Search Impression Share: A Health Indicator for Ad Accounts
So you’ve decided to invest in Google Ads as a part of your online marketing strategy. However, your ads don’t seem to be getting a lot of traffic. So where should you start?
When looking at a dashboard for an ad platform, it can be overwhelming to know where to look for solutions because of all the features. However, the measurement you should find first is search impression share. Sometimes you have to explore to locate it, but it is a great start to understanding why ads aren’t showing.
Why It’s Important
Google defines impression share as “impressions/total eligible impressions.” This means how many times your ad showed divided by how many times it entered the platform’s bidding auction and had the opportunity to win and show for a search query. If you need a more in-depth analysis, you can find the Google article here. Generally, it can be used to tell if your ads are showing a lot compared to others in your vertical.
Examples of Problems and Solutions
Because search impression share can indicate so many problems, it can be helpful to see a few examples of what it could mean if it is low.
For example, if your share is low, it could mean that competitors are out-bidding you. Let’s say you recently expanded your targeting and your impression share suddenly drops. This might be due to the fact that your account now has more competition and they are paying more for bids. Your options are to either increase bids to keep up or reduce your targeting.
Another reason that your share could be underperforming is if your ad quality score is low. Google has a set of rules that determine the quality of an ad (more info available on this page). The higher the quality, the more likely your ad is to appear. There are many ways to improve this score, from writing content-rich ads to making sure that your landing page matches the intended audience. As you improve your quality score, you should notice your search impression share increasing.
One other problem could just be that some of your ads were not approved. Make sure to check once you submit ads to see if they were accepted, especially if they are centered around a sensitive topic. Brand names, pharmaceuticals, and similar categories run a higher risk of being rejected. While it may seem obvious, sometimes it really is a simple problem that can be fixed easily.
Impression share can be either just something that exists on your dashboard or a tool that can help you fix your ad traffic and judge the overall health of your account. If you keep an eye on this, it can save time and money in the present and future.
Search impression share is one of the many things that our PPC experts monitor and manage. Learn more about our pay-per-click services here.