Definition of an Impression

Written by Nick Stamoulis

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An impression, also known as an ad view or a view, is used to measure the number of digital views or engagements an ad (sometimes digital posts or a web page) receives. Impressions are used in online advertising. Counting impressions that an ad receives is important as online advertising often pays on a per-impression basis.

Impressions are based on how many times an ad was viewed and not how many times it was clicked on. The accuracy of this is debatable because it is hard to know if one user viewed the ad more than once, if bots were involved, or if the ad itself was placed in the best area to be seen by the user. This is why it is important to take impression numbers with a grain of salt. While numbers may be high, it’s hard to know where the impressions are coming from. Using impressions as an estimate though can be beneficial. Ad impressions are logged by a server and saves the data for ad reports.

What us impression fraud? Impression fraud occurs when something affects the count of ad impressions. As mentioned above, this can be a bot. It’s impossible to tell whether the impression was seen by a human or not. Another issue that comes with online ads is that they may not always load properly. Sometimes the wrong ad completely loads. While those types of frauds are not planned, there is a type of impression fraud that is more serious. This involves website developers using different methods to increase their ad impressions. Despite all of this, ad impressions remain a commonly used way to gauge views that an ad gets.

What are the benefits of impressions? When placed in a good location on a web page, an ad can boost brand awareness. If you’re trying to get your brand known, getting impressions can be very beneficial. Even if the same person sees your ad a few times, it’s worth it. It can take users seeing an ad a few times before the name is imprinted on their brain. When a user becomes used to seeing your ad, maybe clicks on it to explore further, you may have just gained yourself a new customer.

Impressions may be able to help you improve your ad campaign. If a certain ad isn’t performing well, that is something worth looking into. The placement may not be ideal or the ad itself might be able to use some tweaking with better colors or fonts. Ad text may also need some work to make it clearer and more specific. Using keywords that are relevant to searches can also make a difference in impressions.

Despite impression numbers being varied and not always the most accurate, they still remain important to search engine marketing. Impressions are one of the most cost-effective ways for advertisers to know whether their advertisements are being seen or not. Impressions are not usually the only form of analyzing that advertisers will do to figure out if an ad campaign is working out or not.

Impression Definition Sources:

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