Google Analytics Attribution Model: The 2022 Ultimate Guide

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I’m Crystal, Chief Marketer and Co-Founder here at CNV Creative where we help you grow your online business by strategizing and implementing profitable, wholistic and data-driven marketing plans – so you can start loving your business again.

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In today’s digital world, tracking tools are essential for marketing success. It is important to be able to get the most out of your marketing budget by maximizing ad interactions.

To do that, you need information on conversion paths and conversion data.

By understanding how customers interact with your website, you can make changes that improve your conversion rate and ROI.

Google Analytics is a free tool that provides insights into your website traffic to help you understand what drive conversions. By tracking keywords, you can see which ones are driving the most traffic to your site.

You can also use tracking tools to understand where your customers are coming from and what devices they are using.

This information can help you tailor your marketing messages to reach your target audience more effectively.

That’s right, Google Analytics can be used to track how people found your website in the first place, giving valuable insights in how to set-up your Google ads and other platforms paid ad and paid search.

This is valuable information that can help you understand where your conversion paths from and how effective your marketing efforts really are.

In this article, we discuss:

-Introduction to Google Analytics
-Conversion tracking
-Understanding the attribution model
-What is a lookback window
-Default Google Analytics attribution models
-Steps to set up/change your Google Analytics attribution model
-Introducing Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
-How to set up Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Introduction to Google Analytics

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If you’re running a website, it’s important to track your traffic and understand your audience.

Google Analytics makes this easy by providing detailed reports and data visualizations.

Google Analytics is considered one of the most popular web analytics tools available, and can be powerful in conversion tracking and learning where your keywords are in terms of position based models.

It helps you track site visitors and analyze their behavior, including what keywords they used to find your site, what pages they viewed, and how long they spent on each page.

Google Analytics can also be used to track e-commerce activity, such as sales and conversion rates.

Understanding Attribution Modeling in Your Google Analytics Account

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Attribution modeling is the process of assigning credit for conversions and other key events to touchpoints in the customer journey.

In other words, it helps you understand which marketing activities are most likely to lead to a particular outcome.

Attribution modeling can be a complex topic, but understanding it is essential for any marketer who wants to optimize their marketing efforts and get the most out of their budget.

By understanding which attribution model works best for your business, you can ensure that you are making the most out of your marketing activities and driving real results.

What is a Lookback Window?

If you’re a Google Analytics user, you may have come across the term “lookback window.”

But what exactly is it?

In a nutshell, a lookback window is a period of time that Google Analytics uses to calculate certain metrics.

For example, the bounce rate metric is calculated by looking at the number of people who visit a site and then leave without viewing any other pages.

The lookback window for this metric is set at 30 days by default, which means that Google Analytics will take into account all visits made in the past 30 days when calculating the bounce rate.

You can change the lookback window for some metrics in Google Analytics, but not for others.

For example, you can change the lookback window for the bounce rate metric, but you cannot change the lookback window for the sessions metric.

The lookback window is an important concept to understand if you use Google Analytics, as it can impact the way that certain metrics are calculated.

Default Google Analytics Attribution Models

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The Google Analytics attribution model is the set of rules that determine how credit for sales and conversions are assigned to marketing touchpoints in the customer journey.

There are a few different attribution models that you can use in Google Analytics:

last touch,
first touch,
time decay,
and position-based.

You can also create a custom attribution model.

Last Touch Attribution

Gives all the credit for a conversion to the last click that led to the sale.

This means that if a customer clicked on an ad, went to your landing page, and then converted, the attribution would give all the credit to the ad.

First Touch Attribution

This will assign credit to the first click that led to the sale.

This means that if a customer clicked on a display ad, went to your website, and then converted, the attribution would give all the credit to the website.

Linear Attribution

Gives equal credit to all the touchpoints that led to a conversion.

So, in the example above, both the ad and the website would get credit for the conversion.

Time Decay Attribution

Gives more credit to the digital channels that were clicked closer to the time of the conversion.

This model is often used by businesses that want to give more credit to their recent online marketing effort.


