What is Cross-Network in Google Analytics 4?John / 09 Sep 2023
When going through various reports on Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you may have come across "Cross-Network" attribution on a chart among other attribution models and wondered what it means.
In this article, you will learn what Cross-Network attribution is, why it matters, and where you can find it in GA4.
Understanding Cross-Network Attribution
In Google Analytics 4, Cross-network is the channel by which users arrive at your site/app via ads that appear on a variety of networks (e.g., Search and Display).
This attribution provides valuable insights into how different marketing channels or platforms work together throughout a user's journey in contributing to your conversions.
It goes beyond the traditional last-click attribution model, which gives all the credit to the last interaction before a conversion. Instead, Cross-Network attribution considers the entire path a user takes to convert, recognizing the various touchpoints they encountered along the way.
For example, let's say someone discovers your online store through a Facebook ad, later clicks on a Google search ad, and finally makes a purchase after receiving an email newsletter. Cross-network attribution helps you see the roles each of these channels played in the conversion, rather than giving all the credit to the email, as the last interaction.
Benefits of Cross-Network Attribution
Below are some of the ways you can benefit from Cross-Network attribution:
- Accurate Insights: It provides a more accurate picture of how your marketing efforts work together, allowing you to allocate your budget more effectively.
- Optimizing Campaigns: You can identify which channels are most effective at different stages of the customer journey, helping you fine-tune your marketing campaigns.
- Budget Allocation: Make informed decisions about where to invest your advertising budget based on a comprehensive understanding of each channel's contribution.
- Customer Journey: Gain insights into the typical paths customers take before converting, helping you create a better user experience.
Where to Find Cross-Network Attribution in GA4
Now that you understand the importance of Cross-Network attribution, let's explore where you can find it in GA4.
- Conversion Paths Report: To access Cross-Network attribution, open the "Advertising" option in the left menu and select "Conversion Paths." In this report, you'll find detailed information about how different channels interacted on the way to conversions. This report helps you visualize the customer journey and see which touchpoints had the most influence.
- Model Comparison Tool: This can be opened via "Advertising > Model Comparison" in the left menu. It is used to compare different attribution models, including Cross-Network attribution. This tool allows you to see how your data would look under various attribution models, helping you make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
- Events Report: If you're interested in tracking specific events or actions on your website or app, you can use the "Events" report in GA4. This report shows how different channels contributed to the events you've set up, giving you insights into the impact of your marketing efforts.
Cross-network attribution in Google Analytics 4 is a powerful tool that helps you understand how various marketing channels work together to drive conversions.
By moving beyond the last-click attribution model and considering the entire customer journey, you can make more informed decisions about your marketing strategy, budget allocation, and campaign optimization.
Use the Conversion Paths report, Model Comparison Tool, and Events report in GA4 to access valuable insights and enhance your digital marketing efforts. With Cross-Network attribution, you'll be better equipped to maximize the impact of your online marketing campaigns.