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Leveraging Google Analytics for Multi-Channel Attribution


In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, understanding your customers’ journey is paramount. It is crucial to discern which touchpoints are most effective in influencing their purchase decisions. In other words, it is necessary to ascertain your business’s true drivers. This is where the concept of Multi-Channel Attribution (MCA) enters. This blog post will walk you through understanding MCA and how to leverage Google Analytics for it.


Understanding Multi-Channel Attribution

In the world of digital marketing, every single point of contact with your customer has a value, a weight that contributes to the overall purchase decision. These points of contact may be social media, email marketing, organic search, paid search, referrals, direct traffic, and more. Understanding the impact of each of these touchpoints is the fundamental premise of Multi-Channel Attribution.


MCA is a method used in digital marketing that enables you to assign credit to different channels along the customer’s journey towards making a purchase. It helps you appreciate the role that each channel plays in the conversion process, thus enabling informed decision-making about resource allocation, strategic planning, and performance optimization.


The Need for Multi-Channel Attribution

The primary goal of MCA is to provide a holistic understanding of your marketing performance. In the past, digital marketers often used a ‘last-click attribution’ model, where all the credit for the conversion was given to the last point of contact. However, this approach is simplistic and overlooks the customer’s entire journey, thereby missing other contributing factors to conversion.


MCA offers a comprehensive overview of your marketing efforts, as it takes into account every interaction leading up to the conversion. By analyzing the role of each touchpoint in the conversion funnel, you can understand which channels are driving the most conversions and optimize your marketing budget accordingly.


Leveraging Google Analytics for Multi-Channel Attribution

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and popular tools for digital marketing analytics. It provides a wealth of data and features that allow marketers to understand their website’s traffic, user behavior, conversion rates, and much more. However, one of the often under-utilized features is its capability for multi-channel attribution.


Setting Up Google Analytics for MCA

Before leveraging Google Analytics for MCA, it’s essential to ensure proper set-up. This involves correctly tagging URLs with UTM parameters, setting up goals or eCommerce tracking, and setting up channel groupings. These steps enable Google Analytics to accurately track and group your marketing efforts into relevant channels for analysis.


Understanding Google Analytics’ Attribution Models

Google Analytics offers different attribution models to evaluate your marketing channels. Here is a quick look at the seven models:


  • Last Interaction: This model attributes 100% of the conversion value to the last channel the customer interacted with before making a purchase.
  • Last Non-Direct Click: Here, all the credit is given to the last channel that the customer clicked through from, ignoring any direct traffic.
  • Last Google Ads Click: This model attributes all conversion value to the last Google Ads that the customer clicked on.
  • First Interaction: As opposed to the last interaction model, this one assigns all credit to the first touchpoint the customer had with your business.
  • Linear: The linear model equally distributes the conversion value to all the touchpoints on the customer’s journey.
  • Time Decay: This model gives more credit to the channels closer to the conversion, with the assumption that they played a bigger role in the decision-making process.
  • Position-Based: This model attributes 40% of the conversion value to the first and last interaction, and the remaining 20% is distributed evenly among the other touchpoints.


Understanding these models will enable you to choose the most suitable one for your business, depending on your marketing strategy and business objectives.


The Power of MCA Reports in Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides various reports to aid your multi-channel attribution analysis. The ‘Top Conversion Paths’ report, for instance, allows you to visualize the journey your customers take before they convert. ‘Assisted Conversions’ report shows you the channels that often assist in the conversion but are not the final interaction. These reports can give a deeper understanding of how different channels contribute to your conversions and help you make informed decisions on allocating resources.


Optimizing Your Marketing Efforts

Leveraging Google Analytics for multi-channel attribution allows you to optimize your marketing strategy. By understanding which channels are underperforming or outperforming, you can reallocate your budget to maximize ROI. It can help identify channels that are great at initiating customer interaction but poor at closing the deal and vice versa. This comprehensive overview allows for strategic shifts and targeted improvements in your marketing efforts.


Closing Thoughts

In the era of digital marketing, where a multitude of channels exist for customers to interact with your business. Understanding their journey towards conversion is crucial. The power of multi-channel attribution in Google Analytics lies in its ability to highlight the contribution of each touchpoint in that journey. This helps you optimize your marketing strategy and budget allocation.


Using Google Analytics for MCA provides a more holistic picture of your marketing performance. This allows you to better understand your audience, tailor your messaging, and ultimately, drive conversions. By leveraging this tool, you can ensure that your marketing dollars are being spent effectively and efficiently. Maximizing your return on investment.

Ikonik Digital

As an ROI-focused agency, Ikonik Digital helps brands and businesses reach & understand their customers while growing the bottom line.