Where the first and last channel get 40% of the credit each, and the touches in between split the remaining 20% (in our example, 40% to organic search, 40% to referral, 20% to email)

Data-driven attribution

Gives credit for conversions based on how people engage with your various ads and decide to become your customers.

It uses data from your account to determine which keywords, ads, and campaigns have the greatest impact on your business goals.

Data-driven attribution looks at website, store visit, and Google Analytics conversions from Search (including shopping, YouTube, and display ads).

Steps to Set up your Google Analytics Attribution Model (aka How to track attribution with Google Analytics)

The following steps will help you set up your Google Analytics attribution model or change from one to another:

1. Go to your Google Analytics account and click on “Admin”
2. In the property column, select the property you want to set up the attribution model for
3. Under the “View” column, click on “Attribution Modeling”
4. Select the model you want to use from the drop-down menu
5. Click “Apply”
6. You’re all set! Now you can start attribution modeling in Google Analytics.

Introducing Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics. GA4 introduces a number of new features and changes, most notably the use of machine learning to provide insights into your website traffic.

One of the biggest changes in GA4 is the switch from a last-click attribution model to a multi-touch attribution model.

This means that GA4 will take into account all of the interactions that a user has with your website before converting, not just the last click.

This is a major change for how Google Analytics works and will provide more accurate data for website owners.

Another big change in GA4 is the addition of new metrics, including Engagement Rate and Lifetime Value.

Engagement rate is a metric that measures how engaged users are with your website, and Lifetime

Value is a metric that measures the total value of a customer over their lifetime.

GA4 also introduces a new user interface, which is designed to be more intuitive and easier to use.

The new interface includes a number of new features, such as the ability to create custom reports and dashboards.

Overall, GA4 is a major update to Google Analytics and introduces a number of new features that will be beneficial for website owners.

How to Setup Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of Google Analytics. GA4 offers several new features and enhancements, such as:

  • Enhanced data collection
  • Improved user interface
  • Greater flexibility and customization

If you’re using Google Analytics for the first time, or upgrading from an older version, setting up GA4 is quick and easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

1. Create a Google Analytics account

If you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, you’ll need to create one. You can do this by going to the Google Analytics website and clicking “Create an Account”.

2. Add a new property

Once you’ve created your Google Analytics account, you’ll need to add a new property. A property is simply a website or app that you want to track.

To add a new property, click on the “Admin” tab and then select “+ Create Property” from the drop-down menu.

3. Configure your property

Now it’s time to configure your new GA4 property. You’ll need to provide some basic information, such as the name of your website or app, and the URL.

You’ll also need to choose a data retention setting. Google Analytics offers two options: “Standard” and “Aggregate and delete”.

Standard: Data is retained for 26 months. This is the default setting and is recommended for most users.

Aggregate and delete: Data is aggregated and then deleted after 14 months. This setting is best for users who are subject to stringent data retention requirements.

4. Create a tracking ID

Once you’ve configured your property, you’ll need to create a tracking ID. A tracking ID is a unique code that Google Analytics uses to track your data.

To create a tracking ID, click on the “Admin” tab and then select “Tracking Info” from the drop-down menu.

5. Add the tracking code to your website

The final step is to add the GA4 tracking code to your website. The tracking code is a snippet of JavaScript that you’ll need to add to all of the pages on your website.

Google Analytics provides detailed instructions on how to do this. You can find these instructions by clicking on the “Help” tab and then selecting “Tracking Code” from the drop-down menu.

Once you’ve added the tracking code to your website, Google Analytics will begin collecting data about your visitors. You can view this data by clicking on the “Reports” tab.

And that’s it!

You’ve successfully set up GA4 on your website.

Now all that’s left to do is sit back and watch the data roll in.


No matter which attribution model you use, it’s important to remember that attribution is about understanding the customer journey and assigning credit accordingly.

Do not be afraid to test different attribution models ti be able to determine which is the best conversion path.

The conversion data from attribution reports should show how different attribution models will be able to increase your online marketing touchpoints.

Additionally, comparing attribution models will enlighten you as to how different marketing channels and the total Google ads click rate will let you make decisions that will increase conversion values.

The goal is to create a model that accurately reflects the value of each marketing channel and touchpoint so that you can make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources.


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