I’ve already stressed the importance of Search Impression Share metrics when starting an AdWords campaign on the Search Network. I want to dive deeper into this data because it can really give a great snapshot on the overall health of your AdWords account before you look at any other metric. We will be exclusively looking at Search Impression Share, Search Impression Share (Lost due to Rank), and Search Impression Share (Lost due to Budget).
This is an area where the higher the percentage is, the better off you are. Search Impression Share is the amount of impressions you received in a given day or time period divided by the total number of impressions you were eligible** to receive in that entire day or time period. This is the percentage of traffic you were able to gain ad exposure for on your keywords you are targeting. Obviously you want to strive for 100% exposure, but rarely do you get above 90% for non-branded keywords. How do you achieve higher percentages for your campaigns? Well, that depends on the other Search Impression Share metrics we want to look at.
Search Impression Share (Lost due to Rank) is an important metric in regards to how well your campaigns and targeting are structured. This can give you an idea if you need to theme your keyword ad groups better to your text ads or if your landing page is completely irrelevant to the topic you are targeting. Search Impression Share (Lost due to Rank) is an estimated amount of impressions your campaigns’ didn’t receive because the system gave them poor Ad Ranking, limiting their ad exposure. The higher the percentage you received in this category the more you will know you are not building everything out the way Google wants you to and you will need to do some optimizations to fix that. You can do some text ad updates or ad group keyword theme restructuring but an even quicker fix is boosting your bids to achieve better positions. This is usually a last step when building a high quality account because it can deplete your budget even faster than before. That leads us to the next Search Impression Share metric that deals with our budget.
This last piece is what a lot of people care about. Understanding how much you can spend on Google’s network will really let you know how much you can scale things out and how big your market really is. Search Impression Share (Lost due to Budget) is the estimated impressions you’ve lost in a given day or time period when your budget has been used up. You will know your budget is lacking compared to your competitors if you see Search Impression Share (Lost due to Budget) percentages get high. The clear quick fix to this finding more budget for campaigns that are working. Allocate your budgets to the best performing campaigns and making sure they are not having high percentages in this category.
There are far more metrics that can help you optimize your account in AdWords. The Search Impression Share metrics are just a high-level look at how the overall account is performing. Understanding these metrics will help you forecast traffic, predict your AdWords engagement, and help pinpoint which areas are lacking in quality. For a look at calculating your budgets with the Search Impression Share metrics, see what some people have said on Google’s advertiser community.
**Additionally, the reason I underlined “eligible” above was because these metrics are only being calculated based off AdWords auctions you were eligible to enter. Your ad ranking or bids could potentially be too low to even be eligible. You’ll want to make sure you create the proper structure to realize the amount of traffic in your market.