GA4 Attribution Modelling Tutorial

What is GA4 Attribution Modelling?

We use GA4 attribution modelling to understand and assign conversion credit to marketing touchpoints on a conversion path. 

Just like in Universal Analytics, attribution modelling in GA4 is carried out to understand customer purchase journeys and to determine the most effective marketing channels for investment at a particular point in time.

Google Analytics 4 Attribution Modelling capabilities include:

#1 Access to advertising reports (Advertising Snapshot report, Model comparison report, Conversion paths report):

GA4 Advertising Reports 2

#2 Access to GA4 attribution models (Cross-channel rules-based models, Ads-preferred rules-based model):

ga4 attribution models 1 2

#3 Attribution settings (which is used to change the Reporting attribution model and lookback window at the GA4 property level):

GA4 Attribution Modelling settings

Note: GA4 attribution modelling capabilities are still nowhere as robust as the attribution modelling capabilities provided by Universal Analytics

What are GA4 Attribution Models?

The attribution models in GA4 are rules or sets of rules that are used to determine how conversion credit should be distributed to various marketing touchpoints on a conversion path.

The conversion path can include both website and mobile app touchpoints.

There are four categories of GA4 attribution models:

  1. Cross-channel rules-based models – This category includes Cross-channel last click, Cross-channel first click, Cross-channel linear, Cross-channel position-based and Time decay attribution models.
  2. Ads-preferred rules-based model.
  3. Data-driven attribution model – This attribution model is yet to arrive in GA4 properties.
  4. Reporting attribution model – This model is used to calculate conversion credit in all of your GA4 reports.

To learn more about GA4 attribution models, check out the following two articles:

  1. Guide to Attribution Models in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to Change Attribution Models in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)?

What is a Lookback window in GA4?

A lookback window is the time period (measured in a number of days) that determine how far back in time a touchpoint is eligible for getting conversion credit. 

For example, a 30 days lookback window means a touchpoint is eligible for getting conversion credit for up to 30 days from the day it first occurred.

Similarly, 90 days lookback window means a touchpoint is eligible for getting conversion credit for up to 90 days from the day it first occurred.

By default, GA4 uses the 30 days lookback window for Acquisition conversion events (‘first_open’, ‘first_visit’) and 90 days lookback window for other conversion events. 

How to change the Lookback window in GA4?

GA4 uses the lookback window at the property level. At present, it is not possible to set different lookback windows for individual reports within the GA4 property.

If you want to change the lookback windows for Acquisition conversion events and/or other conversion events then follow the steps below:

Step-1: Navigate to your GA4 property.

Step-2: Click on the ‘Admin’ link from the left-hand side navigation:

GA4 Admin

Step-3: Click on ‘Attribution Settings’ under the property column:

GA4 Attribution Settings

Step-4: Scroll down until you see the section named ‘Lookback window’. 

Step-5: Change the lookback windows for Acquisition conversion events and/or other conversion events and then click on the ‘Save’ button:

GA4 Lookback windows

Note(1): Changing the lookback window will only apply going forward and these changes will be reflected in all reports within the GA4 property.

Note(2): The lookback window applies to all GA4 attribution models and all conversion types.

Advertising Snapshot Report in GA4

Advertising Snapshot Report in GA4

The Advertising Snapshot report is an advertising workspace in your GA4 property that gives an overview of your conversion performance and your customers’ purchase journeys. 

It is made up of cards and reports through which you can get answers to questions like: 

  • Which channels drive the most conversions?
  • What touchpoints do customers take to convert?
  • How do channels perform under a different attribution model?

To learn more about the advertising snapshot report in GA4 check out this article: Advertising Snapshot in GA4 Attribution

Model comparison report in GA4

model comparison report ga4

The GA4 Model Comparison report is used to compare different GA4 attribution models to each other. This comparison is carried out to identify new optimization opportunities.

The primary requirement for using the GA4 Model Comparison report is ecommerce tracking and/or goal conversion tracking setup for your GA4 property. 

Ideally, your GA4 property must have at least 30 days of historical data so your data analysis is statistically significant. If you are using Google Ads then make sure that you link your GA4 property with your Google Ads account.

To learn more about the Model Comparision report in GA4 check out this article: GA4 Model comparison report in Attribution

Conversion Paths report in GA4

conversion paths report ga4
conversion paths report ga4 2

Through the GA4 Conversion paths report, you can determine all those user paths that resulted in a conversion on your website and/or mobile app.

You can analyze conversion paths under different attribution models and in a particular time period.

The primary requirement for using the GA4 Conversion Paths report is ecommerce tracking and/or goal conversion tracking setup for your GA4 property. 

To learn more about the Conversion Paths report in GA4 check out this article: GA4 Conversion Paths Report in Attribution

#1 GA4 Intro

  1. What is GA4 (Google Analytics 4) – The App + Web Property?
  2. Key Benefits of Using Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. How to upgrade to GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  4. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) vs Universal Analytics – What is the difference?
  5. Google Signals GA4 – See demographics (gender, age) in Google Analytics 4
  6. Understanding Google Analytics Measurement ID (GA4)
  7. Google Analytics 4 training and tutorial
  8. Using the GA4 test property

#2 GA4 Integration

  1. How to connect GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Data Studio
  2. How to link GA4 (Google Analytics 4) with Google Ads
  3. GA4 BigQuery – Connect Google Analytics 4 with BigQuery

#3 GA4 Events

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Event Tracking Setup Tutorial
  2. How to set up GA4 Custom Events via Google Tag Manager
  3. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Enhanced Measurement Tracking Tutorial
  4. Events Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. GA4 User Properties (User Scoped Custom Dimensions) – Tutorial
  6. Event Scoped Custom Dimensions in GA4 – Tutorial

#4 GA4 Conversions

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Conversion Tracking Guide
  2. How to import conversions from GA4 property to your Google Ads account

#5 GA4 Dimensions and Metrics

  1. GA4 Metrics Tutorial with Free Google Analytics 4 Ebook
  2. GA4 Custom Metrics Tutorial
  3. GA4 Dimensions Tutorial
  4. GA4 Custom Dimensions Tutorial

#6 GA4 Ecommerce

  1. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Ecommerce Tracking via GTM – Tutorial

#7 GA4 Specialized Tracking

  1. Cross Domain Tracking in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Setup Guide
  2. GA4 Site Search – Tracking Site Search in Google Analytics 4
  3. GA4 (Google Analytics 4) Scroll Tracking Tutorial
  4. How to Install Google Analytics 4 on Shopify
  5. Self-referral Google Analytics 4 – Referral exclusion GA4
  6. GA4 Data Import Tutorial

#8 GA4 filters

  1. GA4 filters – Understanding data filters in Google Analytics 4
  2. How to create and test filters in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?
  3. Exclude internal traffic in GA4 (Google Analytics 4) via IP filter

#9 GA4 Analysis Hub

  1. Analysis Hub Google Analytics – Exploration Report in GA4 (Google Analytics 4)
  2. How to use the user lifetime report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  3. How to use path analysis report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. How to use Segment Overlap Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  5. How to use the Funnel Analysis Report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#10 GA4 Advanced

  1. How to use Debug View report in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  2. Understanding GA4 measurement protocol
  3. How to create a remarketing audience in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  4. GA4 Audiences – Creating custom audience in Google Analytics 4
  5. How to build comparison (Advanced segment) in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

#11 GA4 Reporting

  1. How to create custom insights in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

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Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
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