Impression share is an interesting paid search metric. On the surface, you could argue that impression share is a fairly useless metric. In fact, I’ll admit that I’ve argued for years that impressions really aren’t an important measure of paid search success.
However, while I still strongly believe that ROI — not impressions, clicks or conversions — is the ultimate gauge of paid search success, impression share itself is far from a useless metric.
In fact, after auditing thousands of paid search accounts at Disruptive Advertising, we’ve found that impression share is often the difference between effective campaigns and ineffective ones.
Are you paying for the wrong impressions?
Typically, most advertisers consider paid search impressions “free.” And that makes sense; paid search advertising is based on a cost-per-click (CPC) model, not a cost-per-impression (CPM) model.
If you get 1,000 impressions and only one click, you only pay for the one click, right?
That’s technically true, but there’s a hidden economy to paid search advertising. If you can’t afford to pay for more clicks, Google stops showing your ads.
So, in effect, if you can’t pay for more clicks, you can’t pay for more impressions.
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