PPC Attribution: Bury The Last Click And Move On

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Are you still only crediting the last click when you measure your marketing success? We hate to break it to you, but last click attribution is dying and no longer valid today. Modern analytics …

Are you still only crediting the last click when you measure your marketing success? We hate to break it to you, but last click attribution is dying and no longer valid today. Modern analytics platforms allow you to go beyond last click and see all the interactions a user makes with your brand before the conversion. We all know different PPC clicks -- from display network placements to head term searches -- can have a tremendous upper-funnel impact. We'll help you choose some models for assessing the full funnel value of the your paid campaigns and give you tips on implementing them!

In the presentation, experts from Portent, Inc and Hanapin Marketing discuss PPC attribution.

You'll get expert-level PPC tips like:

*Defining the last click problem and why you need to move beyond it

*Choosing an attribution model and the pros and cons of each

*Testing bid and campaign changes for incremental gains under your model

More in: Marketing
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  • Cassie
  • Cassie – Introduce myself and then Michael talks about himself
  • Cassie
  • Cassie does #1
  • Michael does question #2
  • Michael – Warning! Our talk today will have a lot of Game of Thrones references. We’re try not to give away any major plot twists, but no promises!
  • Michael - Last click worked great in 1995. You handed somebody a business card. They went directly to your site. A direct conversion was truly direct. It was easy to measure. (That’s our good friend Sean Bean in his pre-Ned Stark days, aside Pierce Brosnan in the 1995 classic, Goldeneye.)
  • Michael - Today that scenario just doesn’t happen.
  • Michael - But we still insist on:

    * Running our reports on last click
    * Having it as the default attribution model in our advertising and analytics platforms
    * Making our marketing decisions on it

    The fact is last click is all but irrelevant in determining what influenced a consumers purchasing decision.
  • Michael
  • Michael
  • Michael - Any Path Length > 1 is a scenario where it took somebody at least two visits to your site to convert.

    For this retailer, literally 50% of their conversions happened after 2 or more interactions on the site.
  • Michael - You can delve into these paths in the Top Conversion Paths report.
  • Michael - You’ll find very few of them involve only 1 channel.
  • Michael - And unless you’ve enabled UserID on your Google Analytics account, this probably doesn’t even factor in multi-device paths!

    According to a recent Google study, 90% of consumers move between devices to complete a task! That’s just staggering.

    http://www.themobileplaybook.com/en-us/#/chapter5_1
  • Michael - So what does this mean?

    * Last click attribution can’t possibly give credit to the channels that truly influence consumer decision-making
    * You’re probably attributing too much credit to owned channels like Direct
    * You’re also probably not investing enough in the right organic content, the right social channels or the right paid search campaigns

    To get past these problems, you need to pick an attribution model besides last click and measure your results against it over time.
  • Cassie - Fortunately, Google Analytics makes switching to an attribution model really easy. AdWords offers a similar tool which we will review later on.

    So the point is, most of you already have these tools available to you. You just need to understand how they work before deciding what is best for your business.
  • Cassie - Last Click attribution model, unfortunately, is the norm. This is what is used in GA Reporting and most analytics reporting software. You’ll find what happens more often than not with last click, is that Direct traffic’s impact on performance is over-inflated while channels filling the funnel suffer. Last click is dead, people. Straight up, “Red Wedding” dead. Let’s move on.
  • Cassie - Why is Last Click Dead Again? See for yourself. In this situation, there were 3 other touch-points that lead to the conversion that are receiving NO CREDIT for the purchase. If this advertiser made decisions based solely on the last click CPA by channel and cut back on Display, Social and Paid Search, their conversion traffic would tank.

    So the moral of the story is this :
    Last click can’t possibly credit decision-making
    Last click gives too much credit to direct
    Last click hamstrings your investment in top-of-funnel
  • Cassie - First Click attribution model, 100% to the first touch-point — I prefer first click about as much as Sansa prefers Joffrey. That’s pretty bad….


  • Cassie - Why you ask? In this case, Paid Search — would receive 100% of the credit for the sale. While I’m a little a partial to paid search, I know that paid search alone did not cause this user to convert. If your goal is strictly to get some one to click on on an ad, than this would be a great model for you. But most advertisers are in it to make the all mighty dollar, lead, or sign-ups. This model doesn’t give you nearly enough data to make decisions.

