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Search Impression Share (IS)

Search Impressions Share

Contents:

 

* This data shows you how your account performs relative to the wider market and competitors. Find out more on this topic by reading our guide on impression share.

Search Impressions Share

Quick Description = The percentage of the available impressions that you received (Search Only)

Calculation: Impressions (Search network only) / Total Available Impressions

Referred to as = Search Impr. Share

One of the more commonly used competitive metrics; this provides you with a good idea of how many impressions are being missed. This is represented by a percentage between 0% and 100%, which represents how many, of the available impressions, that you have received.

Calculating Search Impression Share

For example an impression share of 10% means that you have received 10% of the available impression or you have not received 90% of the available impressions. We can calculate the total available impressions using this formula:

Impressions / Search Impression Share = Total Available Impressions

So for example if we had 10,000 impressions and a 20% Search Impression Share we would calculate the total available impressions like this:
10,000 / 0.2 = 50,000

We have noticed that CPCs have a strong impact on impression share metrics, although not officially confirmed by Google in some specific cases low CPC’s will both; reduce impressions while maintaining a comparable impression share.

Benefits of Search Impression Share

This is a valuable metric when trying to find opportunity within an account, for example; if you produce a report that looks at keywords with high value (conversions, revenue, ROI, etc) and segment this by search impression share. This can allow you to identify areas where there is high profit and the potential for greater exposure.

If for example, you have campaigns running that are profitable and are missing out on impression share for any reason, these campaigns should be a high priority for you... Such campaigns are easier to scale up.

What is Limiting Search Impression Share?

There are typically two areas that limit Search Impression Share, both of which other guides in more detail cover, but which we summarise them here.

Rank

If you ad exists on the second page on average or below the fold on the front page, your total impressions may be limited by the position / rank of your ads. This is more a symptom than a cause in many respects as CPC’s and Quality score dictate your ads rank / position.

Budget

If a campaign runs out of budget, the ads contained therein will not be eligible to show for some of the time, this will again limit your Search Impression Share.

Types of Impression Share

The following image is a screenshot from AdWords showing the available competitive metrics that can be added to columns in reports.

Types of Impression Share

We expand upon each of the above types of impressions share metrics both below and in more detail in the guides linked to:

Search impression share

The share of impressions you received as a percentage of the total available impressions on Search Network. Read more about Search Impression Share.

Display impression share

The share of impressions you received as a percentage of the total available impressions on Display Network. Read more about Display Impression Share.

Search lost impression share (budget)

The share of impressions you lost as a percentage of the total available impressions on Search Network as a result of budgetary constraints. Be aware that this is metric is available only at the campaign level. Read more about Search lost impression share (budget).

Display lost impression share (budget)

The share of impressions you lost as a percentage of the total available impressions on Display Network as a result of budgetary constraints. Be aware that this is metric is available only at the campaign level. Read more about Display lost impression share (budget).

Search lost impression share (rank)

The share of impressions you lost as a percentage of the total available impressions on Search Network as a result of ads not ranking well.  Read more about Search lost impression share (Rank).

Display lost impression share (rank)

The share of impressions you lost as a percentage of the total available impressions on Display Network as a result of ads not ranking well. Read more about Display lost impression share (Rank).

Search exact match impression share

The share of impressions you received as a percentage of the total available impressions on Search Network for queries that exactly matched your keywords (regardless of keyword match type). Read more about Search Exact Match Impression Share.

Relative CTR

This metric lets you know how well your ads perform on the sites that they show on compared to your competitors.

More Information

If you liked this guide on Search Impression Share, you may also be interested in the following guides related to this subject:

  • ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
  • ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Converted Clicks
  • All Conversions
  • Converted Click Rate
  • Conversion Tracking
  • Conversion Rate
  • Cross Device Conversions
  • Cost Per Converted Click
  • Avg. CPC (Cost Per Click)
  • Revenue Per Conversion
  • Conversion Optimiser

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