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The impression share metric on Google Ads – using it to achieve paid search success

Dive into the hidden power of impression share, your ticket to unlocking maximum visibility and reaching more potential customers

Published January 2, 2024 By Klim Lugovtsov

Is your Google Ads campaign struggling to break through the digital crowd and get in front of your potential customers? Could it be time to shift your focus to an often-overlooked metric in impression share? In this article, we explore the potential of this crucial metric and encourage you to factor it into your Google Ads campaigns’ planning and optimisation. 


What is impression share? 

At its core, impression share is your ticket to understanding how many people who could have been shown your ad, were actually shown your ad. It is the percentage of total impressions your ads receive compared to the total potential views. It's not just a number; it's your visibility and reach in the targeted market. 


Impression share metrics: 

Search Impression Share: This is the primary impression share metric. It measures how often your ads appear versus how often your ads could have appeared. 

Search Impression Share Lost to Rank or Budget: Ever wondered why your ads didn't make it to the search results? These metrics explain it. Search Lost (Rank) points out missed opportunities due to a lower ad rank, while Search Lost (Budget) highlights the untapped potential that's limited due to your campaign spend reaching its budget limit. 


Why impression share matters: the power of visibility 

  • Visibility = Opportunities: A higher impression share isn't just a vanity metric. As long as you’re bidding in the correct space, it's a guarantee that your ads are outperforming competition, creating more opportunities to turn potential customers into conversions. 
  • Diagnosing Performance Issues: Low impression share is your campaign's SOS signal. It signals issues like low ad rank or budget constraints. Addressing these concerns is a way of lifting your campaign performance. 
  • Competitive Benchmarking: Using the platform’s auction insights, you can always learn by comparing your impression share with competitors bidding on similar terms to gain strategic insights. 


Strategies to increase your impression share. 

  • Keyword Optimisation: Keep your keywords sharp and relevant. Add more long-tail keywords to capture the specific search queries that lead to conversion. Consider how match types may impact your visibility. 
  • Bid Adjustments: Utilise your performance data to adjust your bids, ensuring that your budget is allocated efficiently to maximise returns. However, remember that automated bidding strategies may overrule your adjustments.  
  • Ad Extensions Utilisation: Use ad extensions to give your ads an extra advantage. More information means more reasons for users to click. 
  • Targeting Refinement: Review and adjust your audience targeting settings to ensure your message reaches the right prospects. 
  • Budget Allocation: Periodically assess and reallocate funds to high-performing campaigns, thereby optimising the overall effectiveness of your advertising efforts. 
  • Competitor Strategies: Analyse competitor tactics and make the necessary adjustments to stay ahead of the race.  


Monitoring and analysis 

Regularly monitor your impression share and associated metrics. Use Google Ads reports and analytics tools to unveil trends and performance fluctuations and how impression share may be impacting the wider picture. It's not just about the numbers; it's about the story they tell. 

Remember, success in the digital advertising arena is an ongoing performance. Constantly monitor, adapt, and refine your strategies based on performance data. If Google Ads feels overwhelming, our dedicated paid media consultants are here to help you with impression share and beyond. 


About Novicell

Novicell is a full-service digital consultancy, providing expert guidance to clients navigating the complexities of advertising online. Our adept team possess the digital knowledge necessary to make well-informed decisions, ultimately maximising your marketing ROI. Connect with our team today to learn more about how we can elevate your digital performance.