Marketing Attribution: Everything You Need to Know

76% of marketers say that they currently use marketing attribution. Odds are, if you aren’t currently using it to inform your digital marketing strategies, your competitors are.

That’s why we’ve compiled this guide on everything you need to know about attribution marketing.

So, keep reading to learn more! And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, Revenue Weekly! Our subscribers get the latest advice on all things digital marketing sent straight to their inbox for free!

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What is marketing attribution?

Marketing attribution is the process of determining which of your marketing strategies gets the credit for generating traffic, leads, or conversions. It can help you track the progress of your marketing goals, like increasing brand awareness. For example, you can use it to view how your social media campaign impacted sales.

Why is marketing attribution important?

Attribution marketing helps you effectively track the results of your marketing campaigns. You can view whether your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy drives traffic to your website or whether your blog posts encourage readers to sign up for your newsletter.

These are insights are essential to inform your strategies, so you can make improvements to drive better results for your business.

For example, you might notice that several users click on your pay-per-click (PPC) ad, but quickly exit your website after viewing your landing page. As a result, you can optimize your landing page by improving your web copy or adding images and videos to keep your visitors engaged.

How do you measure and report on marketing attribution?

There are a few different ways you can measure the sources of your leads and conversions. You can use an analytics tool or platform, like Google Analytics, to view the sources of your web traffic, leads, and conversions. Let’s look at the below image as an example.

In this picture, you can see that the majority of website traffic comes from organic search. With these findings, you can focus more on optimizing your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to significantly boost your web traffic.

With Google Analytics, you can also analyze essential data about your website visitors, like which pages they visit and how long they stay on your site. You can then use these insights to improve your digital marketing strategies to drive better results for your company.

In addition, you can also use attribution models to view which of your campaigns were the most effective in driving sales and revenue. We’ll discuss models in more detail in the next section.

What is a marketing attribution model?

A marketing attribution model determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to specific touchpoints in a customer’s journey.

A touchpoint refers to customer interactions on their journey to purchasing your products or services. For example, a touchpoint can be an email, contact form, or phone call.

Types of marketing attribution models

There are various marketing attribution model types to help you track the success of your marketing strategies to grow your business, including:

  1. First interaction
  2. Last interaction
  3. Linear
  4. Time decay

First interaction

In a first interaction attribution model, all of the credit for the conversion would go to the first touchpoint. So, if a customer discovered your social media page, viewed your content, and then made a purchase, your social media page would get the credit for the conversion.

A first interaction model is helpful if you want to learn how customers first discovered your business.

Last interaction

In a last interaction attribution model, all of the credit for the conversion would go to the last touchpoint in the customer’s journey. For example, if a customer found one of your blog posts on a search engine, browsed through your social media page, and then decided to fill out your contact form, the credit for the conversion would go to social media.

Do you want to analyze which calls to action (CTAs) and campaigns are the most effective in encouraging users to contact your business or make a purchase? Then a last interaction model could be a good option for you.


With a linear attribution model, every touchpoint in the customer’s journey gets equal credit for the conversion. So, if a user discovers your business on social media, reads one of your blog posts, and later decides to read your reviews before purchasing a product, each touchpoint would receive credit for the conversion.

A linear attribution model helps view your customer’s entire journey from awareness to purchase.

Time decay

In a time decay attribution model, credit for the conversions is given to each touchpoint, but not equally. For example, the last touchpoint would get a higher percentage of the credit than the first touchpoint since it’s closer to the conversion.

If you want to analyze the steps users take before becoming customers, a time decay model could be a perfect fit for your business.

Which marketing attribution model is the best for your business?

With so many  models to choose from, you might wonder which one is the right fit for your business. Fortunately, with tools like Google Analytics, you can easily switch between views to analyze your results from different models at any time.

That being said, you might want to focus on one or two specific attribution models. Choosing the best model for your business can depend on your current needs and goals.

For example, if you want to focus on brand awareness, the first interaction model can be handy because it helps you discover which channels users first discovered your business.

On the other hand, if you want to learn which campaigns are the most effective in driving conversions, focusing on the time decay or last interaction model could be a great fit for your company.

And if you want to analyze your customer’s journey from awareness to conversion, you can use a linear model to view each step your customers took on their path to making a purchase.

Measuring the metrics that affect your bottom line.

Are you interested in custom reporting that is specific to your unique business needs? Powered by MarketingCloudFX, WebFX creates custom reports based on the metrics that matter most to your company.

  • Leads
  • Transactions
  • Calls
  • Revenue
Learn More

Ready to get started with marketing attribution?

If you’re ready to start making smarter marketing decisions to drive more revenue but aren’t sure how to get started, WebFX has you covered.

At WebFX, our team of over 500 marketing experts is on hand to help you track the success of your campaigns and make data-driven optimizations that increase conversions and sales.

In addition, you’ll have access to our award-winning software, MarketingCloudFX, so you can manage each of your strategies and campaigns all in one place.

Are you ready to get started with digital marketing attribution? Chat with one of our strategists by calling 888-601-5359 or contact us online to speak with us about the needs and goals of your company. We can’t wait to help your business grow!

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