The goal of SEO and many digital marketing efforts is to make your mark on the search engine results page (SERP), but it is undeniably difficult to keep up with the flux of evolving features, the kaleidoscope of new ads, and your cascading competitors. There are, however, three touchstones that you should become very familiar with in terms of monitoring your position on the leaderboard and adjusting your campaigns in response. When you understand and track Google Ad’s primary search metrics, which focus on impression share, you’ll be far better positioned to make the most of your marketing dollars.
The percentages that you should be monitoring closely in relation to your ads and responding to in-kind include:
- Impression share
- Impression share lost to budget
- Impression share lost to rank
Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Your impression share refers to the percentage of impressions that your ad garners relative to the total number of impressions that it is eligible for. Your ad’s impression share can be found under Auction insights in your account, and if the percentages are lower than you would like them to be, your ads aren’t making their mark in terms of impression share, which can generally be chalked up to your competitors creating ads that searchers find more relevant, to competitors who consistently outbid you, or both. The higher your impression share, the more likely your ad is to reach its target audience, generate overall traffic, and drum up business.
Absolute Top Impression Share
Google breaks impression share down into several categories, and one of these is absolute top impression share, which it chooses to abbreviate as Impr. Share (Abs. Top) %. This reading refers to the impressions you’ve received that were at the absolute top of their game – landing as the first ad above the organic search results – as divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to land in that top location. Google breaks it down like this:
- 25 of your ad’s 100 impressions appear at the tippy top of the page.
- Your ad enters 200 auctions, and 50 of these are vying for that top spot.
- Your ad’s absolute top impression is, therefore, 50%, which means that you hit 50% of those top spots (25 out of 50).
The goal is obviously to achieve higher impression shares, but doing so within the context of a manageable budget and the resources available to you is critical.
Top Impression Share
Top impression share – abbreviated as Impr. Share (Top) % – refers to the percentage of times that your ad impressions land anywhere above the organic search results. While you can use both these top rankings as a guide, Google discourages you from counting on them as a target when setting your bids. This is because Google – being Google – makes it a whole lot more complicated than that. While higher bids may gain you entrance into more competitive auctions, the spot where you land can prove less desirable.
When Your Impression Share Is Lost to Budget
If you had no limit in terms of advertising budget, you may be able to hit 100% of your impression share – or close to it – most of the time, but there is a reason that it is called an advertising budget. The idea is to balance your ad budget in order to achieve improved impression shares that guide and support increased sales. Every ad campaign you generate is eligible for a maximum number of impressions based on factors such as the following:
- Your budget
- Your bids
- Your keywords
When your ad campaign takes a hit in terms of the total number of eligible impressions it scores, it leads to lost search impression share. While you can lose impression share for any number of reasons, budget often plays a primary role. Losses in impression share are based on variables that can be controlled for and rectified, but balance is always key when it comes to return on ad spend.
When Your Impression Share Is Lost to Rank
Another primary reason that your impression share may be lacking is poor ad rank, which is a score that compares your bid to your competitor’s and assesses for ad quality. For example, if your lost impression share for rank is 30%, it means that your ad failed to show up for 30% of the customer searches that matched your keywords as a result of ad rank. Ad rank is naturally a complex metric that is predicated on an array of factors that include the following:
- The amount of your bid
- Ad Rank thresholds
- The quality of your ad, including the expected clickthrough rate, the ad relevance, and the overall landing page experience
- The auction’s competitiveness
- Search context, including the searcher’s location, device, search time, search terms, and additional searcher attributes and signals
Making the Most of Auction Insights
Amazon’s auction insights report allows you to compare and contrast your ad performance in relation to those of others who are competing in the same auctions. Google advises that auction insights are a powerful tool that can highlight your ad’s strengths and help you identify missed opportunities in terms of improving its overall performance. Impression share is an important index of how well your ads are performing, and affording this tool the attention it deserves is an important mechanism for cornering your fair share of the market.
Maximize Your Marketing Dollars with a Digital Marketing Professional
Your impression share is a solid indication of how you stand in the market, and these percentages are important to your bottom line. The digital marketing pros at The Web Guys recognize that monitoring and responding meaningfully to your impression share rank is challenging, but we’re here for you. For more information about making your mark on the market, don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at (317) 805-4933 today.