Keyword Attribution Management System

keyword attribution management system

Finding the Right Keyword Attribution Management System

Finding the Right Keyword Attribution Management System is an important tool in Ecommerce. Web user behavior is rarely as simple as a single search leading to a conversion. Rather, online consumers tend to search in patterns that gradually become more specific as they understand more about the products and services they are seeking.

An effective keyword attribution management system will properly identify the search patterns employed by users, providing the data necessary to optimally position your website in each stage of the search process.

Three searches is all you need

First Search (Introducer): “Pet Supplies”

Second Search (Influencer Keyword): “Cats”

Third Search (Closer Keyword): “XYZ Cat Food”

A good keyword attribution management system is a 3-step process

to this keyword attribution management system, three steps is all you need to retrieve actionable data from your web analytics program. The initial search fills the role of introducer. It is the most general of the three searches, and has its pros and cons as to if/how much time, energy and money should be spent for this broadest phase of the search cycle. At this stage the product and/or service your website offers is still thought of in general terms, such as “real estate” or “pet supplies.” If you’re one of the “big boys” and can afford to pay ridiculous amounts – or amounts that would seem ridiculous to a smaller competitor – of money for pay-per-click placement on these broad search terms, then go for it.

Follow that traffic after it lands on your site

Otherwise, you’ll want to follow the traffic that enters your site via these general search words and phrases on to further stages before you take action. Let’s say our seeker after cat food has made his way from his entry search term – “pet supplies” – to “cats.” Let’s say, moreover, that the referring link was found in an article on the health advantages of pet companionship for seniors. O.K! I believe we’ve got some actionable data at this point! But what if these people who may be seniors, or someone who is thinking of getting a pet for elderly parents, goes on to click on “cat food.” Do we have an actionable trail of data at this point? Can we give the marketing a green light and tell them to go ahead and whip up a well-honed and effective marketing campaign based on these click paths? We know a few things about our site visitors at this point. First of all, there is a good chance they want to procure pet supplies now or in future. In other words, there is a good chance that they are buyers and not just early-stage investigators, We also know that they are senior citizens who are going to buy cat food for themselves or family members who are thinking of getting a cat for Mom and Dad.

Let’s say we have a cat and that cat needs food. A reasonably intelligent starting point would be the search term “pet supplies.” While we’re at it, let’s call this first search the

Most general search term lands them on your site

Landing Strip search phase, because with this particular click behind us we’ve just landed on somebody’s web site.

A good  keyword attribution management system is both broad  and specific

#1: (Landing Strip): “Pet Supplies.”

This term is broad enough and specific enough at the same time to give us a reasonable degree of assurance that we are on the right track. There is a good chance that the search results will include a usable list of businesses that carry supplies for pets. At this point we may find ourselves at a fork in the road,

With our fork-choices consisting of “Now Click on Cats” or “Now Click on Food.” On the one hand, making a big deal out of this predicament may seem trivial and pointless. Assuming that the pet supply businesses given in the first few search results will be smart enough to have a web development plan that puts the emphasis on an easily-navigated and logical site structure – as well as on the optimization of these two basic sub-categories (cats and food), Let’s say this choice is pretty much a choice between “good” and “better,” and that clicking on either term will get us to our site/page destination quickly enough! Just for argument’s sake, let’s choose “cats” as the second level search term.

As search continues make search terms more specific

Say we choose the term we think will work better at this stage of the game – “cats.”

Things to remember here:

  • Don’t jump the gun by making unwarranted inferences from the data. We are playing detective here, so just follow the evidence without falling into the common trap of wishful thinking. The beauty of web analytics tools is that they allow us to proceed empirically by breaking the data down into bite-sized chunks.
  • Simple two-or three-segment reports can work wonders. Google Analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik comes back to this point time and time again, and it is a point well taken by those in the know re everything analytics-related. Action is the desired result of data-collection, not further analysis. Knowing who your referrers are, where they went once on your site and where they exited – simple three segment analysis – can yield actionable results.
  • ABT…always be testing (or always be tweaking the results of these reports). Whether you see web analytics as a daily chore on a par with making sure that your office bathroom is stocked with essentials or, on the other hand, something much loftier, it is the ant who wins this race – not the grasshopper. It is an ongoing and permanent task for your business – web analytics – and dependent on the persistent efforts of people who understand the need to analyze, analyze and analyze – and make req1uired changes – on a regular basis. Attention to facts/figures and the ability to perceive meaningful patterns for same are what you want in your analytics team, not the desire to score a great big coup for your business by making a once-and-for-all breakthrough in data analysis that will solve your company’s financial problems in one fell swoop and forever.

Second Search (Influencer Keyword): “Cats”

Third Search (Closer Keyword): “XYZ Cat Food”

…to be continued



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Model and Measurement Musts for Google Analytics

Kuashik and web analytics

When it comes to all things web-analytical there is nobody like Avinash Kaushik. Widely known as an evangelist for Google Analytics (and web analytics in general), his books are considered by many to be the leading authority on web analytics. His tutorials on YouTube and at his web site – – are followed and enjoyed by people all over the world. (Just check out the number of languages in which comments are posted on these sites). Continue reading for some helpful insights  into Model and Measurement Musts for Google Analytics.

His book “Web Analytics 2.0”  has so much information on so many levels that anyone who is serious about learning Google Analytics or any other web analytics platform  would do well to have his or her own copy of this classic.

Kaushik is no respecter of persons, when it comes to evaluating the status quo of commercial web analytics. His constant reminder that big is not necessarily better drives home a very important point for web analytics users:fancy analytics reports are worthless unless action is taken to do something with the data they contain!

