What's Search Impression Share?

Search impression share shows how often your ad pops up in search results compared to how often it could appear. It’s a percentage that reveals the visibility of your ad and its effectiveness in grabbing attention.

The Basics

Every time your ad gets displayed, that’s an impression. Whether someone clicks it or not, it counts. Platforms like Google and Meta run ads based on a bidding system. You’re competing with all your competitors for those prime ad spots. Your impression share is the slice of the pie you get from all possible impressions. It’s an indicator of how much of the market your ad is reaching.

Search Impression Share is a key metric for understanding how well your ads are performing. A high impression share means your ad is out there more often than your competitors. It’s a sign of a healthy, strong campaign. On the flip side, a low impression share means it’s time to make some improvements in your ad’s content, targeting, or budget.

Why It Matters

A high impression share means your ad is being seen by more people, giving you a better chance to attract potential customers. It’s a clear indicator that your campaign is on the right track. Conversely, a low impression share is a wake-up call to make some changes in your strategy It tells you that your ads are not performing as well as they could be, and it’s time to pinpoint weak spots and perform optimizations.

Types of Impression Share

There are two primary types of impression share: Search Impression Share and Display Impression Share. Understanding both can help you tailor your strategies for different advertising platforms.

Search Impression Share

This type pertains specifically to ads shown in search engine results. It measures how often your ads are displayed compared to the total number of times they could have been shown, based on your target keywords. This metric is especially important for businesses focusing on search engine marketing (SEM) as it offers insights into the visibility and reach of their ads on platforms like Google and Bing.

Display Impression Share

Unlike search impression share, this display impression share measures the visibility of ads on display networks. These networks include websites and apps that show ads, where your ad is displayed in various formats like banners or videos. Display Impression Share is an important metric for businesses leveraging display advertising as it indicates the frequency and reach of their ads across a wide range of internet locations.

Boosting Your Impression Share

Now you know what impression share is and why it matters, let’s talk about how to boost it. Here are some best practices and tips to help you get more eyes on your ads.

Best Practices

  1. Optimize Ad Quality: The quality of your ad is a significant determinant of your impression share. High-quality ads with relevant keywords, compelling ad copy, and strong call-to-actions (CTAs) tend to have higher click-through rates (CTR), which in turn can boost your impression share. Your ads need to resonate with your target audience and clearly communicate your message.
  2. Adjust Bidding Strategies: Your bid amount can significantly impact your ad's ability to compete in auctions. Consider using automated bidding strategies that adjust your bids in real-time based on the likelihood of achieving a conversion. This optimizes your budget and enhances the chances of your ad appearing more frequently.
  3. Targeting and Segmentation: Refine your targeting to push your ads to the most relevant audience. This involves segmenting your audience based on demographics, interests, or behaviors and tailoring your ads to these segments. Precise targeting can lead to higher engagement and positively influence your impression share.
  4. Keyword Optimization: Regularly review and optimize your keyword lists. Remove underperforming or irrelevant keywords and add new ones that are trending or have shown potential in your market research. This keeps your campaigns fresh and more likely to capture a larger share of impressions.

Case Study – Ad Quality with

Here’s a real-life example of what results from ad quality improvement look like.

The Situation simplifies buying and selling a home by matching customers with a real estate agent. knew that Google ads would be a great way to reach new customers, but its ads targeted generic keywords and sent users to the homepage, handicapping what could’ve been a killer tool for winning business.

The Strategy

97th Floor created a strategy to pull new leads and increase conversion while lowering cost.  97th Floor first began targeting focused search terms such as “how much is my home worth,” and “how to sell my home.” To retain these high-intent leads, our team also changed the ad landing page to the Seller’s Quiz where users can get a customized seller report. We then analyzed reports to cut underperforming ads and prioritize the most effective campaigns.

The Results

97th Floor’s efforts boosted ad quality scores and brought ROI and anticipated revenue to levels has never seen before. 

