Define an Impression

On the Internet, an impression is used in advertising. Also known as a view or an ad view, an impression is the measture of how many engagements an ad gets.

How important are impressions in online advertising? Impressions allow advertisers and website creators to know how many times their ad was viewed. It does not account for how many times the ad was actually clicked on. On one hand it is helpful to know how much an ad is being seen, but on the other is it hard to know if the ad is being seen by humans or by bots. Other things to consider about impressions:

  • One person may see the ad three times rather than three different sets of eyes seeing the ad
  • The ad may be placed in a spot where it can’t actually be seen, so while a user may be on the page, they might not actually view it

In general, if you are trying to get a clearer picture of how an ad campaign is doing, impressions can be a decent indictator. For brands, ad impressions can be very beneficial as it can measure how often ads are presented for searches done by users. For brand recognition, they will want ads to appear more frequently. For these ads to really have an impact on brand recognition though it is important that ads are well-placed on a web page. There is no guarantee that someone will scroll down to the bottom of a page and see an ad that is placed there. A well-placed ad can help to boost brand awareness. The same person seeing your ad a few times is not a bad thing. Seeing it a number of times will help them become more familiar with your brand. At some point they are bound to click on it to see what it’s all about. They may even make a purchase.

What are the downsides of the impression based model? Impressions can be a valuable metric, but it’s important to take the results with a grain of salt. As mentioned, there can be factors that make impressions a less reliable metric than others. The same person may see your ad many times or bots may account for some of the views. Impressions don’t count how many people have actually clicked on the ad or converted. 10,000 impressions sounds impressive, but in the end it depends on what percentage of those views resulted in visits to your website, answered a call-to-action, watched a video, commented on a blog, turned into leads, and turned into sales.

Impressions can be a great tool for getting your brand in front of the eyes of users of the internet, but it shouldn’t be used as the only metric when determining digital marketing success. By creating an eye-catching ad, having it well-placed on a web page, and drawing in users with a promise about how their life will be improved by visiting your website, signing up for something, or making a purchase will make impressions worth your time.

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Define an Impression

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