If you want to know how well your website is performing in search engines, one of the most important metrics to look at is impression share. Impression share tells you how often your website appears in the search results for the keywords that you are targeting, and how much potential traffic you are capturing. In this article, we will explain what impression share is, how to track it, how to improve it, and what challenges you may face along the way.

What is impression share and how is it calculated?

Impression share is an ad metric that compares the performance of your website against the performance of other websites in its category. It is calculated by comparing the total number of impressions that your website receives to the number of impressions that it has the potential to receive. Each time your website is displayed on a web page, that’s counted as an impression.

For example, let’s say that you rank #3 for the keyword “best coffee maker” and that keyword gets searched 100 times per day. According to a study by Backlinko, the third result in Google gets 18.6% of all clicks. That means that your website’s impression share for that keyword is 18.6%. However, if you rank #1 for the same keyword, your impression share would be 31.7%, which is the average click-through rate for the first result.

Impression share is a relative metric, meaning that it depends on the performance of your competitors and the demand for your keywords. If your competitors have higher rankings, better ads, or larger budgets, they may take away some of your impressions. Likewise, if your keywords have low search volume, seasonality, or geographic limitations, they may limit your impressions.

What are the different types of impression share and how to track them?

There are three main types of impression share that you can track for your website: search impression share, display impression share, and absolute top impression share.

Search impression share is your website’s impression share on a search network, such as Google search results, Google apps, and Google search partners’ websites. It is influenced by your keywords, bids, quality score, and budget. You can track your search impression share using Google Ads, which is a platform that allows you to create and manage online advertising campaigns. You can also use Google Search Console, which is a free tool that helps you monitor and optimize your website’s performance in Google search.

Display impression share is your website’s impression share on a display network, such as Google Display Network, YouTube, Gmail, and other partner websites. It is influenced by your targeting options, ad formats, and budget. You can track your display impression share using Google Ads as well, by selecting the display network option when creating or editing your campaigns.

Absolute top impression share is your website’s impression share when it appears in the first position of the search results, above all other organic and paid results. It is influenced by your keywords, bids, quality score, and budget, as well as the competition and demand for the top spot. You can track your absolute top impression share using Google Ads by adding the “Search absolute top impression share” column to your reports.

What are the benefits of improving impression share and how to do it?

Improving your impression share can have several benefits for your website and your business, such as:

Increasing your brand awareness: By appearing more frequently and prominently in the search results, you can increase your brand recognition and reputation among your target audience.
Increasing your traffic: By capturing more impressions, you can increase the chances of getting more clicks and visits to your website.
Increasing your conversions: By attracting more qualified and relevant traffic, you can increase the likelihood of turning your visitors into customers or leads.

To improve your impression share, you can follow some of these tips and best practices:

Target long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive than short-tail keywords, which means they have lower keyword difficulty scores and higher conversion rates. By targeting long-tail keywords, you can increase your impression share and your return on investment. For example, instead of targeting “coffee maker”, you can target “best coffee maker for small spaces” or “how to choose a coffee maker”.

Optimize your title and meta tags: Your title and meta tags are the elements that appear in the search results and influence your click-through rate. By optimizing them, you can make your website more appealing and relevant to your audience. You can use keywords, benefits, and calls to action in your title and meta tags, and make sure they are concise and accurate.

Create quality content: Your content is the core of your website and the main reason why people visit it. By creating quality content, you can provide value and information to your audience, and improve your rankings and quality score. You can use various formats, such as text, images, videos, and infographics, and make sure your content is original, useful, and engaging.

Use smart bidding strategies: Smart bidding is a feature of Google Ads that uses machine learning to automatically optimize your bids and achieve your goals. You can choose from different smart bidding strategies, such as target impression share, target cost per action, target return on ad spend, and maximize conversions. By using smart bidding, you can save time and money, and increase your impression share and performance.

What are the limitations and challenges of impression share and how to overcome them?

While impression share is a useful metric to measure your website’s visibility in search engines, it also has some limitations and challenges that you should be aware of, such as:

Being influenced by budget: Your budget is the amount of money that you are willing to spend on your advertising campaigns. If your budget is too low, you may not be able to show your ads as often as you want, and lose some impressions to your competitors. To overcome this, you can either increase your budget or optimize your campaigns to make the most of your budget.

Being influenced by competition: Your competition is the other websites that are targeting the same keywords and audiences as you. If your competition is too high, you may have to bid higher or improve your quality score to outrank them, and still lose some impressions to them. To overcome this, you can either target less competitive keywords or niches, or differentiate your website and your offer from your competitors.

Being influenced by seasonality: Seasonality is the variation in demand and behavior of your audience throughout the year. If your keywords or products are seasonal, you may experience fluctuations in your impression share depending on the time of the year. To overcome this, you can either adjust your campaigns and budget accordingly, or diversify your keywords and products to cover different seasons.

Being insufficient to measure success: Impression share is a relative metric that tells you how often your website appears in the search results, but not how well it performs in terms of clicks, conversions, and revenue. To measure your success, you need to use other metrics, such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and return on ad spend, and compare them with your goals and benchmarks.


Impression share is a valuable metric to measure your website’s visibility in search engines and to identify the opportunities and challenges that you face. By tracking and improving your impression share, you can increase your brand awareness, traffic, and conversions, and grow your business online. However, impression share is not the only metric that you should pay attention to when evaluating your website’s visibility in search engines. You should also consider other factors, such as the relevance, quality, and user experience of your website, and the goals and expectations of your audience. By using a combination of metrics and tools, you can get a more accurate and holistic picture of your website’s performance and potential.