Position-Based Attribution Model in Google Analytics – Tutorial

What is a Position-Based Attribution Model?

By default, the position-based attribution model assigns 40% of the conversion credit to the first interaction, 20% of the conversion credit to the middle interactions and 40% of the conversion credit to the last interaction on a conversion path

If you have a business model or advertising objectives which values first and last interactions much more than the middle interactions then you can use the position-based attribution model.

How the conversion credit is calculated for the position-based attribution model?

The following examples will help you in understanding how the conversion credit is calculated in the case of the position based attribution model. 

Consider the following conversion path with a path length of four:

conversion path1 3

This conversion path can also be represented by the following data table:

data table 1 2

Under the position-based model, both the first interaction and last interaction get 40% of the credit for conversion and the remaining 20% conversion credit is equally divided among the middle interactions. 

So the conversion credit distribution would look like the one below:

Position-Based Attribution Model
  • Campaign A gets 40% credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign B gets 20% credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign C gets 40% credit for the conversion.
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Consider the second conversion path with a path length of three:

conversion path2 3

This conversion path can also be represented by the following data table:

data table 2 2

Under the position based model, the conversion credit distribution would look like the one below:

conversion credit distribution 2 2
  • Campaign A gets 60% (20%+40%) credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign B gets 40% credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign C gets 0% credit for the conversion (as campaign C is not on the conversion path)

The total conversion credit for campaign A so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign A on the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign A on the second conversion path) / 2 

= (40% + 60%) / 2 

= 50%

Total conversion credit for campaign B so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign B on the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign B on the second conversion path) / 2 

= (20% + 40%) / 2 

= 30%

Total conversion credit for campaign C so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign C in the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign C in the second conversion path) / 2 

= (40% + 0%) / 2 

= 20%

Consider the third conversion path with a path length of two:

conversion path3 3

This conversion path can also be represented by the following data table:

data table 3 2

Under the position-based attribution model, Campaign A gets 40% credit for the conversion and campaign B gets 40% credit for the conversion. 

Since there are no middle interactions, the remaining credit of 20% is equally divided between campaigns A and campaign B.

  • Campaign A gets 50% (40% + 10%) credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign B gets 50% (40% + 10%) credit for the conversion.
  • Campaign C gets 0% credit for the conversion (as campaign C is not on the conversion path).

The conversion credit distribution would look like the one below:

conversion credit distribution 3 4

The total conversion credit for campaign A so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign A on the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign A on the second conversion path + conversion credit for campaign A on the third conversion path) / 3 

= (40% + 60% + 50%) / 3 

= 50%

The total conversion credit for campaign B so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign B on the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign B on the second conversion path + conversion credit for campaign B on the third conversion path) / 3 

= (20% + 40% + 50%) / 3 

= 36.67%

The total conversion credit for campaign C so far 

= (conversion credit for campaign C on the first conversion path + conversion credit for campaign C on the second conversion path + conversion credit for campaign C on the third conversion path) / 3 

= (40% + 0% + 0%) / 3

= 13.33%

If we assume that there are only three conversion paths in our selected time period, then the sum of conversion credit for campaigns A, B and C under the position-based model would be:  50% + 36.67% +13.33% = 100% 

Since the sum of the conversion credit for three campaigns is 100%, this proves that our conversion credit calculations are all correct. 

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