What Are Adwords Impressions?

January 2, 2023

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Those using Google AdWords, or Google Ads as they are now called, know that this tool offers some pretty comprehensive insights into all your efforts.

Advertisers have the option of tracking the performance of all their campaigns. But, unless you understand exactly what the numbers express, you can’t actually truly benefit from these perks.

In this article, we’ll take a look at AdWords impressions.


What They Are

Impressions are the total number of time your ad is shown on a SERP or another site on the Google Network. Each time your ad shows up somewhere, whether it’s the search network or the display network, it is counted as one impression. It is different from the number of conversions, which is essentially the number of clicks on the ad.

You may feel like the number of clicks is more important than impressions clicks. Well, that depends. Sure, if your goal is to increase traffic and purchases, then you won’t be impressed with the number of impressions when nobody is buying the product or visiting your landing page.

But the impressions number is an important metric to keep track of because it can also tell you how good your ad or ad group is.


Impression Share Is What You’re Interested in

First, the impression number will let you know how many users have seen the ad. But the impression share is the percentage of impressions received divided over the amount Google thinks it could potentially receive.

To put into context, let’s say that your impression share is 45%. That means, out of all the possible times the ad could have been activated, it only did so for a quarter of times. So the lost impression share number is at about 55%, meaning that you lost over half of the chances to get your ads shown in the Search or Display network.

Impression shares tell you more about the opportunities your ads have of reaching a big audience. The higher the reach, the more users you’ve targeted. Lower reach means there is a lot of room for improvements.


Where Can You See This Rate


You can view impression shares at three levels:

  • Campaign – offers a complete overview of your efforts;
  • Ad set – lets you know if your ad copy and other ad elements are doing their job;
  • Keyword – lets you know if the keywords you bid on are good or not.

Each metric can be essential to tracking your Google Ads performance.


Types of Impression Share

Impression share isn’t just a percentage. If you break it down, there are a lot of different things it can tell you about your ad or campaign performance:


  • Display impression share – impression generated only on the Display Network;
  • Search impression share – impression generated only on the Search Network;
  • Display lost impression share budget – how much impressions you lost on the Display network because of a budget that was too small;
  • Search lost impression share budget – the same metric, but for the Search Network;
  • Search/Display lost impression share rank – how many impressions you lost because of a low ad rank;
  • Search exact match impression share – the impression share you got from people typing in your exact keywords.


How to Maximize Impression Share

If you’ve gone to your AdWords account and weren’t impressed by your impression shares, don’t frown. You can fix them. Here are some things we at Australian Internet Advertising often do to optimize impression shares.


  1. Look at the Keywords


A lot of the times, the impression share is lackluster because the ads aren’t focusing on the right keywords. Your ads need relevant keywords to be fully effective, so you should choose them only based on research into what your potential customers are searching on the web and the results they tend to click on the search queries.

If you’re stumped, the Keyword Planner can be a good place to start, as it can recommend some keywords.


  1. Fix the Ad Rank


Google’s Ad Rank is pretty much a grade for your ads and campaigns. It’s primarily used to determine ad position during the auction process, and it does have a word to say on your final impression share.

Ad Ranks looks at ad relevance, landing page experience, quality score, and even bidding amount when assigning a value to your ad.


  1. Adjust to Budget the Percentage


Sometimes, the impression share can be lowered simply because you did not assign enough money in your ad budget. When the money runs out, the ads are no longer active, so of course, that will show in the impression rate.

You can adjust your budget with more funds, or choose a different bidding option that only charges you once every 1000 impressions if your campaign goal is to reach more people.


One final thing


This is a short rundown of what AdWords impressions are, and what these metrics can tell you. As you can see, it can be very beneficial to pay close attention to these numbers, but it bears mentioning that you should never overlook the other metrics available.

Campaign tracking and measuring is time-consuming, but also essential to running pay-per-click that get you closer to your business goals. If you have any more questions about Google Ads and what its insights can tell you, our team can help. Contact Australian Internet Advertising right now!


Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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