Transcript: What Are Impressions in Google Ads? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Impressions are one of the most important Google Ads metrics to keep on top of in the day-to-day management of your campaigns, because impressions can give you a hint as to what’s going on within your performance on both the good and the bad side of your performance. So in this video we’re gonna break down what impressions are, how you can use them to determine the performance of your campaign and what you can do when you see sudden changes in particular drops.
In your impressions in your campaigns? Well, first of all, what are impressions? Impressions are essentially when your advert shows on Google to a user and they see your advert. They don’t have to click it. They don’t, don’t even have to interact with it in any way, but if they see that ad that is equal to one.
Impression, and that is exactly what that metric is. So why is this metric important? Because an impression gives you an indication as to how many people your ads are being exposed to. So if you, for example, have a campaign where your impressions are generally maybe 5,000 a day, and then all of a sudden you’re seeing it go to 10,000 a day, something [00:01:00] has changed.
And in a converse to that, if you are seeing your impressions go from 5,000 a day to 1000 a day, Something has really gone on in your campaign, and this can be the earliest sign for something wrong in your performance. So let’s start with the potentially good side of things. What can make impressions massively increase or even slightly increase on a day-to-day basis?
Well, the obvious places to start are of course, seasonality in your industry. You will know. There are going to be peaks and troughs on performance based on the demand for your products and services. So if you’re on an industry where you typically see a massive downturn in the winter, you’re going to get less impressions because less people are going to Google and performing that search to trigger your adverts to show.
That’s why you’ll get less impressions. However, if you do see a spike in impressions and it’s not in your seasonal period, this can only mean one thing. It means there is a massive increase in people looking for your services specifically. But the issue with this is it’s hard to determine exactly what [00:02:00] triggered that spike and that increase.
I’ve seen historically in some campaigns I’ve managed where I’ve seen impressions massively increase. That all it was was it was a particular news story. There could be something in the news in your industry causing people to go to Google and search for your services even when they are not really interested.
So what typically happens in this scenario is you’ll see a spike in impressions, but your conversions in terms of the number of conversions you’re seeing. Will pretty much remain the same, and that’s a problem. So it’s really important if you do see your impressions start spiking to understand if there have been any stories around your industry or even your business.
To do this, just go to Google and type in your industry, kind of search terms, and then go to news. And by clicking the news tab in Google, when you do this, you’re going to see what the latest news stories are within your particular sector. And if there was something, for example, that went viral across the morning, chat shows, for example, It could be, um, a rival company, even driving that increase in search for your particular product, that could be the cause of the [00:03:00] issue.
Where you see a spike in impressions, typically, you shouldn’t really see a massive spike in impressions outside the ordinary because the situation I just mentioned is not ordinary. If you see an increase in impressions, it will usually be a small increase. Likely driven by generalized market demand, but it’s important to keep track of what’s going on in your industry in order to make sure your impressions are on track.
But let’s look at the other side of the coin. What happens when you see that your impressions are declining? And of course, lower impressions mean less people are seeing your adverts and less people Seeing your adverts generally means you will see less conversions and it means. Your ads will be less effective and you’ll get less sales, so that’s a problem.
The first thing to look at is the Auction Insights report, because this will tell you on the search results who is bidding on the same cohort of keywords that you are and how much and how often they are above you in the search results, and how much share of impressions they’re getting versus your.
Campaigns. So say for example, if you go into this report and look, historically you’re getting maybe [00:04:00] 80% impression share, and then all of a sudden you are going down to like 50% and you can see a bunch of new competitors in that reports that you never saw before, that’s gonna mean you’re gonna lose some impressions because if you are bidding at a certain level to hit that 80% and then new players come into the market, Bidding more aggressively and you don’t change how you are bidding in your strategies, then you are going to see a decline in your impressions.
So it’s important to check your auction insights reports to make sure that this isn’t happening to you. Another red flag to look out for with impressions is have your ADSD been disapproved or approved with a limited? Status. If your ads have been disapproved for whatever reason, maybe you’ve violated a trademark.
Maybe you’ve done something in your characters, in the ad ad itself. Maybe you’ve added characters that aren’t allowed. Maybe you’ve made an update to your ads and this has caused a reduction in your impressions because your ad has been restricted. Check out the report for your ads to make sure all of your statuses are enabled and active and ready to go, because otherwise you could [00:05:00] see your impressions drop as a result of this as well.
And with regards to limited status. Sometimes Google can be funny with certain words in ads, even if you’re not violating their policies directly. By using words that are industry adjacent or trademark adjacent, Google could restrict your ads to a limited status. An example of this is if I work with a company at the moment who are currently doing repairs for hard drives and other devices, and if they mention the word hard drive in their ad, Google sees this as offering an aftermarket service and therefore limit limits the ad itself and it gets the approved limited status.
This can happen in any industry. When Google just gets a bit confused and doesn’t understand what it is you’re promoting, they give you the limited status. So when this happens, you need to get in touch with Google, get a manual review of your ads and make sure. They can be up and running again with its maximized normal eligible status.
And they’re not limited by anything weird. And finally, if you see a drop in impressions and you’ve been tinkering with your campaigns, trying to improve performance, [00:06:00] maybe trying to get a better cost per sale or cost per lead, then you might have tinkered a little bit too much because if you put in a two restrictive bidding strategy, for example, setting a target return on advertising spend, or a target cpa, that’s too restrictive.
Google will essentially be too scared to bid because they wanna meet your goals. So you wanna set your CPA at 10 pounds a lead. And your actual general campaign performance in the last 12 months has been 30 pounds a lead. Google will be terrified to bid at the right level in order to achieve that 10 pounds per lead.
They wanna make sure they’re hitting everybody who’s very, very likely to convert right now in order to hit that target. So as a result, you’re going to lose impressions. People will essentially, See less of your ads because Google will be too scared to serve them because they want to meet your bidding objective.
So make sure your bidding isn’t too restrictive, because if it is, then you’re going to see less impressions as well. So that’s everything you need to know about impressions on Google Ads. Let me know if you’ve had any of the issues I’ve [00:07:00] mentioned in this video and let me know if you need help with these issues, because I am of course a consultant and I’m happy to work with anybody.
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