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Is The Adwords Impression Share Metric a Data Goldmine or Just a Nugget?

So, I know there are a lot of Search Marketers out there who already know about Google’s Impression Share. But I was hoping to get some feedback to see if you were making it a regular part of your reporting routine? (Thanks DaveDavis). The Impression Share option appears to be pretty interesting from a "gotta step back and get out of the weeds" kinda way. I have run multiple client reports using this optional metric and it continues to shine new light into that all important "bigger picture" which always helps make sense of the smaller picture. It also makes a great conversation point with the client.

According to Google, "Impression Share is a new AdWords metric that represents the percentage of impressions where your ads were shown out of the total available impressions in the market you were targeting. This metric is available at the campaign and account level for search."

So, how do we make sense of Impression Share?
I look at Impression Share as the Campaign Barometer. It tells you where there is opportunity and where you are saturated. Is it completely accurate. No. A lot depends on your companies or clients conversion rate and all "after the click" KPIs. It is quite possible that a low impression ratio is actually a good thing depending on the competitive landscape and cost.

How do we interpret the Impression Share Reports?
Well, once you run the report, you will most likely encounter a few commonalities such as Brand and Competitive-related campaigns would have a High Impression Ratio (HIR), while more generic based campaigns would show a much lower Impression Ratio. Of course, this makes complete sense, especially if you are running bid management software or "eyeballing" the high volume and costs keywords that were previously removed for poor performance.

In Conclusion:
Let me know your thoughts on these reports. It does provide some insight into your campaign audience coverage. It also allows you to dig a little deeper into where you can start enhancing and provide great recommendations to your client or boss.

In my next post, I will explore Google Exact Match Impression Share which reports the impression share of your campaigns as if your keywords were set to Exact Match.


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One Response to "Is The Adwords Impression Share Metric a Data Goldmine or Just a Nugget?"

  1. Hi,
    Be sure to tick ‘exact’ IS when generating the report, then the report is only looking at the words that are available in the campaign. Otherwise, AdWords takes into account expanded broad matching, and the IS figure can be very low in that case.
    Best regards

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