Impression Share

Impression Share

Impression share, or search impression share, is an important KPI for any type of business who are relying on PPC for their digital marketing strategy. It shows you whether or not your ads are getting as many impressions as they could be. To learn why this is important and how to optimize it for your business, keep reading below!


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What is impression share?

Impression share is a fairly self-explanatory metric, it simply refers to what share of the possible impressions for your chosen keywords your ad campaign is getting on the search network of the most popular search engines. Similarly, there’s “absolute top impression share” which measures what percentage of your advertisements are being shown in the top position on searches for your targeted search terms. There can only be one of these for each search so this number will always be lower than the overall search impression share. Impression share is an important competitive metric for understanding your ad rank.

There are quite a lot of different types of impression share variations. On paid search, for example, you are able to track your bing or google ads impression share at the search campaign level, ad group level, and even at the keyword level. You’ll also be able to compare metrics with the search lost impression share, which will give you the share of impression that you lost instead of gained. Those 2 metrics show account for a total of 100% impression. Alternatively, if you have display or shopping campaigns, your ads are probably running on the display network, for this scenario you might want to look at the display impression share, as it gives you an idea of the percentage of impressions that your display ads were able to get.

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How to calculate impression share

To calculate your ad’s impression share, all you have to do is take the total number of impressions your advertisement gets in any given time period and divide that by the number of total impressions your advertisement could have been eligible for. There are many factors that contribute to your number of eligible impressions, including your targeting settings and the perceived quality of your ad.

Impression share formula


Impression share = impressions / total eligible impressions

What is a good impression share?

The impression share that you should push for depends highly on how popular the keywords you’re vying for are. If you’re using unbranded and relatively unique keywords, it’s good to try to have an impression share of at least 90-95%, but for more popular keywords or if you have a limited budget, 60% is a good benchmark. Keep in mind that with broader search terms, the available impressions will be much higher than for exact match terms. Make sure to track your exact match impression share to give you a better idea of the performance of your most important keywords.

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What is a bad impression share?

A bad impression share is a number low enough that you’ll miss a large portion of your target market. Typically anything 50% or below is considered a bad impression share and means you should tweak your advertisement for quality to try to gain more popularity with the auction system. There are a couple of reasons you might have a bad impression share: your daily budget could be too little for your ad account, maybe your CPC is too low so you are losing impression shares or maybe there’s an issue with your ad’s quality score, you might want to review your ad’s copy those to try to improve your CTR in that case.

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Impression share best practices

Here are some of the best practices you should keep in mind when assessing and learning from your account’s impression share data. Impression share metrics can be a valuable resource to help you get the most value for your money in PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and rank at the top of the search results.

Impression share best practices

step 1 icon Use targeted ads

If your display impression share is low, it could be because your Google ads are too broad or generic. Make sure to specifically address your target market and are relevant to the product or service you provide so your website will be an exact match to what customers are looking for.

step 2 icon Focus on your quality score

A large part of getting your impression score raised is having the best quality score you can get, so work to make sure your Google ads, landing page, and website are all streamlined and put together and are relevant to one another. Not only will this improve your impression share, but it’s also a good practice in online advertising overall.

step 3 icon Pay attention to your conversion rate

Impression share is an important metric, but it doesn’t matter a bit if nobody is clicking on your ad when you see it. Pay attention to your conversion rate, and avoid increasing your funding if it’s below 1%. It’s probably time to change something about your PPC campaign.

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