When digital advertising first started, the online environment was very different.
Back then, all of us only had one device – a single desktop or laptop – and there was really only one digital channel to advertise on: AdWords Search.
In such a climate, one very important assumption was made that has become a curse affecting every digital advertiser: that the Last Click is the only click that counts.
With only one device and one advertising channel, this assumption is for the most part true.
Thus, ‘Last Click’ Conversions are the default reporting you see in both AdWords and Google Analytics.
But now we live more than 10 years on when this assumption was enforced on everyone – and the world we live in is a multi-device, multi-channel world.
This foundation is very broken.
Think about the last time you researched and bought something online. You probably googled many times across both your mobile and laptop, clicked on both ads and organic results.
Saw remarketed display ads (which you probably didn't click), and when it was finally time to buy, you likely just typed in the URL of the shop directly and purchased.
In the above example, all the credit for your purchase would be attributed to 'Direct' – with advertising having zero credit.
If this was true, then that's good news for your brand – you can save all that money in advertising because you constantly have hungry customers knocking at your (web) door.
But we all know this isn't true. So if you are still using Last Click Attribution as the default attribution model for your AdWords and Analytics accounts – you are under-reporting the Value that your advertising is driving.
Switch to the "Data-Driven Attribution' model which use real-time statistical analysis based on Shapley Modelling to recognise and give weighted credit for:
• Last-Click and non Last-Click Conversions
• Cross-Channel Conversions
• Cross-Device Conversions.
If Data-Driven Attribution is not available in your account, at the very least switch from Last Click attribution to Time Decay attribution – not perfect, but a better compromise than Last Click.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Sugihto is founder of specialist, Melbourne based Pay Per Click agency and Google Certified Partner, Intentional. Since 2009, the Intentional team have driven online advertising for companies in global markets such as Prague, Paris, Tokyo, London, Shanghai, Bangkok, New York and LA; as well as being digital advisor and partner in the Australian domestic market for numerous household brands and NFPs.