Does Impression Share Matter? (Part II in a series)

What do you do to fix low Impression Share? That’s the question we were left with at the end of the last Impression Share post. But before we get to that, there is something else about Impression Share that should be discussed. Does It Matter? Impression Share is only provided at the campaign level. In most accounts, campaigns are roll-ups of many ad groups, and ad groups are roll ups of many keywords. Usually keywords and ad groups are not all of the same type or importance. whocaresSo before getting too flustered about missing impression share it’s worth stopping to decide if it matters, or more precisely if you can actually tell if it matters. Suppose we have a campaign called ‘Bedroom Furnishings’ which contains 27 ad groups for everything from ‘nightstands’ to ‘sheets and pillow cases’. Within each ad group are 50 to 500 keywords, of various levels of importance and at various match types and bids. For this business, suppose that within Bedroom Furnishings, 70% of sales are bedroom sets, 10% are headboards, 8% are lamps and the remainder are all kinds of little things. (assume all of these sales are profitable.) In other words, only 3 of the 27 Ad Groups represent 88% of the company sales and profit. In this case all the Impression Share metrics are useless. The campaigns and ad groups are not organized in a way that allows us to use the IS information as it is provided. There are too many different types of targets mixed into a single campaign. For some of the ad groups it contains we really want all the impressions we can get. For others, there are more firm ROI targets and beyond a certain point we can’t afford to bid. Still others just don’t matter much. If we want to use and benefit from IS metrics, we need to reorganize so that one campaign holds the large volume (and profit) ad-groups, and within those ad-groups only the successful corresponding keywords. Move the marginal keywords and ad-groups into their own campaign that can be tracked separately. And move all the other ad groups and keyword into a third campaign. This is the minimum reorganization to make IS useful.

  • At this point we can look at the IS metrics for our ‘large volume and profitable’ campaign and reasonably obsess about every % we miss.
  • We can watch and work on the ‘marginal keywords and groups’ for these high profit categories, and make smart choices to improve them both in performance and IS.
  • And we can watch the IS for all our other categories but probably not do too much about them.

A Bag of Rocks and Diamonds Let me try and make the whole point another way. gemsPretend you had a bag filled with 10,000 rocks and 100 diamonds. If you knew the bag had a hole and a few dozen things had fallen out, you’d be concerned – but really not know how serious the problem was. Maybe all you lost was a few rocks. Wouldn’t you feel better though if you could put the diamonds in their own little bag and really make sure that nothing fell out? Keywords and ad groups are the same way. You can’t take great care of the good ones when they’re mixed in with all the junk. Separate and segregate. A little bit of a big topic for another time, but the use of Impression Share highlights the need. I’ve written about the problem of averages before. Impression Share is another place that getting average data for a disparate set of things can greatly diminish the value of the information. It’s up to you to organize so that the metrics provided are useful. End of Part II In the next post we’ll leave this issue behind and assume you’ve organized your campaigns in ways that make the IS metrics meaningful, and talk about what to do to fix what you find.



The First Machine Learning Marketing Platform
Built to Scale Search for Local Resellers & Agencies

Automate, optimize and track more campaigns, more profitably.