A long-term bane for web marketers and analysts is that Google Analytics defaults all reports to last click attribution modeling. That is, for multisession users, the most recent traffic source gets credit for current interaction and goal completions. For example, I may find out about a website via a paid traffic source by clicking on an ad. However, I am not yet ready to convert. At a later time, I change my mind, and return to the website via an organic search and subsequently generate a conversion. Under this scenario, the organic search source receives credit for the conversion in Google Analytics because it is the most recent driver.
Google has provided some relief for this in recent years by incorporating its model comparison tool, which allows for “first click” attribution modeling. I am pleased to say that the accuracy of this tool is ever increasing (if still imperfect) to the point of reliable usability. But the model comparison tool applies solely to conversions and typically uses 30- to 90-day windows. What if you wanted to follow all user interaction over an indefinite period of time by their first traffic source?
One answer to this lies in the previous Google Analytics tracking script. What’s old is new again when “Classic” Google Analytics can provide us with a solution hack.