Ad impression, also called ad view, is an online marketing term that refers to the point in which an online ad is viewed once by a visitor or displayed once on a webpage. The number of impressions of a particular advertisement campaign is determined by the number of times the particular page is located and loaded.
An impression is the number of times a piece of advertisement content was displayed to a target audience.
When you examine your advertising analytics, you’re likely to see your impression metrics alongside your reach metrics. Reach is the number of users exposed to your content. These two key performance indicators (KPIs) provide valuable context for how your ads perform.
As we explained in our guide to understanding reach versus impressions, it’s important to track these two metrics in tandem. Reach metrics will help you understand the size of your audience and how it grows as you publish new campaigns. Tracking your impressions over time will help you understand how your audience engages with the content you publish. In this article, we’ll focus on the importance of impressions and how this metric can help you to optimize your campaigns and engage your target audience.
How do Ad Platforms Calculate Ad Impressions?
Let’s say you’ve just published an ad, or an ad set on an ad network like Facebook or Google Ads. Is an impression of a Facebook ad measuring the same way as a display ad featured on another network? The answer is a little more complicated than you might think. First, it’s important to understand the difference between served and viewable impressions:
Served impressions represent the number of times a web application loaded your content, regardless of whether that content was rendered on the user’s screen. For example, if the ad network delivered your ad, but the user did not scroll far enough to actually see it, the platform would still count the impression.
Viewable impressions represent the number of times your content was actually rendered on the user’s screen. Depending on the platform, an impression may represent any instance when the ad was fully or partially visible. In general, platforms consider ads as viewable if at least 50% of the content is rendered on the screen.