What are impressions on Google ads?

What are impressions on Google ads?
Johor, Malaysia - Dec 9, 2013: Photo of Google website on a monitor screen. Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products, Dec 9, 2013 in Johor, Malaysia.

What are impressions on Google ads?

If you are running a Google Ads campaign, you would’ve likely spotted a plethora of different analytical metrics on your Google Ads dashboard. With so many different metrics to sift through, such as click-through rates and conversion rates, it is easy to overlook one important metric, and that is impressions.

Why impressions are vital to the success of your advertising campaign

Each time one of your ads appears, it will count as one impression, and these are counted by Google no matter whether they appear on Google maps, Google Display Network, or the Google search results page.

Think of an impression as being a metric for how many times your ad appears on different Google platforms. As good as this metric is, it only measures whether the ad has appeared and not whether the user has noticed your ad.

Impressions are important because when your quality score is high enough, Google will boost your ad and it will be shown in more places more often, which is likely to improve your click and conversion rate which will equal more sales.

What is a good impression rate?

Anywhere around the 95% mark is going to be considered good, whilst a decent rate is around 90% for strong non-branded keywords. Of course, if your search terms and keywords are very competitive or your budget limits how often your ad is going to be featured then you should look for a minimum of a 60% impression rate.

Keep your keywords relevant

As with any company that runs ads, Google needs yours to be successful, so they will show your ad to users whenever they feel it will be relevant, but it is up to you to help the Google algorithm to know what is pertinent, and what is not.

Using broad-matching keywords will give you more impressions, but it is also likely that your ad will be showing up for search terms and keywords that are not relevant to your product or service. You can overcome this by only using exact keywords or by adding terms to the negative keywords section that will prevent your ads from showing for unconnected keywords.

Boost your budget, boost your impression share

An advertising budget is a key to success, and the fastest way to boost your impression share is to increase your ad spend by allocating more money to the campaign. This will allow you to increase your bids, but another neat trick is to use local PPC or geotargeting which will allow you to target those specific areas that generate the most clicks.

Geotargeting explained

Geotargeting is a fantastic aid that allows you to target specific areas where you want your ad to feature more often and can be especially useful for targeting those areas that have already given you a high click-through rate and high sales rates.

For those businesses that depend on proximity or local foot traffic (such as car sales and restaurants), or an e-store that only delivers to certain countries but not to others, geotargeting is a must.

When utilising geotargeting with your Google ads you’ll avoid wasting your precious ad budget on clicks that come from outside your target area, and you’ll be increasing the chances that those people who do click are going to receive your services or products.

How to identify and tackle impression share loss

Your first step should be to review the data relating to your keywords and double-check that the PPC campaigns cover all of your legacy keywords. Then make sure your legacy keywords convert and identify if any inconsequential keywords drive a lot of conversions and consider stopping these.

If you are using manual bidding and your impression share loss is due to a budget that is greater than 10 to 20% then it is worth considering allocating more money to the campaign or boosting the bids. If your impression share is greater than 50% then it is a good idea to produce more ads that encompass the pertinent keywords and targeting.

Get help from digital marketing experts

Making and handling Google ads can be a daunting task, so if it is something that you think might be too complicated for you then seek the help of professional digital marketing experts. They can help with the creation of ads that stand out, target the right audience and help you with your marketing strategies.


Hopefully, this article has given you the information you need to understand the importance of impression share and how to tweak your Google ad campaigns to get the best out of them.

Analytical data such as impression rate and click-through rate are a vital part of any Google ad campaign that can help steer you in the right direction, inform you of an ad’s performance and allow you to make the necessary changes based on those metrics.