Analyzing the Contribution of Paid Search

Analyzing the Contribution of Paid Search

Lemuel Galpo
Written by Lemuel Galpo
May 27, 2015

Understanding how different channels perform in terms of conversion is the job of Attribution Modeling, an element of most paid search tools. There are different models available but the choice on which one to use depends on what you think is important for your company. Attribution allows you to see the performance of the site in terms of conversion – where the sales are happening – and assign credit to the source of conversion.

In a recent webinar hosted by KISSmetrics, Matt Umbro of Hanapin Marketing shared insights on PPC analytics tactics that can make or break performance. Just like paid search and analytics, Convert considers attribution just as important. These are marketing techniques that you can implement to optimize your current marketing campaign. For the full presentation, you can watch the webinar here.

Contribution Paid Search

What is Attribution

Attribution cannot be taken for granted because understanding the conversion behavior is the only way that you can set your goals and succeed.

Ryan Kelly states in his article – Click Attribution Issues With SEO and PPC – that: “As marketers, we would love to know how all of our leads originated. Far too often, PPC gets the boot with poor cost per lead (CPL) figures, and can be mostly blamed on attribution issues. Attribution is simply defined as assigning credit to the source which generated the initial (or final) action. “

The most commonly use attribution models are “first click” and “last click” action. The first one works well if you are trying to introduce a product while the latter is ideal if you want to know how the customers arrived to a decision-making point. There are also cases where both actions are used on the same website. To know which one will work best with what you have, you can use A/B testing.

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Having this information allows you to adjust the marketing efforts so you can allocate and manage your funds even better. If you can correctly analyze your contribution paid search, you have the edge in terms of boosting the company’s return of investment. This is also one of the best ways to make the most of the marketing campaign that you  are using.

Attribution at Work

Attribution acts as a bridge that connects PPC and Analytics. It helps you see what the website is doing for your marketing campaign.

A website may not be performing in terms of PPC but it does not mean that it has done nothing to generate the leads. The ideal path of the customer is to walk from one website to the next until they reach the decision buying mode committing to the sale. It looks simple but in between the process is complicated without attribution, PPC and Analytics. So how does the work of Attribution helps in PPC?

  • Quantifies the relationship between paid search and online activity display – It gives percentages for each contribution. It justifies the result by providing supporting data based on PPC and analytics.
  • Determines the value of total paid search campaign – If you know where the conversion is coming from, you can determine the amount that you spent in that paid search campaign. If it is working, you can allocate more funds. If it is not working, you can divert your funds to the more productive web campaign.
  • Allows flexibility since there are different models available – you can customize the attribution model based on your demands. This is a good feature because this means that you can adjust the settings to ensure that you are able to cover what is important depending on where you are in your marketing stage.

Just like any other system, attribution has its own advantages and disadvantages. So before making up your mind that you needed this application, make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons that it offer to your business. If you want to know more about the webinar, you can watch the presentation here.

Originally published May 27, 2015 - Updated April 15, 2019
Lemuel Galpo
As Customer Content Manager, Lem is responsible for bringing learnings in conversion optimization and testing to the world. He is part of's growth team and coordinates all writers, editors and illustrators.
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