    Okay, I’m so done with First click.
  • Cassie - Linear attribution model, meh, we’re getting a little better but it’s a pretty lame distribution as it gives credit to every piece equally. Kind of like Dany in GOT. Everyone is equal,
  • Cassie - As you can see here every interaction in the funnel receives 25% credit. So that ad that was clicked on 45 days ago deserves, as much credit as the 3 actions that took place within the last 2 days and lead to the conversion? Not too sure about that.

    I heard this model referenced to as the participation award. Everyone gets a trophy because you all tried. Even though we all no little johnny was busy picking dandelions while everyone else scored the goals in the soccer game – you all are winners. If you enjoy mediocre performance this is the model for you.

    The next models start to give a little more credit where credit is due.
  • Time Decay attribution model, getting better. In the time decay model, the touch-points closest in time to the sale or conversion get most of the credit. I like to think of time decay attribution like Littlefinger. He’s always focused on moving up and then, BAM! He pushes Lysa Aryn through the moon door to her death…. Muwhhahahahah
  • Cassie - As you can see here In this particular sale, the value attributed to each piece closer to the time of conversion gets a little more credit. This method works well with Lead Gen or purchases with heavy research. Michael will expand on this a little further in the presentation.

    Here little Johnny picking Dandelions would get 10% for participation since we didn’t have to for fit due to not enough players, defense 20%, Midfield 30% and Center Forward who Scored the winning goal would get 40%.
  • Position Based attribution model – now we’re talking. Position Based is a pretty solid pre-set attribution model. Probably one of my favorites – Just as Tyrion is one of my Favorites in G.OT. He’s a pig player in season 1, lays low for a little in season 2 and 3 and then, BAM Blows our minds in season 4.


    Position based attribution by default, credits 40% to the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions. In this example, the Display and Direct channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social and Paid Search channels would each receive 10% credit. You can alter the percentages, and I personally, like to adjust the position based slightly to allow more credit to the last click vs. the first click.
  • Cassie - Position based attribution by default, credits 40% to the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% credit is distributed evenly to the middle interactions. In this example, the Display and Direct channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social and Paid Search channels would each receive 10% credit. You can alter the percentages, and I personally, like to adjust the position based slightly to allow more credit to the last click vs. the first click. This method works well for some eCommerce accounts and Michael will explain again in more depth later in the prezo.

    Works well with ecommerce accounts
    Provides more accurate decision making data based on conversions
    A good starting point but you can adjust the weight of the position %s
  • Michael - You can build your own custom model. Which is a bit like Lord Varys, “the spider” – he’s mysterious, you’re not sure who he’s really working for, but ultimately he does everything for the good of the realm. Custom models do everything for the good of your business – they’re completely tailored to your customer’s buying cycle.
  • Michael - You can choose the weighting each position in the conversion funnel gets. First you pick a baseline model, then you assign top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel values for each interaction. As long as they equal 100% of the conversion credit, you can distribute it however you like.
  • Michael - With custom lookback windows tailored to your buying cycle. By default, Google Analytics’ lookback window is 30 days. That might not be long enough if you sell really high ticket items or a really expensive service. So you can draw it back to a maximum of 90 days between the when the first click occurred and the conversion takes place.
  • Michael - Making engagement a weighting factor is a great touch. Otherwise, that middle click you assigned 40% of the conversion credit to in the earlier step might be a 30 second comparison shopping visit. So you can use engagement to mitigate some of your risk in choosing a weighting.
  • Michael - And you can even customize your rules around virtually any dimension in analytics. In the example here, I’ve made sure visits that included a branded keyword search only get half the credit of my other interactions.
  • Michael - And if those options aren’t enough, there are also a slew of models that other people have created in the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery.

    Phew! After all that the adage “choice is the enemy of happiness” is completely understandable.
  • Michael - We’re going to outline 4 business types with models to fit each one:

    * Ecommerce businesses with inexpensive products (<$100)
    * Ecommerce businesses with expensive products (>$100)
    * Lead generation businesses with short sales cycles (<30 days)
    * Lead generation businesses with long sales cycles (>30 days)

    I like Position Based models for Ecommerce.

    I like Time Decay models for Lead Generation.

    Why?

    Position Based (U-Curve) models for ecommerce emphasize the channel of acquisition and the channel of conversion while sprinkling in some credit for those on-the-fence, flighty comparison shopping clicks in the middle of the funnel.

