What is an impression in Google Ads?

Many entrepreneurs who wish to better position their companies online through advertising have questions regarding what is an impression in Google Ads.

First and foremost, we can say that you’re doing the right thing by trying to understand the subject better. Impressions are extremely important metrics for those who want to have greater relevance within the platform.

So, do you want to know what is an impression in Google Ads? Keep reading the article to find out!

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Understanding what is an impression in Google Ads

An impression in Google Ads is, essentially, how often your ad is shown to the masses. In this sense, an impression is counted every time your ad is displayed on a search results page or another Google site.

Whenever your ad appears on a website or page in the Google Network, it counts as an impression. You will see the abbreviation “Impr” in your account within the platform, showing the number of impressions your ad has.

In some cases, only a section of your ad may be displayed. For instance, on Google Maps, only your company’s name and location or your company’s name and the first line of your ad text may appear.

When a company decides to display an ad through Google Ads, it needs to be aware that it must continually monitor certain results. There are essential metrics that need to be tracked to achieve the desired outcome.

The most important of these is the number of impressions – which reveals how many times the ad has been displayed. In this context, there is also the so-called Google Ads impression share, which determines the performance of your brand’s ads compared to those of third parties.

What is a top impression share?

The top impression share indicates, in percentage terms, how often your ad was displayed at the top of a web page, i.e., before organic search results.

The way this metric is calculated is similar to how the impression share is calculated, meaning you take the impression share at the very top and divide it by the total eligible impressions.

This metric serves primarily to assess the published ad and determine what needs improvement. Thus, the advertising brand can do whatever is necessary to enhance the quality of the ads and secure a more favorable position for the company.

Read as well: All you need to know about the Instagram algorithm

What is a first position impression share?

The first position impression share, also known as the absolute top-of-page rate, indicates, in percentage terms, whether your ad stands out in shopping campaigns.

This percentage is calculated as follows: the absolute top impression share over the total eligible impressions at the top.

Impressions vs. Clicks

Some people still mistake impressions for clicks or simply do not know the difference between them. However, these two metrics are very different and should not be confused, so it’s important to understand everything about each one.

As mentioned before, the number of impressions represents how many times people have viewed your ad. The number of clicks, on the other hand, indicates how many times those people clicked on the ad when they saw it.

Clicks mainly serve to analyze the campaign’s functionality from the advertiser’s perspective. This way, they can determine if the ad worked as expected. This detail, in turn, makes it possible to see if your money is being invested in effective advertising.

Do the number and share of impressions matter?

Unlike the number of impressions, which shows how many times an ad was displayed, the impression share represents the number of times the ad was shown divided by the number of times it could have been shown.

The impression share and number of impressions in Google Ads are exceptional ways to assess the performance of an ad. Both metrics are essential for any entrepreneur looking to reach customers through advertising.

In the long run, they help you understand your ad’s relationship with your competitors’ and facilitate decision-making.

How to improve your Google Ads impression share?

Analyzing impressions in Google Ads is just one step in improving the performance of your Internet ads. If you find the results unsatisfactory or haven’t met your goals, you need to take action to change that.

Want to know how to improve your brand’s positioning on the internet? Find out with the following steps:


One of the best ways to improve the quality of your Google Ads is to make them more relevant to the keywords. This valuable information is provided by the platform itself.

Google also explains that the best way to do this is to tailor the ad language to match users’ search terms.


Another way to increase your impression share within Google Ads is to reduce the regional targeting of your ads. You see, when regional targeting is too broad, the audience becomes larger, and the competition increases.

Therefore, by reducing the regional targeting and making the audience more limited, the competition becomes less and you may achieve better results.

However, you should do this within what is possible and best for your brand. It’s worth noting that limiting regional criteria results in a reduction in the number of impressions, as the number of qualified people decreases. In turn, increasing the targeting will lead to a significant increase in impressions but a decrease in share.


Of all the strategies mentioned, this is the simplest way to increase the number of ad impressions. Google states that the budget is a determining factor for how often an ad is displayed – therefore, with a higher budget, the impression share can also increase.

Be careful, though. Don’t invest more money in your ads if you don’t have a clear and effective plan for it.

Oftentimes, redistributing your advertising budget is sufficient to achieve the desired result, so focus on what is most important for your brand.

Instructions for accessing impressions in Google Ads

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to access impressions in Google Ads and other important information:

  • Start by logging into your Google Ads account;
  • Select the Campaigns, Ad Groups, Product Groups, or Keywords topic in the Page menu;
  • Click on the Columns icon and then on Modify Columns;
  • Click on Competitive metrics and add columns for impressions;
  • Click Apply. Now, the impression data will be displayed for you.

What we value the most we want to give you for free: strategy.

Now you know what is an impression in Google Ads – so schedule a free online meeting with us for further information. We want to get to know you better, discuss your ideal strategy live, and present our proposal to implement it.

With Laços, you’ll leave the first meeting equipped with free actions you can take to improve your results quickly.


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