The whole world has gone digital and marketers are scrambling to keep up. In the age of online advertising, it is increasingly important to understand how your campaigns work and how to make them better. You have to understand what ad search impression share is and why it matters.

In order to do this, let’s first break down the basic question:

What is Ad Search Impression Share?

Simply stated, ad search impression is a performance evaluation for your ad campaign. It is a percentage of all the searches for your keywords at the times that your ads are running. So if there are 100 searches for your keywords at times that your ads are running and you get 50 impressions, your percentage is 50%.

When we talk about impressions, we are talking about search results. So if you have 50 impressions in 100 searches, it means your ad showed up 50 times when someone did a search.

This is a metric used in various online advertising networks to let the advertiser know how their particular ad campaign is performing. It can be impacted by factors such as the quality of your campaign, the keywords being used and the budget.

Why Does It Matter?

Search impression share is one of the key metrics that an online advertiser should be evaluating on a regular basis. It can clue you in to other areas of your campaign that need some work. There are tons of key learnings that can come from this metric. Let’s consider a few of the main ones.

  1. I like to think of it as an opportunity to refine your campaign. After the early stages of your ad campaign, reviewing your search impression share can give you a litmus test on how it’s performing and whether or not it needs to be tweaked.
  2. If a campaign is getting a really great search impression share, the next thing to look at is the click-through rate. So you’re getting 100% of the eligible impressions, but if no one is clicking through, then you’re wasting money. You’d be better off spending money on impressions somewhere else.
  3. If your campaign is getting great search impression share and lots of click through action but no sales, you have a different problem on your hands. Now you need to examine the point-of-sale page and what might be the issue with convincing people to buy your product or service.


Since there are so many factors affecting this search impression share, it’s a great place to start when evaluating a new campaign. You can follow it through a sequence of the various components of your ad and find the sore spots. Once you identify those, you can start to correct them and improve the performance of your campaign.

The bottom line is that if no one ever sees your ad, no one will ever click on it. So make sure you’re getting the search impression share that you need for your campaign to be successful.