    Time Decay (Ramp) models for lead generation builds up credit with each subsequent visit leading up to the conversion. As folks get more and more serious about your product or service, the channel that brought them to your site again becomes more and more critical.
  • Michael - These are quick impulse buys where there’s lots of comparison shopping. There’s less likely to be more than 2 channels involved here, so last click is a little more important than usual. The more pages of selection you have and the deeper your customers get, the more likely you are to keep them from straying to another site. The longest folks are going to wait to make this purchase is one pay period, so 15 days should suffice for a lookback.
  • Michael - This purchase is anything but an impulse buy. So you’re likely to have more than one channel involved in the final decision. Google Analytics’ default of 30 day lookback might not be adequate here, as folks who had to save up a few pay periods to buy this item would checkout after 30 days. The introduction channels and the time they spend getting acquainted with the product are key here.
  • Michael – For a short cycle lead gen (maybe something like an inexpensive subscription service with a 14-day free trial), I like the ramp model. Page Depth of visits are little more critical here, as it shouldn’t take long to win a potential customer over, but they might need to scan several page of informational content to get a quick read on why they should trust you with their credit card number.
  • Michael – For longer cycles on B2B services that would require larger leadership and monetary buy-in, you’re going to want to set a much longer lookback window and half-life. And the time they spend getting intimately acquainted with your product offering (reading case studies and whitepapers) lends itself to using time on site as an additional weighting factor.
  • Michael – When you play the game of attribution modeling, it may seem like an all or nothing prospect, but that’s just not the case. Not only one model has to sit on the iron throne. You’ll compare your new models to other ones that emphasize certain parts of the traditional marketing funnel.
  • Michael – So how do you know if it’s working? Compare your model to last click and the only channel that should really be losing out on credit is direct. We’ve long known that direct has been an overinflated revenue source, a good attribution model should expose just how much that’s the case.
  • Cassie – Read the question.
  • Cassie –

    I know we’ve talked a lot of about GA but AdWords now also offers attribution directly in the interface for the standard models
    Just need to be using AdWords Conversion tracking
    So awesome that’s great that’s it’s there but now what, what do I do with it?


  • Cassie –

    Campaign 1 – Is a Non Brand Campaign that looks as if it has 0 conversions when infact, it assisted in 132$ in Revenue – It’s spent $75 in last 30 days and would normally be paused looking at last click
    Campaign 2 – A Remarketing campaigns that is driving 337% more revenue than being reported via last click. Last Click ROAS is 20% below than target ROAS, and may be bid down looking at last click.
    Campaign 3 – Display Campaign that is 25% below ROAS goal but looking at position based model, is driving 41% more revenue than being reported.

    This goes to show how important it is to compare various attribution models and make sure each campaign/keyword is getting the credit it deserves.

  • Michael – If you’d like a little more flavor than what’s in AdWords, you can also find this information alongside other dimensions and metrics in Google Analytics too!
  • Michael – I like to look at Ad Distribution Network as a secondary dimension next to my AdWords campaigns and see just how much money my campaigns should be credit with over last click.
  • Michael – But it’s incredibly important to also measure change over time. As you decide to invest, say 25% more in a campaign, that decision may look like a failure under the lens of last click, with only 22% increase MOM. But Position Based model is showing us a 30% increase in revenue over time.
  • Michael - A good model shouldn’t just show increases over Last Click. It should actually make you more money when you invest! Then you’ll be rolling in golden insects like Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
  • Cassie - LEAVE OPEN IN Q&A
  • Cassie
  • Cassie