Do something with your data

His advice to newbies is don’t be afraid to act on the little data you may have. Google Analytics is too rich and complicated a tool to wait until you have mastered it before you go ahead and apply report data to your website.

Like all those who truly know what they’re talking about, Avinash Kaushik seeks to simplify, clarify, and take joy in sharing what he knows with those who are less knowlegable.

The following tutorial on digital metrics and modeling can also be read in its entirety at

Digital Marketing and Measurement Model

There is one difference between winners and losers when it comes to web analytics. Winners, well before they think data or tool, have a well structured Digital Marketing & Measurement Model. Losers don’t.

This article guides you in understanding the value of the Digital Marketing & Measurement Model (notice the repeated emphasis on Marketing, not just Measurement), and how to create one for yourself. At the end you’ll also find some additional examples to inspire you.

Let’s go…

The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is not even (often) the people involved. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.

I’ve developed the Digital Marketing & Measurement Model as a simple, structured, five step process to infuse this much needed thinking. Here is what each step in the process helps accomplish:

Step one

    • is to force us to identify the business objectives upfront and set the broadest parameters for the work we are doing. Sr. Executives play a key role in this step.

Step two is to identify crisp goals for each business objective. Executives lead the discussion, you’ll play a contributing role.

Step three is to write down the key performance indicators. You’ll lead the work in this step, in partnership with a “data person” if you have one.

Step four is to set the parameters for success upfront by identifying targets for each KPI. Organization leaders play a key role here, with input from Marketing and Finance.

Step five, finally, is to identify the segments of people / behavior / outcomes that we’ll analyze to understand why we succeed or failed.

Simple, right? It is harder than you might think, “soft” work always is. Before we go into each step in detail I want to share something extremely critical. The scope/breadth the model has to cover.

A complete, and competent, Digital Marketing & Measurement Model will focus on three key areas of your marketing, and in each answer the cluster of questions provided:

1. Acquisition.

      • How are you anticipating acquiring traffic for your website / YT video / whatever else you are creating? Did you cover all three components of successful acquisition: Earned, Owned, Paid media? How would you prioritize each? Where are you spending most of your efforts?

2. Behavior.

      • What is the behavior you are expecting when people arrive? What pages should they see? What videos should they watch? Should they visit repeatedly? Are there certain actions they should take? What is unique about your effort that ties to an optimal experience for a customer?

3. Outcomes.

      • What outcomes signify value delivered to the business bottom-line? A download? A phone call to your call center? A qualified online lead? Signing up for email promotions? People buying your product / services ? A 95% task completion rate? A 10 point lift in brand perception?

Simply put: Why are we undertaking this digital initiative?

My sincerest hope is that these questions will seed your discussions as you go through the five steps below. If your Digital Marketing & Measurement Model does not cover all three areas of your digital effort, then it is not complete. Please consider revisiting it. Don’t accept a mediocre model.

With that macro thought out of the way, let’s get going and look at a real example of the five step process to solidify this concept.

The business we are doing this for is a real estate company. I’ve picked a tough one because the main outcome is offline success. If they can create a good model then your job is much much easier!

Step 1: Identify the Business Objectives.

Ask this question: Why does your website/campaign exist? (Think of acquisition, behavior and outcomes.)

This is a difficult question to answer because it requires more thinking that you might anticipate. If you do it right at the end of step one you’ll have something that looks like this:

digital marketing measurement model step one

Identifying the business objectives mandates a discussion, multiple discussions, with the senior-most leaders in your company and working with them / sweet-talking their egos and hearts with gentle encouragement, to identify why the site / campaign / digital marketing invitiative exists.

Based on those discussions, in our case, we’ve identified three objectives: Create awareness, generate leads for the builders and highlight community events.

Here’s a great test. Your objectives should be DUMB:


      • oable.


      • nderstandable.


      • anageable.


      • eneficial.

If they are too out there, you’ll never get anywhere. If they are too vague, nothing will get done. If they are too lame, they’ll inspire no one. Go for real world, clear, executable and those that deliver value to the company (short term and long).

Are your objectives dumb?

Pro Tip: One way to ensure success is to forget that you are creating a set of videos or that you are building a site to host downloads of pdfs or that you are trying to mimic a campaign from Europe. Really, really, really think hard about why you are doing what you are doing. Get the answer from your executive/client.

Step 2: Identify Goals for each Objective.

Drilling down to identify website/campaign Goals requires critical thinking from both the Management, Marketers, and the Analysts – with Management in the leadership role.

My definition: Goals are specific strategies you’ll leverage to accomplish the business objectives.

After going through some of the acquisition, behavior questions with stakeholders, here’s our model:

digital marketing measurement model step two

Clean. Has a clear direct line between Goal and each objective. Provides immense clarity.

To deliver on “Create Awareness,” in this case, the site needs to support all the offline efforts along with having a relevant online traffic acquisition strategy.

“Generating Leads” comprises the twin goals of providing all kinds of information that will help potential home buyers to make their decision and to collect e-newsletter registrations as well as e-requests for an onsite tour of the model home by the builder.

Finally, “Highlight Events” is for prospective home buyers (visitors to our site). By making them happy with delightful events, at the construction site hopefully in model homes for sale, they can be converted into Net Promoters (to others) and Buyers (themselves).

These goals provide clarity, but they also contain large chunks of specific marching orders for what the Marketers and Analysts need to get done.

Pro Tip: This is super key: Macro + Micro Conversions! If the goals identified don’t cover all the jobs the site/campaign is doing then you might need to revisit your work.

Step 3: Identify the Key Performance Indicators.

Finally we get to deal with data!! I know you’ve been dying to get here. You’ll be the ideas leader here.

My definition: A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives.

For each goal, sweat, and find the most hyper relevant KPI. This is what it will look like:

digital marketing measurement model step three

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