

It's rather easy to set up everything associated with the Google Ads Attribution Models, indeed. Just follow the step-by-step instructions below in order that you can get the best out of your Google Ads and maximise the accuracy of your reports.

Step 1:  Go to Google Ads and click on "Tools & Settings" on top of the page.

Tools and Settings

Step 2:  Find the "Conversions" under the section of measurement.

Google Ads - Conversions

Step 3: Create a new conversion or choose the one that is already in use under the "Conversion actions" column.

Google Ads - Conversion Actions

Step 4: Find "Attribution model" which comes by default. Click on "Edit Settings"

Attribution Model - Edit Settings

Step 5: Then you'll see all the attribution models. There might be many options to choose from but we’ve given our verdict on the optimum. You can check out our recommendations below prior to making a decision.

Attribution Model - Data-driven

Which of the attribution models fits best for Shopify users?

When it comes to making a decision, especially considering the fact that you have a bunch of options as seen above, it might be a bit challenging to be able to decide on the most suitable one for your needs. As examined with an example, each and every attribution model serves a different purpose which simply means that they can lead to different results for you to analyze on the same conversion. Therefore, it's important to choose the right one so as to keep track of how your ads perform in the best way possible.

Although it's possible to say that all of the attribution models could well be fruitful depending on your strategies, there are some points to take into consideration carefully. For instance, it's crucial to note that the "Last Click" comes by default and it could be highly misleading at times in that it basically eclipses all the previous actions on a conversion path as it only credits the last keyword that ends up providing the conversion. Similarly, the "First Click" is likely to cause problems because of the fact that all the credit is received by the first keyword meaning you can't keep track of how the rest of the keywords perform on the conversion journey.

Conversion Attribution Settings

When examined thoroughly, it can be concluded that all the rest of the models could operate quite well since they could provide you with a wider perspective so that you can interpret how well your ads perform. However, one of the attribution models listed above stands out seeing that it works in a relatively different way from the others: the Position-based attribution model.

To be more specific, the Position-based Attribution Model demonstrates how big of a role each and every keyword has on a conversion path by crediting all the interactions. This way, it would help you analyze the impact of every interaction on the way starting from the initial interaction and the keyword related to that until the last one through which the conversion occurs.

At the end of the day, we can easily conclude that apart from the Last Click and the First Click models in which the risks outweigh the benefits given that they can narrow down your standpoint, all the other attribution models can be a decent means to provide insight about your conversions. Yet, adopting the one recommended above would be instrumental in assessing how your ads perform.

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