  • 400% increase in ad quality score
  • 988% increase in conversions
  • 89% decrease in CPA
a graph depicting case study results

Advanced Tips

  1. Use Negative Keywords: Implement negative keywords into your strategy to prevent your ads from showing up in irrelevant searches. This refines your targeting and improves the quality of impressions.
  2. Ad Scheduling: Schedule your ads to appear at times when your target audience is most active. This maximizes the chances of your ad being seen and interacted with.
  3. Landing Page Optimization: Optimize your landing pages for conversions and cater specifically to your target keywords. A seamless user experience from ad clicks to the landing page can improve your ad's performance.
  4. Utilize Ad Extensions: Ad extensions provide additional information and ways for potential customers to interact with your ad. Using extensions can increase your ad's visibility and attractiveness, leading to higher CTRs.
  5. Regular Campaign Review and Adjustment: Continuously monitor your campaigns and make necessary adjustments based on performance data. This dynamic approach allows for timely optimizations.
  6. Avoid Broad Match Keywords: With broad match keywords, you are more likely to show up for less relevant terms leading to lower CTRs and impression share. Stick to more specific keywords to be sure your ads are seen by the right audience.

Related Metrics and KPIs

It's important to consider impression share in conjunction with other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These related metrics provide a more comprehensive view of your campaign's overall health:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This measures the percentage of clicks your ad receives compared to how often it's shown. A high CTR indicates that your ad is relevant and appealing to your audience.
  • Quality Score: In search advertising, the Quality Score evaluates the relevance and quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. A higher Quality Score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions.
  • Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of users who take the desired action (like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter) after clicking on your ad. A high conversion rate, coupled with a strong impression share, signifies a highly effective campaign.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): CPC indicates the cost for each click on your ad. Understanding how your impression share impacts your CPC can help in budgeting and bidding strategies.
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS): This metric measures the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. A high impression share with a strong ROAS indicates a successful ad campaign in terms of both reach and profitability.
  • Lost Impression Share (due to Budget): This metric shows the percentage of times your ad didn’t show due to insufficient budget. This insight helps in understanding how budget limitations are impacting your ad’s visibility.
  • Lost Impression Share (due to Rank): This indicates how often your ad didn’t appear because of low ad rank. This can be improved by enhancing your ad quality and bidding strategies.


Impression share helps marketers understand the reach and visibility of their ads. It also serves as a barometer for ad competitiveness in the digital marketplace. A robust impression share signifies a strong presence in your target market, while a lower share signals an opportunity for strategic adjustments.

Improving impression share involves a mix of creative ad design, strategic keyword management, intelligent budget allocation, and continuous performance monitoring. By focusing on ad quality, targeting precision, and leveraging data-driven insights, you can take your advertising impact to the next level.


What Exactly Is Search Impression Share in Digital Marketing?

Search Impression Share is a metric that represents the percentage of times your ads were shown out of the total number of times they could have been displayed, based on your target keywords and campaign settings, in search engine results.

Why Is Search Impression Share Important?

It gives insights into how often your ads are seen in search results, indicating the effectiveness of your keyword targeting, ad relevance, and competitiveness in auctions.

How Can Impression Share Impact My Campaign's ROI?

A higher impression share often correlates with increased visibility and potential customer engagement, which can lead to more conversions and a better return on investment (ROI).

What Factors Influence My Impression Share?

Key factors include ad quality, keyword relevance, bidding strategy, budget allocation, and overall competition in the ad auction space.

Can a Low Impression Share Indicate Issues With My Campaign?

Yes, a low impression share might suggest that your ads are not as competitive, either due to insufficient bidding, budget constraints, or poor ad relevance and quality.

How Does Google Calculate Impression Share?

Google calculates it by dividing the number of impressions your ad received by the estimated number of impressions it was eligible to receive, based on your current ads' targeting settings and bids.

Is It Possible to Achieve a 100% Impression Share?

While theoretically possible, achieving a 100% impression share is extremely difficult due to variables like budget limitations, competitive bidding, and fluctuating search volumes.

How Should I Respond to a Declining Impression Share?

Investigate the cause – it could be due to reduced bids, budget cuts, lower ad quality, or increased competition. Respond by adjusting these factors and optimizing your ad strategies.

Are There Any Tools to Help Monitor and Improve Impression Share?

Yes, most ad platforms like Google Ads provide tools and analytics for monitoring impression share and offer suggestions for improvement based on campaign data.

How Often Should I Review My Impression Share Metrics?

Regularly monitoring impression share is key. Depending on your campaign's scale and dynamics, reviewing this metric weekly or bi-weekly can help in making timely adjustments for optimal performance.