Transcript

  • 1. Bury The Last Click and Move On #thinkppc PPC Attribution: & HOSTED BY:
  • 2. #thinkppc Presenters • Cassie Oumedian – Senior Digital Specialist at Hanapin Marketing. – @cass_oumedian • Michael Wiegand – Analytics Architect at Portent, Inc. – @mwiegand
  • 3. #thinkppc Join the conversation • Include the hashtag #thinkppc in your Twitter tweets. Or use the webinar question box to send us questions.
  • 4. #thinkppc Live Poll Question #1 How long have you been in PPC? #thinkppc A. Less than 1 year B. 1-3 years C. 3-5 years D. 5+ years
  • 5. #thinkppc Live Poll Question #2 How do you manage your account(s)? #thinkppc a) I manage it myself. b) I’m part of a team that manages it. c) I outsource my account management. d) I’m rethinking how my account is managed.
  • 6. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Game of (Last Click) Thrones.
  • 7. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem It worked in 1995.
  • 8. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem In 2015? Not so much.
  • 9. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem But still we insist on: Last click reporting Last click platforms Last click marketing decisions
  • 10. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Need proof? Path Length report in Google Analytics.
  • 11. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Path Length Report.
  • 12. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Path Length Report.
  • 13. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Top Conversion Paths.
  • 14. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem Top Conversion Paths.
  • 15. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem You’re probably missing mobile.
  • 16. #thinkppc The Last Click Problem What does it mean? Last click can’t possibly credit decision-making Last click gives too much credit to direct Last click hamstrings your investment in top-of-funnel
  • 17. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Model Comparison Tool.
  • 18. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Last Click.
  • 19. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Last Click Last click can’t possibly credit decision-making Last click gives too much credit to direct Last click hamstrings your investment in top-of-funnel 0% 0% 0% 100%
  • 20. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model First Click.
  • 21. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model First Click First click can’t possibly credit decision-making First click too much credit for just clicking on an ad First click not enough info on what helped the ad convert 100% 0% 0% 0%
  • 22. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Linear.
  • 23. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Linear Linear givens equal credit to each piece of the funnel Linear the participation award. Everyone wins! Not so much… Linear too much credit to the middle funnel terms 25% 25% 25% 25%
  • 24. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Time Decay.
  • 25. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Time Decay Benefits long decision making process with heavy research Lead Gen accounts typically work well with Time Decay Provides more attribution to action closest to Conversion 10% 20% 30% 40% 25%
  • 26. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Position Based.
  • 27. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Position Based Works well with ecommerce accounts Provides more accurate decision making data based on conversions A good starting point but you can adjust the weight of the position %s 40% 10% 10% 40%
  • 28. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 29. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 30. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 31. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 32. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 33. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Custom Models.
  • 34. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Starter models for 4 businesses. Inexpensive e-commerce (<$100) Expensive e-commerce (>$100) Short cycle lead generation (<30 days) Long cycle lead generation (>30 days)
  • 35. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Inexpensive e-commerce (<$100) Model: Position Based Weighting: 35%, 20%, 45% Lookback Window: 15 Days Engagement: Page Depth
  • 36. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Expensive e-commerce (>$100) Model: Position Based Weighting: 45%, 20%, 35% Lookback Window: 45 Days Engagement: Time on Site
  • 37. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Short cycle lead generation (<30 days) Model: Time Decay Half-Life: 15 Days Lookback Window: 30 Days Engagement: Page Depth
  • 38. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model Long cycle lead generation (<30 days) Model: Time Decay Half-Life: 45 Days Lookback Window: 90 Days Engagement: Time on Site
  • 39. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model You win or you die?
  • 40. #thinkppc Choosing An Attribution Model How do you know if it’s working? The only channel losing value is Direct The channels you invest in show no change The channels you invest in show positive change
  • 41. #thinkppc Live Poll Question #3 Which Attribution Model are you most interested in using? #thinkppc a) Last Click b) First Click c) Time Decay d) Position Based e) Custom Models
  • 42. #thinkppc AdWords Attribution Review Attribution comparison now in AdWords UI Must be using AdWords conversion tracking Tools > Conversions > Search Funnels > Attribution Modeling
  • 43. #thinkppc AdWords Attribution Review Analyze attribution performance down to the keyword level while making optimizations. Prevent pausing or bidding down Campaigns or Keywords that may show Poor Last Click ROAS or CPA while in fact, they are actually driving more revenue and conversions than reporting in the UI. You knew it all along. Now you have proof!
  • 44. #thinkppc Testing PPC Changes Measuring campaign increases.
  • 45. #thinkppc Testing PPC Changes Measuring campaign changes.
  • 46. #thinkppc Testing PPC Changes Measuring campaign changes over time.
  • 47. #thinkppc Testing PPC Changes Measuring campaign changes.
  • 48. Would you like help with your PPC accounts and management? I’m interested in: #thinkppc Live Poll Question #4 a.) FREE Account Assessment from Hanapin (for accounts spending more than 20K/mo) b.) FREE Opportunity Gap Analysis from Portent c.) No Thanks d.) Both
  • 49. #thinkppc Live Q&A Time!
  • 50. #thinkppc Have more questions? Thank you for attending our webinar! #thinkppc • Contact us Directly: » Hanapin Feedback: marketing@hanapinmarketing.com Portent Feedback: michael@portent.com