Basic concepts of Attribution

Autor: Affilired

Here’s a Glossary with 20 basic terms of Online Attribution

Seems like when talking about online marketing nowadays its all about Attribution. You’ve probably come across hundreds of articles referring to the importance of Attribution already or maybe your meetings with your eCommerce department are now focused on this concept and other technical terms related to this methodology.

So, if you are not too familiar with the Attribution strategy and you want to learn the basics, here’s a glossary to provide you with some of the main concepts within this area of online marketing.



The main goal of the Attribution is to identify which channels have contributed to a specific goal (sale, registration, lead…) and to determine which channel takes credit for the conversión.

Big Data

Is a set of high-volume data. Big data is the basis of Attribution as it nourishes the Attribution Models with a large amount of data about the clients, the touchpoints in each channel and the path to conversión, enabling performance insights to optimize campaigns.

Attribution Models

A set of rules and methodologies used to apply a value (cost) to conversion in different online advertising channels.


When a user completes a defined goal in your website. A conversión can be an online sale, leads, forms or email signups.

Cross-Device Tracking

It refers to a technology which enables the tracking of the user behaviour across channels and devices. It allows you to analyze the different channels used by users, to gain insight into your customer journey and to optimize the campaigns according to these trends.

Custom Model

Attribution model only available through certain platforms. It allows the eCommerce to customize the Attribution Model according to their needs and channels used.

Customer Journey

Is the path that describes the steps and interactions taken by a user until the conversion takes place. Depending on the sector/industry, the customer journey will have a duration in time and different interactions or touchpoints.

First Interaction Model

Attribution model that grants conversion to the first interaction in the conversion path. It is usually used to launch products or brand and gives value to the channel that exposes the brand for the first time.


Refers to any qualified prospect that has performed a particular action before conversion.

Linear Model

Attribution model in which the weights of the conversion are equally distributed to all the channels that have intervened in the conversion. It is used for campaigns designed to maintain continuous contact with the user but does not detect which channels are more or less relevant in the conversion.

Organic Traffic

Also known as Natural Traffic, is the users that land in your site coming from the search engine’s organic results and not paid ads.

Paid Traffic

Is all traffic (users) generated to your website through Paid Advertising campaigns. The sources of paid traffic are multiple, being the most important: SEM campaigns, Display campaigns, Retargeting, Social Media, Sponsored Content and Influencer Marketing.


Return On Investment. It is the fundamental indicator that allows us to measure the return on investment that the brand has made on each advertising action.

The formula is: (Campaign revenue generated) – (Campaign expenditure)/ (Campaign cost) x 100


It is how a company divides its online users into logical subgroups based on different criteria, such as behaviour, product, demographics or media aspects. These segments can be used to optimize campaigns and therefore improve ROI.

Time Decay Model

Attribution model that bulks a higher value to the touchpoints that occurred closer to the time of conversion. The closer the touchpoint is to the conversión the more credit it gets. It is especially interesting for short-term campaigns.


In general terms, a TouchPoint or Contact Point is any interaction between a brand and a user. In online terms, it is an exposure of the user to a marketing channel.

U-shaped model

This is a hybrid attribution model between the Last Click and First Interaction models. The first and last interaction get the most credit (40%, for example) and the rest is distributed among the other channels (20%).

You can find more information about the different Attribution Models in our previous post “Multi Attribution in e-Commerce”.

We know that there are many more terms that have been left out of this post, but the above is what we consider the essentials to have a first immersion into the world of online attribution.

Do you want us to go more closely into more technical terms? Are there any other areas of online marketing that you want to know more about? Send us your suggestions or questions and our team will get to on it!