Web Attribution

Mapendo Team
June 10, 2022

In the world of mobile marketing, there are several ways of identifying the path followed by a user which led to a given conversion, such as an app install or in-app events.


What Is Web Attribution?

Web attribution can be defined as the process of identifying and attributing the steps of a consumer journey across the web – on a desktop or mobile browser – leading to a conversion. We will now focus on mobile web attribution.

Web attribution works together with mobile attribution, allowing advertisers and marketers to understand the overall journey leading users to conversions. So, web attribution is a key part of the optimization process of any app install campaign and marketing efforts in general. As a matter of fact, it is crucial for app marketers to understand where users come from, and which source drove them to a specific conversion. In this way, they are able to know which are the most effective marketing channels and how the app install campaign can be improved.

There are some important differences between web attribution and mobile attribution. Firstly, the attributed event in mobile attribution is always a standard conversion such as app install or in-app events, while in web attribution we can also consider a wider variety of conversions, even a visit to a web page. The second key difference is that in mobile attribution the source that can be attributed to the conversion can only be a paid source, while in web attribution all kinds of sources may win the attribution.  

Web attribution works by measuring data from users’ online activity, thus being able to match events with all different marketing channels.
There are different web attribution methods, and the main ones are:

  • Cookie-based attribution: after the user visits a web page, the attribution provider generates a unique cookie in the browser; if the user returns to the website the attribution provider checks for the identifier and attributes a subsequent conversion to the user;
  • Attribution through a unique identifier: users may switch channels and devices during their online journey, so attribution may be done through a unique identifier linked to that user, such as their email address;
  • Attribution links: this kind of web attribution happens by sending specific links to users visiting web pages, being then able to measure their activity and actions.


Why Is Web Attribution Important?

The importance of web attribution can be understood within the wider context of mobile marketing and mobile attribution. As we have already stated, web attribution is a key aspect in the analysis of any marketing channel and the optimization of an app install campaign.

Web attribution can provide advertisers with the data they need to understand the user's journey leading to a given app, the steps they take to perform some actions, their preferences as well as the aspects which are not bringing the finest results.   

Web attribution surely needs to be considered alongside mobile attribution, as the web still is a central step for any user and their experience.

What You Need To Know About Web Attribution?

  • Web attribution is the process of attributing the steps within the user journey from the web to the app with some performed actions (web page visit, app install, in-app events, for example);
  • Web attribution collects and analyzes data from users’ online activity and matches events with marketing channels and activities;
  • Web attribution is a central tool in analyzing the user journey and measuring the effectiveness of an app install campaign;
  • Web attribution can occur in different ways, for example, through cookies, a unique identifier such as an email address, or attribution links;
  • Web attribution works together with mobile attribution, thus providing advertisers a more complete picture of the overall performance of marketing campaigns and an app install campaign;
  • Web attribution surely is a key aspect to consider in the optimization of any app install campaign.