Web attribution
Web attribution
Web attribution is to determine which source or channel of website traffic led to a conversion.

What is web attribution?

Web attribution is to determine the source of website traffic and the actions that led to a conversion. It is commonly used to understand which marketing campaigns, channels, and tactics are most effective in driving conversions and to optimize marketing efforts accordingly. Web attribution can include tracking the source of website visitors (such as search engines, social media, email marketing, etc.) and the specific actions that led to a conversion (such as clicks on a specific link or button). Web attribution also includes the ability to assign different values to different actions and channels to measure the overall effectiveness of a campaign.

Web attribution vs. mobile attribution

Web attribution and mobile attribution are similar in that they both aim to understand the source of traffic and the actions that led to a conversion. However, there are a few key differences between the two.

  • Tracking Methods: Web attribution typically uses tracking cookies and pixel tags to track website visitors and their actions. On the other hand, mobile attribution can use mobile device IDs, unique identifiers assigned to mobile devices. These device IDs are used to track app installs, in-app actions, and other user behaviors.
  • Data Collection: Web attribution typically relies on data collected from a user's browser, while mobile attribution relies on data collected from a user's mobile device. This means that mobile attribution can collect more detailed data on user behavior, such as location, device type, and app usage.
  • Attribution Models: Both web and mobile attribution use different attribution models to assign credit to different marketing channels and tactics. However, mobile attribution has a few additional models, such as view-through attribution, which tracks users who have seen an ad but not clicked on it.

What is the mechanism behind web attribution?

Web attribution collects web events from users and attributes these conversions to referrers received from the load of the web SDK (Software Development Kit) on a target webpage. These referrers, paid or non-paid, indicate from which site a user came before arriving at the measured site. 

Before a referrer reaches an attribution provider's server, however, marketers must set up an attribution flow, including the following elements:

  • Cookies and pixel tags: Cookies are the primary referrer for web attribution. They are small pieces of data that are stored on a user's device when they visit a website. Cookies are used to track website visitors' browsing behavior and actions. A pixel tag, also known as a web beacon, is a small image file embedded on a website. It can track website visits and other actions, such as clicks on specific links or buttons. Together, cookies and pixel tags allow businesses to track the website traffic source, the pages visitors viewed, and the actions that led to a conversion.
  • Tracking links: Tracking links connect different pages on a website and measure the impact of web assets on marketing goals. The marketer should configure these links within the attribution provider's dashboard in advance.
  • Tracking parameters: Tracking parameters (or UTM parameters) must also be specified to determine which data will be collected at each measured touchpoint. These parameters can evaluate the performance of different marketing channels and tactics, such as conversion rate, revenue, cost per acquisition, and return on investment.

How can marketers use web attribution data?

Identifying the most effective marketing channels and tactics

By understanding which marketing campaigns, channels, and tactics are most effective in driving conversions, marketers can focus their efforts on the strategies most likely to drive results.

Budget allocation

With web attribution data, marketers can understand which channels and campaigns are driving the most conversions, which allows them to allocate their budget more efficiently.

Measurement of ROI

By understanding how much revenue is generated by different marketing channels and tactics, marketers can measure the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts, which helps to identify which strategies are most cost-effective.

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