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What are Impressions on Google Ads?

close up photo of a smart phone with the serp showing

If you’re dipping your toes into the world of Google Ads, you’ve likely come across the term ‘impressions’. It’s a key metric that can significantly impact the success of your advertising campaigns, yet many newcomers to the platform find it a bit mystifying. So, what are impressions on Google Ads? Let’s take a look.

Why Impressions Matter

In the simplest terms, an impression occurs each time your ad is shown on a search result page or other site on the Google Network. It’s essentially a count of how many times your ad has been displayed, regardless of whether it was clicked or not. While this might seem like a basic metric, its importance shouldn’t be underestimated.

Brand Visibility

Impressions actually play a vital role in boosting your brand’s visibility; even if users don’t click on your ad, seeing your brand name and message repeatedly can create familiarity and recognition, and this exposure can be particularly valuable for new businesses or those looking to expand their market presence.

Impact on Click-Through Rates (CTR)

Your impression count also directly affects your Click-Through Rate (CTR), which is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. A high number of impressions with few clicks will result in a low CTR, which can negatively impact your ad’s performance and cost-effectiveness.

Overall Campaign Success

Impressions can also contribute significantly to the overall success of your Google Ads campaigns, as they’re a key component in evaluating your ad’s reach and understanding how well your targeting strategies are working. When you’re able to analyse your impression data alongside other metrics, you can gain a comprehensive view of your campaign’s performance and make informed decisions for future improvement.

Factors Influencing Impressions

Several factors can influence the number of impressions your ads receive, and understanding these can help you optimise your campaigns for better visibility and performance:

Ad Relevance

Google aims to show users the most relevant ads for their searches, which means that the more closely your ad matches the user’s search intent, the more likely it is to be displayed. This means carefully selecting keywords and crafting ad copy that aligns with what your target audience is searching for (aka what we do for our clients on a daily basis!)

Ad Quality Score

Your ad’s Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. A higher Quality Score can lead to better ad positions and more impressions, often at a lower cost.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into factors that influence ad performance, check out our guide to Google Ads Quality Score for expert insights from our team.

Ad Position

Additionally, the position of your ad on the search results page can significantly impact your impression count. Ads in higher positions typically receive more impressions, but these positions are also more competitive and can be more expensive.

Targeting Strategies

Your chosen targeting options, such as geographic location, time of day, device type, and audience demographics, all play a role in determining when and where your ad is shown, thus affecting your impression count.

Competitive Landscape

two men competing

Finally, the level of competition for your chosen keywords can impact your impression share. You might find that in highly competitive markets, you end up needing to increase your bids or improve your ad quality to maintain or increase your impressions.

How to Optimise Impressions on Google Ads

Keyword Research

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify terms that are relevant to your business and have a good balance of search volume and competition. Long-tail keywords can often provide opportunities for more targeted impressions. You can also partner with an expert PPC company in London – like us at Clickslice – to do the heavy lifting for you.

Ad Copy and Landing Page Optimization

Content is king, so always create compelling ad copy that matches user intent and links to relevant, high-quality landing pages. This not only improves your Quality Score but also increases the likelihood of your ad being shown.

Ad Extension Utilisation

Make use of ad extensions to provide additional information and increase the real estate your ad occupies on the search results page; doing so can lead to more impressions and a higher CTR.

Bid Adjustment Strategies

You should also make use of bid adjustments to increase your bids for specific times, locations, or devices where your ads perform best; not only can this help you save on your budget, but it can help you capture more impressions from your most valuable audience segments.

Quality Score Improvement Tactics

Focus on improving your Quality Score by ensuring your ads, keywords, and landing pages are all highly relevant and provide a good user experience.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it! By focusing on relevance, quality, and strategic bidding, you can increase your visibility to the right audience and improve your overall ad performance.

Remember, while impressions are important, they’re just one piece of the Google Ads puzzle. For a comprehensive approach to PPC advertising that takes into account all aspects of campaign management, consider working with professionals like us to maximise your reach and turbocharge your efforts.

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.