Cross Device Attribution Reports in Google Ads (AdWords)

 

 
By using cross device attribution reports in Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) you can determine:

#1 How your customers who interacted with your search network ads (somewhere in their shopping journey) used different devices to convert on your website

#2 What role these devices played in their conversion paths.

For example, there is a possibility that some devices (Mobile, Tablet, Desktop) could be assisting conversions rather than directly completing conversions on your website.

This is generally the case with high priced items such as jewellery.

Often people do not feel comfortable carrying out high value transactions (like purchasing Jewellery) on mobile devices.

They may use their mobile devices for Jewellery research and then may return to your website later via desktop, to complete their purchase.

So if you are advertising on mobile devices and people are clicking on your jewellery ads but not making a purchase then it does not always mean that your mobile ads are not working.

It could be that people are using their mobile devices just for researching about your product and then later returning to your website directly, via desktop computer, to complete their purchase.

Through ‘cross device activity’ reports in Google ads, you can measure such cross device behavior of your website users.

Without the insight from cross device reports, you may never understand the role your mobile ads played in the conversion path.

You may then label your mobile ads ineffective and may even stop bidding on them.

If you are getting cross device conversions in Google Ads then you can benefit from cross device activity reports.

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What are Cross Device Conversions?

In the context of Google Ads, cross device conversions are those conversion actions in which a user interact with your ads on one device/browser but completes conversion on another device / browser.

The device through which a user interact with your ads is called the ‘Ad Interaction Device‘.

The device through which a user complete a conversion on your website is called the ‘Conversion Device

Any Mobile, Tablet or Desktop can be reported as ‘Ad Interaction device’ or ‘conversion device’ by Google ads.

Note: Cross device conversions are recorded for ads on Google Search Network, Google Display Network and YouTube. They are not recorded for: mobile app install conversion actions, goals imported from Google Analytics, goals imported via Google Ads Conversion Import.

Introduction to Cross Device Activity Reports in Google Ads

As the name suggest the cross device activity reports provide insight on cross device activities of the users who interacted with your ads.

Through cross device activity reports you can determine, how the people who interacted with your ads used different devices (mobile, tablet, desktop) on their path to conversion.

Google Ads provides the following three cross device activity reports:

  1. Devices report
  2. Assisting devices report
  3. Device paths report

 

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How to Access Cross Device Activity Reports in Google Ads

To access cross device activity reports in Google Ads, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Sign in to your Google Ads account.

Step-2: Click on the ‘Tools’ tab and then click on the ‘Search Attribution‘ link under the ‘Measurement’ section:

Step-3: Click on the ‘Cross-Device Activity‘ link on the left hand side navigation menu:

You will then see the various cross device activity reports:

 

The ‘Devices’ Report

Through the devices report you can determine the total number of cross device conversions generated by each ad interaction device (Mobile, Tablet, Desktop).

You can see these cross device conversions based on ad clicks and ad impressions:

cross-device-conversions
ad-interaction-device

Conversions with Cross-Device Activity – It includes only those conversions which were assisted by more than 1 device.

Conversions – It includes all conversions whether or not they were assisted by more than 1 device.

% of Conversions with Cross-Device Activity = Conversions with Cross-Device Activity / Conversions

Ad Interaction Device – The device through which a user interacted with your ads.

Conversion Device – The device through which a user completed a conversion on your website.

The ‘Assisting Devices’ Report

assisting-devices

assisting-devices-report

Through this report you can determine following for each device:

  • Last Click Conversions
  • Last Click Conversion Value
  • Click-Assisted Conversions
  • Click-Assisted Conversion Value
  • Click-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions
  • Impression-Assisted Conversions
  • Impression-Assisted Conversion Value
  • Impression-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

To learn about the various metrics mentioned in this report, read this article: Understanding Assisted Conversions Report in Google Ads (Google Adwords)

The ‘Assisting Devices’ report also report on following three metrics:

  1. Mobile Assist Ratio
  2. Tablet Assist Ratio
  3. Desktop Assist Ratio

Mobile Assist Ratio

This metric tells you how often your mobile ads assisted conversions that were completed on other devices.

For example, a mobile assist ratio of 2 means that for every conversion completed on a mobile device, 2 conversions on other devices were assisted by a mobile device.

Google ads calculate and report on the ‘mobile assist ratio’ based on ad clicks and ad impressions.

Mobile Assist Ratio (based on ad clicks) = Click-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

Mobile Assist Ratio (based on ad impressions) = Impression-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

Tablet Assist Ratio

This metric tells you how often your tablet ads (ads on tablet devices) assisted conversions that were completed on other devices.

For example, a tablet assist ratio of 2 means that for every conversion completed on a tablet device, 2 conversions on other devices were assisted by a tablet device.

Google ads calculate and report on the ‘tablet assist ratio’ based on ad clicks and ad impressions.

Tablet Assist Ratio (based on ad clicks) = Click-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

Tablet Assist Ratio (based on ad impressions) = Impression-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

Desktop Assist Ratio

This metric tells you how often your desktop ads (ads on desktop devices) assisted conversions that were completed on other devices.

For example, a desktop assist ratio of 2 means that for every conversion completed on a desktop device, 2 conversions on other devices were assisted by a desktop device.

Google ads calculate and report on the ‘desktop assist ratio’ based on ad clicks and ad impressions.

Desktop Assist Ratio (based on ad clicks) = Click-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

Desktop Assist Ratio (based on ad impressions) = Impression-Assisted Conversions / Last Click Conversions

The ‘Device Paths’ Report

 

device-paths-report

 

device-paths-report2

This report shows the top cross-device conversion paths and allows you to determine the order in which customers used different devices before they converted on your website.

As such, a traditional MMM model is not suitable for carrying out digital marketing mix modelling aka attribution modelling.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and FacebookAttribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond

Get my best selling books on Attribution Modelling

  • Learn to implement attribution modelling in your organisation
  • Understand the customer purchase journey across devices
  • Determine the most effective marketing channels for investment

 Click book covers to find out more

Other Articles Related to Attribution Modelling in Google Ads

  1. Guide to Attribution Modelling in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  2. Which Attribution Model to use in Google Ads (Google Adwords)?
  3. How to change Attribution Model in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  4. Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  5. Setting up Data Driven Attribution Model in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  6. Store visit conversion tracking in Google Ads (Google AdWords)
  7. Understanding the Analytics behind Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  8. Cross Account Conversion Tracking in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  9. Understanding View-Through conversions In Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  10. Assisted Conversions Report in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  11. Understanding Conversion Paths in Google Ads (Google Adwords)
  12. Understanding Search Attribution Reports in Google Ads (Adwords)
  13. How to test Attribution Model in Google Ads (Adwords)
 

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Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

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