Of all the announcements that were revealed during Google Marketing Next in San Francisco at the end of May, the release of Google Attribution was perhaps the most significant.

This free-of-charge solution gives users the ability to collect and collate data from Analytics, AdWords, and DoubleClick Search to give a  more holistic view of conversion actions across various channels and devices for better attribution modelling and bidding information.

Here is everything you need to know about what Google Attribution does and how it can help solve common marketing problems.

What is Google Attribution?

Essentially, Google Attribution is the simplified version of Attribution 360, an enterprise-level product that was born out of the search engine’s 2014 acquisition of Adometry, a multichannel attribution solution.

Seeing as it doesn’t require any additional site tagging, Google Attribution effortless integrates with Google Analytics, Google AdWords and DoubleClick Search. For set-up, you link a Google Analytics view that is already associated with an AdWords or DoubleClick Search account. From there, Attribution will be populated with the channel performance data from the connected Analytics view. This can also include any offline conversion event data you choose to upload.

It is then possible to assign an attribution model to your conversion events. Just like Analytics, you can also compare models side-by-side. With any native integrations, the modelled conversion data can feed back into AdWords or DoubleClick Search for more informed bidding decisions.

How can Google Attribution help you?

With the wider release of this product, Google hopes to address two main issues – how to credit upper- and mid-funnel interactions and to inform bidding decisions based on full-funnel attribution data.

Crediting upper- and mid-funnel interactions

Bill Kee, group product manager at Google, said that Attribution is focused on understanding the full customer journey as opposed to just the last-click impact, as this gives all the credit to the user’s final touch point before converting.

For example, a user could search and click on an ad from a non-brand search term but then end up converting from a brand ad click. In this scenario with the last-click attribution model, only the brand ad would receive credit.

The problem for marketers is they might not realise that a generic keyword actually initialised the user’s journey and subsequently lower the bid or even pause the keyword altogether. Along with painting a clear picture for marketers, Google will also benefit by showing advertisers that more of their search and display ads play a role in conversions.

Better informed bidding decisions from full-funnel attribution data

The second problem that Attribution aims to solve is with bidding decisions. By automatically sending modelled conversion data into AdWords, advertisers will be able to see the conversion impact of keywords and ads based on multichannel and multidevice data.

As a result, automated bidding can take upper- and mid-funnel contributions into consideration for a better advertising strategy. Once more, this has obvious advantages for Google as well.

While the current attribution tool in AdWords can provide reports on whether users interact with multiple ads from an advertiser, it doesn’t offer cross-channel context, like the interplay of ads on other channels.