What Are Impressions on Google Ads? [+4 Tips for Improvement]

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has revolutionized how businesses connect with their target audiences. It’s not just about visibility, it’s about ensuring that every dollar spent has a purpose and potential for return. 

As businesses invest in PPC, particularly on platforms like Google Ads, understanding the metrics that gauge success becomes paramount. 

One such metric is “impressions.” 

Simply put, an impression marks the instance when your ad appears on someone’s screen. It’s a glimpse that leads to greater engagement. 

Here we’ll discuss the importance of the impression and why you should pay attention to it, and we will also give you a few tips to increase it.

Defining Google Ads Impressions

An ad impression is when your advertisement shows during a Google Ads Campaign in a search result or the Google Search Network. Your ad could show wholly or partially and still count.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your ad is converting. It only expresses that your ad is showing up online. Impressions will count no matter if your target ignores or clicks it.

So, you shouldn’’t think of it as a trustable metric for performance. But it still gives you some insights you should explore to improve all your Google Ad Campaigns.

Google Ads Impressions

Why Should You Pay Attention to the Search Impression Share?

Impressions in your ad campaign give you information about performance, ad spending, and ad quality scores.

You can only get data according to the number of impressions you get. Let’s break this down:

Too Many Impressions

Having too many impressions could mean using broad and generic keywords. While they have massive searches, they could also contain irrelevant targets. 

This could increase your display impression share since Google wants your ad to be successful, it will show your content without filtering the audience.

This is when you should add negative keywords to prevent this. You should also use specific terms to improve the ad group results.

Low Impressions

Your Google ads campaigns may be getting low impressions because of a low bidding strategy, or you’re using terms your target audience is unfamiliar with (hence low search volume.)

So, you should search for relevant keywords that help you appear in Google search results.

This issue could also mean something’s wrong with your Google Ads account. You should check warnings and confirm your advertisement is approved.

Low-Quality Score

A low-quality score means you’re not following Google’s suggestions. Your results will improve with a higher CTR (Click-through rate.) Why?

Because this metric results from dividing the total number of clicks by the number of impressions.

Higher impressions in your display campaigns will reduce the amount per bidding and will show your ad more as your quality score increases.

The Impression Share Formula & What It Means

The impression share formula develops from your whole search volume. Google divides all expressions against all the times you could have been shown.

Fortunately, the platform does it all. But let’s break down how the formula works:

Impression Share Formula: Impressions / total eligible impressions

Now, the total impressions are determined by three aspects:

  1. Targeting.
  2. Approval.
  3. Search quality.

These impression share metrics are separated for each campaign, so you must find them and aggregate them into your considerations.

Use all the impression share data, navigate through your campaigns, and focus on the following:

  1. Ad groups.
  2. Keyword pages.

Here’s how you can find the information you need:

Need help finding these metrics? They might not be selected in your column view to display in the Google Ads UI.

Here’s how to get the data:

  1. Go to the Columns icon and then Modify Columns.
  2. Click on Competitive Metrics.
  3. Choose all the metrics you need and select Apply.

Now, once you get all the information, you can see the impression share rate in your Google ads account and develop ways to improve search impression share.

So, for example, if the percentage is only 10%, your ad appears only 10 out of 100 times in the search queries, leading you to lose opportunities.

Impression Share formula

Types of Google Ads Impressions

There are six types of impressions that you can find on your Google ad account. Each will give you insights to improve your ads and get more results. 

The search impression measures your impressions on the search ads that appear online. This includes:

  • Search Results.
  • Google Maps.
  • Shopping.
  • Google Partners.


The display impressions happen on videos, apps, and other multimedia sources that are part of the Google Network. 

Businesses increase or decrease placements in the display network to improve their impression share and align their budget to a cost-effective bidding strategy.

For example, if your ad placements don’t have enough impressions, you could reduce their frequency to see if the impression share doesn’t change. This way, you could optimize your budget.


Target impressions allow you to prepare automatic bidding strategies on ads. 

This gives you more chances of reaching more people and generating more impressions over time as you appear at the top of the SERP.

In this case, you can choose the section where you want your paid ads to appear and bid for it. 

Exact Match

Exact match impression share checks the impressions you’ve got in your ads when using your business’s exact match.

The idea of this metric is that you use it to improve its results and increase brand awareness with more impressions.

Search Lost

The search lost impression share shows how many impressions are missing due to limiting your budget. This usually means investing more money to increase your average position.

This metric also shows your losses due to a poor ad rank. A low ad rank could mean you must update the overall ad performance. This means improving your ad copy, relevance, landing page experience, expected CTR, and budget. This is better than having zero impressions.

You should be creative. Find better keyword opportunities in Google Analytics. An ad with better terms will perform better and get more clicks.

Tips to Improve Your Google Ads Impressions

Now that you know the impression types and why you must pay attention to them, here are four tips that you can use to improve your ads.

Focus On a Region

You may be tempted to use a wider audience to increase conversion rates when publishing ads. However, this is a big mistake. While this could increase the pool of potential impressions, you target irrelevant keywords and audiences.

But this will only work if your company is an international business. Otherwise, why would you target – for example – the UK when your target is the USA?

So, you can decrease your location targeting and focus your ads on the locations where you sell your product. This way, you are more likely to convert and increase impressions.

Google Ads locations

Increase the Quality Score

If you want to rank higher, your ads need improvement. Period.

The more you iterate and improve your quality score, the higher chances that your ad will show. Hence getting more potential impressions.

So, do the following:

  • Create ad groups with the same keyword to increase relevance.
  • Craft better CTAs that explain to the user what to do next.
  • Write an ad copy that is relevant to your landing page. 
  • Ensure the search query is aligned with the ad keyword.
Ads quality score

More Budget

The classic way to increase your impressions is by allocating more budget to your campaigns. A low budget won’t contribute to exposure. So, you might go for the easiest option, investing more money.

This will not only provide the desired results but will also help you to prioritize your ads to get their full potential.

Google daily budget

Better Bidding Strategy

A standard or bad bidding strategy will hinder your PPC efforts and won’t get enough impressions.

Ensuring your bidding is high enough and having a good quality score are the keys to showing your ads to as many people as possible.

Bidding strategy

We Get Your Target “Impressed” for You

Impressions are a fundamental metric in PPC advertising, directly impacting the reach of your campaigns on Google Ads. 

They are a potential touchpoint with a customer and provide valuable insights into campaign visibility and effectiveness. 

As businesses strive for efficiency and ROI in their advertising efforts, understanding and optimizing impressions becomes essential. 

In GamerSEO, we take your ads and budget.

We create, implement, and improve PPC campaign strategies so your business gets more impressions and conversions.

Contact us to jumpstart your PPC campaign now!

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