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Search Impression Share Guide: 2 Reasons For Lost Traffic

Published by Algorithmic Global on

Search Impression Share

Understanding your Google ads search impression share metrics will help you get the most from your campaign budgets!

Google dominates the search engine market in the U.S., and that’s why there are so many people who conduct searches on it every day. It can get challenging to stand out among all the other search results, so Google ads has something called “search impression share.”

Tied to your share of the search impressions are two reasons you miss out on traffic opportunities: search impression share loss due to budget, and loss due to rank.

This post talks about what impression share means for your website traffic, the two reasons for lost search impression share, and how to increase your impression share with a few simple tweaks you can make in your campaigns!

Google ads app

What is search impression share?

More or less, search impression share is how often your ads show up on Google search results.

From Google: “Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.”

The number reported in the metrics is how many impressions you received divided by the total number of impressions you could receive.

A high impression share—around 90% or above—means that your ads are showing as often as realistically possible. A low impression share—which varies based on strategy but let’s say less than 25%—means there is lots of room in the market you aren’t taking advantage of with your campaign.

Lost search impression share

Let’s look at the two reasons for lost search impression share, search impression share loss due to budget and search impression share loss due to rank.

Combining your impression share with the percentages lost due to budget and rank will always lead to 100%. This handy arithmetic makes our ad situations relatively straightforward—any reason for lost search impression share will have an immediate impact on one or both of the other metrics.

Google ads metrics

Search impression share loss due to budget

In short, losing impression share to budget means that your budget isn’t high enough for the acquired traffic.

A simple example: let’s say you have a $10 budget for the day. Your bids are set at $1. Once you get ten clicks, your day’s budget is gone. Let’s say this happens around noon. In theory, you’re missing half a day’s worth of traffic and could be looking at 50% search impression share loss due to budget.

This number could be even higher if the afternoon sees more relevant searches when your ads would have shown if your campaign had any budget left.

Search impression share loss due to rank

Losing search impression share due to rank doesn’t neatly fit into a box like loss due to budget because two factors affect ad rank: ad quality and bid.

Ad quality is a measure that includes expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. For this article, let’s assume these are all optimized for your particular campaign.

This assumption leaves bid amount as the main dial for search impression share loss due to rank.

Back to our above example: let’s say your competitors bid $5 per click. With your daily budget of $10 and bid of $1 per click, there’s a good chance you won’t spend through your budget, despite getting onto the search results page with your low bid (you could show up at the bottom, or your competitors could run out of budget).

The listed percentage uses how many impressions your ad could have gotten and how many impressions were lost due to your low rank (bid amount, in our case).

Lost search impression share hacks

Don’t worry if you are losing impression share—there are some tweaks you can make and get some of it back!

One thing to keep in mind: search impression share approaching— and over—90% is already taking advantage of the market. Putting it another way, you’ve already squeezed the juice from this piece of fruit.

The simplest option for getting more search impression share when the cause of loss is budget is raising your daily budget. It makes sense, right? But another attack strategy is lowering your bids. In essence, you want to find the sweet spot where your daily clicks use your daily budget because you’re not bidding too much for each click.

Battling impression share loss due to rank also has a simple solution: raise your bids! But, doing so might mean you use up your daily budget and drive up your search impression share loss due to budget metric.

It’s a balancing act, but prioritize keeping a low search impression share loss due to budget. In essence, you’ll get a higher volume of cheaper clicks, giving your website more chances of selling your service or product.

Google logo

Google Ads managements with Algorithmic Global

Getting the hang of the constantly changing impression share loss metrics requires careful, attentive management. Doing so guarantees you’ll be getting the most clicks out of your campaign, giving searchers more chances at taking advantage of what your business offers.

Having a high impression share means your ads are showing as often as possible and that you’re taking advantage of Google’s massive traffic.

If you have any questions about search impression share or are interested in expert Google Ads management, give Algorithmic Global a call or reach out via our contact page. We have clients in industries as varied as home disaster restoration to cannabis to book publishing, and we’re happy to share our expertise!


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