Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 7th, 2008

ROI of your Paid Advertising: Estimated Impressions

When looking at the data generated by online advertising like Google AdWords there are a number of statistics that you should keep track of, one of them is Estimated Impressions. Estimated Impressions show how many times the ad you are running was viewed. This includes the times people viewed your ad even if they did not click on it. If you are only looking at Ad clicks then you are missing an important piece of data.

If there are hundreds of users who are seeing your ad and not clicking on it then there is probably something wrong with the ad. The problem could be in the placement, or it could be a problem with your copy, but if the percentage of Estimated Impressions is disproportionately higher than your click-through rate, you definitely have a problem.

It's also possible that you are advertising on the wrong website. You can have killer copy and a perfectly placed ad, but if you are advertising women's antiperspirant on then you are advertising to the wrong demographic and your campaign will ultimately fail.

Many advertisers look only at click-through rates which may be high but what if they could be higher? Just because you are getting a high number of click-throughs does not mean you are optimizing your efforts. A high traffic website is probably going to give you a lot of clicks, but how many of those ad impressions were wasted. You will never know without knowing your Estimated Impressions.

In the world of online advertising it's not just about getting traffic and clicks, it's about optimizing your efforts. Working smarter will give you a competitive advantage and the best possible ROI on your campaign.