44. What is an Impression? What is meant by ad impressions in Internet Marketing?

An Impression, many a times also called a view or an ad view, refers to a data point when an advertisement is displayed once on a web site page. The total number of impressions of an Ad unit is determined by the number of times the Ad unit was shown on a particular web page. An impression is a broad indicator of the number of people; a particular advertisement creative is reaching out to. Thus 1000 impressions indicate that the ad unit was served 1000 times and thus the probability that 1000 different people may have seen the advertisement. The ad impressions can be analyzed in different ways depending upon the way the ad is situated on the page, as well as the number of times the web page on which the ad appears is shown. Display Ad reports state the number of impressions of an ad, which reflects the number of times that an ad was served by the search engine or a publisher website during the course of a campaign.

Tracking the number of impressions that an advertisement delivers vis-a-vis the response received tells us whether the advertising campaign is working positively or not. An ad campaign that delivers a good conversion rate is considered a good campaign. A campaign with only impressions or little or negligible results is a poorly performing campaign and calls for change.

As there are many different publishers for advertising on the Internet, there are also many different ways to count impressions. This many a times leads to problems between advertisers / agencies and publishers. Currently though, competent third party ad tracking systems have made ad tracking and data analysis better.

While working on a media plan for Internet marketing Campaigns, Ad impressions are important metric for planning and media buying and later for post buy analysis of campaigns. The impressions count when compared with other metrics is an easy way to discover whether the ads used for the campaign are working or there is a need for change, and decide if an entire campaign is working or not.