Google Ads Impressions: Understanding Their Importance

What Are Google Ads Impressions?

Google Ads impressions count how often your ad is displayed to users on Google or any site in the Google Network. Clicking the ad is not necessary for it to count as an impression.Monitoring impressions can help you gauge the visibility and reach of your ad campaigns, providing insights into their performance and effectiveness in reaching your target audience.

There are three types of Google Ads impressions:

• Search impressions: These happen when your ad appears in Google search results or on partner sites.

• Display impressions: These occur on websites within the Google Display Network (GDN), including Gmail and YouTube.

• Video impressions: These are counted when your video ad appears on YouTube or other video partners in the Display Network.

How Google Ads Counts Impressions

Google Ads counts an impression each time your ad is displayed, whether in search results or elsewhere in the Google Network.

For example, if your ad is shown on a website within the Google Display Network

Google Ads counts an impression for each instance it appears on the page, even if the user doesn’t notice it or if the traffic is from bots.

Accidental page refreshes can also lead to extra impressions. If a page is refreshed, Google Ads may count impressions before and after the refresh, potentially inflating your impression count.

However, Google filters out impressions (and clicks) that their systems detect as “invalid activity.” This helps ensure you receive accurate information about your campaign’s performance.

Even if real users see your ad but scroll past it without noticing, it still counts as an impression. This can result in lower click-through rates (CTRs), indicating that your ads may not be engaging enough.

But the user might have simply scrolled too fast or left the page as soon as your ad appeared. That’s why it’s essential to monitor various ad metrics, such as clicks, cost per click, and conversions, to get a comprehensive view of your ad performance.

Google Ads Impressions vs. Clicks

Impressions occur when someone sees your ad, while clicks happen when someone engages with your ad by clicking on it.

Ideally, you want a high number of both impressions and clicks, indicating that many people are seeing your ad and finding it interesting enough to click on. This would also result in a high click-through rate (CTR).

What Is Google Ads Impression Share?

Your Google Ads impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions they could potentially receive. It’s a useful metric for measuring your ads’ performance against others in your industry.

Your budget and bids significantly influence your impression share. The more you spend, both overall and per bid, the more likely your ad is to appear in front of searchers, increasing your impression share.

Improving the quality of your ads can also boost your impression share. You can achieve this by enhancing the three key elements that contribute to your ad’s Quality Score:

• Expected click-through rate

• Ad relevance

• Landing page experience

However, there is no single “ideal” impression share for every ad campaign. It depends on various factors, such as search volume for your targeted terms and your competitors’ advertising budgets.

Monitoring your impressions data is crucial to understanding how well your ads are performing overall.

The Importance of Google Ads Impressions

The importance of impressions for your business depends on your campaign goals. For new companies focused on brand awareness, a high volume of impressions may be desirable, with less emphasis on clicks.

Conversely, if you’re budget-conscious and aiming for conversions, you may prioritize clicks over total impressions. In this case, your conversion rate would be more critical than your total number of impressions.

Factors That Affect Google Ads Impressions

Several factors can influence your Google Ads impressions, including:

• Your budget: Generally, a higher budget allows for more potential impressions.

• Where your ads are displayed: Limiting your ads to search results may result in fewer impressions compared to displaying them on the Google Display Network.

• The quality of your ads: Google’s Quality Score assesses your ads’ overall quality, affecting how often they’re shown to users.

• Your campaign settings: Geographic targeting, keywords, and ad scheduling can all impact your impressions.

If you’re receiving a high number of impressions but few clicks, your campaigns may not be reaching the right audience. Conversely, a low number of impressions with a high click-through rate could indicate a highly targeted campaign.

This illustrates just how important it is to consider more than just your impression data. But Increasing your impressions and displaying your ads to more of the right people is key to improving your Google Ads campaign performance.

7 Strategies to Increase Google Ads Impressions

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Selecting the appropriate keywords is crucial to maximize impressions and ensure they reach the intended audience. For instance, if your business sells skis and ski poles, targeting generic terms like “skiing” may generate numerous impressions. However, these impressions might be from users searching for unrelated topics like “skiing holidays” or “ski resorts,” rather than individuals interested in purchasing ski equipment.

Instead, focus on specific keywords like “ski equipment” and “ski poles” to attract the right audience. Utilize tools such as Semco’s Keyword Magic Tool to identify relevant keywords that align with your ad campaign objectives.

Enter your main keyword (e.g., ski equipment), select your target location, and click “Search.”

The tool will display a list of keywords along with important metrics such as search volume and cost per click (CPC). It’s advisable to target keywords that are not only related to your business but also have a high search volume and a low CPC.

Additionally, pay attention to the “Intent” column, which indicates the search intent behind each keyword. Keywords marked with “T” or “C” in this column suggest transactional or commercial intent, making them more suitable targets compared to those with informational or navigational intent.

Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, select them by clicking the checkbox next to each keyword. Then, click the “+ Add to keyword list” button to add them to your campaign list.

