One of my colleagues here on the adCenter team recently asked me, “If you could show customers one thing in adCenter that could make them more productive…what would it be?” My answer: Impression share reports. And here’s why, starting with a little story….
Linda Mitchell has a small online business selling prints of her original landscape watercolor paintings. She does well at local and regional crafts fairs, and she’s put in the time and energy to build her website and get her online advertising campaigns up and running. Now she wants to get some return on that work.
But it’s not happening. Why isn’t she seeing the traffic? The sales? Where’s the money?
Getting To Know Your Impression Share Info
In adCenter, an impression share report is a performance report (a standard format in adCenter) that you easily customize to show impression share statistics for selected campaigns, ad groups, or entire accounts for a specific period of time. The impression share data comes in daily slices only, but you can get those slices for a week, a month, the last 14 days – you get the picture.
It’s time Linda ran one, because that one report can give her a wealth of information about how many impressions she’s missing, and why. That information can help her make changes that can get her more impressions, increase the likelihood of more clicks on those ads, and thus, the likelihood of more sales.
Impression share reports have now been available in adCenter for a couple months, and the word is starting to get out (be sure to check out Crosby Grant’s recent write up on this topic over on Search Engine Land). But I really want you (and Linda) to know what they can do for you, and how you can use them to change “Where’s the money?” to “There’s the money!”
A report is only as helpful as the type and quality of information it provides – which is why impression share reports are so helpful. Let’s start with the kinds of stats you can get:
What it is
Impression share (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions, out of the total available impressions in the market you were targeting.
Out of 59,000 impressions we estimate were available on the specific day in Linda’s targeted market, she got only about 2,300.
Impression share lost to budget (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions your ad did not receive due to issues with your daily or monthly budget.
Linda’s daily budget is set for Accelerated and it’s being all spent too early in the day, before the “prime time” for her ads. Her account goes into “budget pause” until the next morning.
Impression share lost to bid (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions your ad did not receive due to issues with your keyword bids.
Linda’s keyword bids are too low to even compete in the auction marketplace.
Impression share lost to rank (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions your ad did not receive due to issues with your ad ranking.
Linda’s ads are consistently displaying in lower and less visible positions on the search results pages.
Impression share lost to keyword relevance (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions your ad did not receive due to issues with keyword relevance scores.
Some of her keywords are not relevant to her ad copy. That’s losing Linda impressions or clicks, and affecting her keyword relevance score.
Impression share lost to landing page relevance (%)
The estimated percentage of impressions your ad did not receive due to issues with landing page relevance scores.
Linda’s landing page may have a Poor relevance score, and she’s not getting a lot of conversions. Or she may have a very poor fit between her landing page and her ad copy.
Make Some Changes
Knowing what the issues are is the first step. But what does Linda do with these statistics? How can she use them to find those lost impressions and hopefully turn them into sales of her prints?
Glad you asked. Here are some suggestions for Linda…and for you:
If you’re losing impression share due to budget issues
Try increasing your daily or monthly budget. You can easily edit your budget right on the Campaigns tab. Hover your mouse pointer over a campaign name in the table and click the pencil icon. Now you can enter a new budget amount in the Budget field. You can find more information in our Help article on How to view and change the status, bid and other settings in your campaign.
If you’re losing impression share due to bidding issues
Consider increasing your keyword bids so you become more competitive in the auction marketplace. First stop: the Opportunities tab, where you check out the bid suggestions we provide you.
Next, go to the campaign tab and select the the Keywords page. Hover your mouse pointer over a keyword in the table and click the pencil icon. Now you can enter a new amount in the Current bid (Max. CPC) field. Then click Save and note how the value in the Avg. position field changes. You can also use the Estimations option by clicking the Estimation button and selecting Best Position Estimation, Mainline Estimation, or First page Estimation. When you click Save, you’ll see the estimated change to your average position.
I also recommend you take check out the tips and ideas in How to view and change the status, bid and other settings in your campaign and How to update your bids with the Bid Suggestions tool.
If you’re losing impression share due to ranking
Start by looking at ways to improve your advertising copy. For example:
- Tell your customers what sets your product or service apart from all the others out there.
- Know who your customers are, and use their language in your ads – do the research and reap the rewards!
- Be specific – instead of “big discounts,” say “40% off summer landscape scenes.”
We have more tips in our Help article Some ideas for writing effective ads – check it out!
Follow these guidelines first; then if necessary, consider increasing your bids using the suggestions above.
If you’re losing impression share due to keyword relevance issues
Here are a few “best practices” for making your keywords relevant to your landing page and ultimately your advertising goals.
- Select the right set of keywords! Sounds like a no-brainer…but it does mean thinking it through. (Linda should stop bidding on the keyword “still lifes.”)
- Are your keywords associated with the right ad group? Keywords related to seascape paintings shouldn’t be in the “Mountain prints” ad group with its ads for selling prints of Mount St. Helens.
- Consider match types….Don’t use just exact matches, but expand to phrase or broad keyword match types, or both.
Here’s a theoretical example of a “Share of Voice” (impression share) insight into Linda’s account, with these suggestions.
Once you’ve followed these best practices, then consider fine-tuning your ad copy to make it more relevant and in line with the keywords you’re bidding on.
If you’re losing impression share due to landing page relevance issues
Focus on your landing page! You want to bring its content more in line with the keywords you’re using and best practices for landing page relevance. Our article on landing page relevance, About the landing page relevance score, has some great ideas
You get the idea now, I’m sure. I believe that using impression share reports can make a positive difference for you and your online business.