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Ad Impressions and Impression Share

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The beauty of digital marketing is in its metrics. As the tried and tested adage goes, what can be measured can be improved. This means you can easily spot which parts of your campaigns are lagging behind and as a result, tweak them for greater returns.

Ad Impressions

One of the easiest ways to measure the performance of your ads is through ad impressions. This is the number of people that come across your ad. This is a great first step in ensuring brand recognition among potential customers.

This metric can get overlooked since it doesn’t tell us anything about the future actions of users but it’s actually more useful than you realize. Imagine this, before digital advertising, there were channels such as billboards, newspapers, and flyers that many individuals come across. People go home from work and see an ad for pizza and then remember to order once they get home. The same magic works for impressions.

Except this time, you know the numbers you’re working with. And you can take further actionable insights from this data with impression share. Read about impressions and other basic ad metrics here.

Impression Share

As defined by Google, impression share is “how the performance of your ads compares with the performance of others’ ads”. In order to compute for impression share, Google goes through the daily ad auctions and determines the percentage of where your ad was competitive versus all the actions your ad was shown.

Here’s the formula used for it:

Impression Share = Impressions / Total Eligible Impressions

Long story short, impression share shows you how much more your impressions can improve—that is, reach your people—if you increase your keyword bid or budget. The ad platform updates this figure a few times a day so you can easily monitor it.

By utilizing this metric, you get to know where the problem lies in your ads and adjust your strategies accordingly.

For example, say you decide to pause a keyword because it’s not generating as many clicks as you’d like, you’ll be cutting off a whole source of traffic. Instead, you can examine if it has a low impression share and just lower your bids for that keyword. Or increase it when you see more potential for acquiring impressions from the competition.

Types of Impression Share

Impression share varies across channels and situations. For example, there are specific impression share types for display and search ads. Moreover, it also showcases lost opportunities due to budget and poor ad ranking.

The complete impression share type are as follows:

  • Search Impression Rate
  • Display Impression Rate
  • Search Lost IS (budget)
  • Display Lost IS (budget)
  • Search Lost IS (rank)
  • Display Lost IS (rank)
  • Search Exact Match IS

Improving Impression Share

There are several ways you can improve your impression share, depending on the type. Some of the ways you can go about this is by:

  • Expanding your ad budget so that your ad can be more frequently shown to your target audience. This improves the chances of being seen by someone interested in what you have to offer.
  • Increasing your ad bids.
  • Adjusting ad placements for display ads according to your goal.
  • Lowering regional targets.
  • Making your ads more eye-catching and engaging.
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