You can manage your keyword lists, including the newly added ones, in the Keyword Manager. Start using the Keyword Magic Tool for free today to discover the right keywords that can help increase impressions on your Google Ads campaigns.

2. Use the Correct Keyword Match Types

Utilizing the appropriate keyword match types is essential to ensure your ads are displayed for relevant searches and avoid appearing for unrelated queries. Google Ads offers three main keyword match types:

• [Exact match]: Your ad appears only when the search query exactly matches your keyword.

• “Phrase match”: Your ad appears when the search query includes your keyword as part of a longer phrase.

• Broad match: Your ad appears for searches related to your keyword, including variations and synonyms.

Choosing the right match types ensures your ads are displayed in relevant contexts, increasing the likelihood of impressions and conversions. For example, if you exclusively sell ski poles, using exact match keywords like [ski poles] ensures your ad is shown only for searches directly related to ski poles.

In contrast, targeting phrase match queries like “ski poles” (within quotation marks) or broad match (without any punctuation) may result in more impressions but could also lead to appearing in searches that are less likely to convert into customers, potentially wasting your ad budget.

3. Select the Right Bidding Strategy

Selecting an appropriate bidding strategy is key to maximizing the effectiveness of your ads. For campaigns focused on driving conversions, a bidding strategy like “Maximize Conversions” is ideal.

However, if your goal is to increase impressions, such as to enhance brand awareness, consider using a bidding strategy tailored for that purpose. The “Target Impression Share” bidding strategy automatically adjusts your bids to increase the chances of your ads appearing in search results.

For display campaigns, a similar strategy called “CPM” (cost per thousand impressions) is available, where you pay based on the number of impressions your ads receive.

4. Adjust Your Ad Scheduling and Geotargeting

Optimizing your ad schedule to align with times when your target audience is most active online can increase ad impressions. For example, if your target audience consists of working professionals, your ads might perform better during lunch hours or early evenings on weekdays.

You can also adjust the geographic targeting of your ads to reach the right audience in specific locations. However, targeting a smaller area may increase your impression share but decrease the potential number of impressions. Therefore, adjust this setting in conjunction with your campaign budget and ad scheduling to maximize your ad performance.

5. Improve the Quality of Your Ads

The quality of your ads and landing pages directly impacts your Quality Score, affecting how often and where your ads are shown. Enhancing the quality of your ads and landing pages can increase impressions and impression share.

Ensure your ads target relevant keywords that align with your landing page content. Utilize the Keyword Magic Tool to select keywords with high search volumes and low CPCs.

Here are additional tips to improve ad quality and increase impressions:

• Create compelling headlines that accurately represent your offer and encourage clicks.

• Write persuasive ad copy that expands on the promise made in your headline.

• Highlight your unique selling proposition (USP) to differentiate your offer from competitors.

• Include a clear call to action (CTA) using action words like “Buy Now” or “Sign Up Today.”

• Use high-quality, relevant visuals for display and video campaigns that align with your brand identity.

For further reading, refer to 8 Google Ads Best Practices to Maximize Return on Ad Spend.

6. Use the Right Campaign Types

Google Ads offers various campaign types, including search, display, video, local, shopping, and more. Selecting the right campaign type depends on your specific business needs and your audience’s preferences.

Start by analyzing your target audience’s online behavior, including where they spend their time and what they search for. If unsure, you can analyze your competitors’ campaigns to understand their target audience, as they likely share a similar audience with your business.

Use Semco’s One2Target tool to gain insights into your target audience by entering your competitor’s domain and clicking “Analyze.”

The tool provides demographic information about your competitor’s target audience, helping you understand your own audience better. Click on the “Behavior” tab for more information to inform your campaign type selection.

Additionally, review the social media platforms your target audience uses most. If platforms like YouTube have a high percentage, consider incorporating video campaigns into your strategy.

7. Analyze Your Competitors’ Ads

Analyzing your competitors’ campaigns can provide valuable insights to improve your ad quality and increase impressions. Examine their ads, targeted keywords, and messaging to understand what resonates with their audience.

Use Semco’s Advertising Research tool to analyze your competitors’ campaigns. Enter a competitor’s URL in the search bar, select your target location, and click “Search.”

The tool displays the keywords your competitors are bidding on, along with competitive metrics such as CPC and search volume.

You can also view your competitor’s ad copy to understand their messaging. Click the “Ads Copies” tab to access this information.

Studying your competitors’ ads can provide insights into effective ad copy and keywords.

Use this information to improve your own ad campaigns.

Improve Your Google Ads Performance with Semco

Google Ads impressions data offers valuable insights into your campaign performance. To enhance your ads and increase impressions, conduct thorough research to optimize your ads for your target audience.

Semco’s suite of digital marketing tools can assist you in this process:

• Keyword Magic Tool: For finding relevant keywords to maximize impressions.

• One2Target: To learn more about your target audience and tailor your ad content accordingly.

• Advertising Research: For gaining insights from competitors’ campaigns to improve your ad copy.

Try these tools and more with a Semco free trial.