AdWords Impression Share
There is a little used metric in Google AdWords, called AdWords Impression Share. AdWords Impression Share is the number of times your ad receives an impression when it was eligible to receive an impression. In other words, if a keyword you were bidding on was searched for 100 times in your targeted locations and your ad display 90 times, you would have a Google AdWords Impression Share of 90%. This means 10% of the time your ad did not show when it could have.
So why didn’t your ad show during those 10 searches. It might be that you had hit your daily budget and your ads stopped showing, or that your ad rank was not high enough to put you ad in a position to display. This is important information to have. The reason I consider this to be “little used” is because most advertisers are unaware this metric is available or what it represents.
To display this metric in your AdWords account you will want to sign into your account and go to the campaigns tab. Here you will find the columns drop down menu in the second row, underneath Campaigns, Ad Groups, Ads, Settings, and so on.
Once you click on columns you will see the option to customize columns. Select customize columns and you will see a screen like the one below.
In the example above I have selected competitive metrics. You will now have the ability to add any of the AdWords Impression Share metrics that you wish to be display under your campaign tab. It should be noted that if you wish to see these same metrics at the ad group or keyword level you will have to ad them there as well. Once you are down adding the columns you wish be sure to click the save button in the bottom left corner, and your new metrics will be displayed along with the other metrics.
Some of the key AdWords Impression Share metrics are,
Search Impression Share which shows impression share for the Search Network only.
Search Exact Match IS which shows your impression share on the Search Network when your keyword is matched exactly, or by close variant in the search query.
Search Lost IS (rank) is lost impression share due to ad rank. This is impression share lost because your bids or quality score are too low.
Search Lost IS (budget) is impression share lost because your daily budget is too low.
You also have the same metrics for the Display Network though quality score does not play a part in rank so impression share lost due to rank means, lost due to your bid being too low.
Uncover Missed Opportunities
You can use these metrics to help you optimize your AdWords account. If you are tracking conversions it will be much easier to optimize with AdWords Impression Share. The basic strategy I use when using impression share to optimize my account. I use Lost Impression Share to uncover missed opportunities. If I am losing search impressions due to ad rank I find the best performing keywords that are losing the impressions and I create new ad groups for those keywords to try and increase their quality scores and if that does not work I then raise the bids on those keywords. Remember, ad rank is bid x quality score, so in order to increase rank I must increase at least 1 of those factors.
If I am losing AdWords Impression Share due to budget then I move the best performing keywords into a new campaign so I can give them their own budget. I use the same strategy for the Display Network but in the Display Network I focus on placements instead of keywords.
Another helpful thought when using Impression share data. Currently, the Impression Share metric is not available under the geographic dimension but since it is available under campaigns and ad groups, if you are using a geographic strategy in your AdWords account you will be able to see your impression share by geographic area due to the fact that you will have specific campaigns targeting specific areas.
When optimizing AdWords I talk about the best performing keywords or placements. This why it is so important to track conversions. For me the best performing keyword are the ones that generate the most profit not necessarily the most or cheapest clicks. You might view performance differently and that’s ok. You know your business better than anyone.
Once again, if you have any questions about Google AdWords or just want a second opinion on your strategy, contact me through the AdWords Services page.