search impression share

The AdWords Search Impression Share Report.

The Impression Share report is an awesome tool in AdWords, because it tells you how often your ads are actually showing up divided by the number of times when they could show up.  A lot of advertisers get frustrated when they setup their first AdWords campaign, follow all the best practices, and then they start running Google searches…but they don’t see their ads!  If you’re in this position, you should login to AdWords and check your report showing your “Impression Share” for a given Campaign or Ad Group.  If you are hoping to hit every single person who is running Google searches on your chosen keywords, but you only have 5% Impression Share, then you’re actually only hitting 5% of your target audience.  Obviously, Impression Share is important.

But this blog post is not actually about Impression Share as it relates to AdWords.  (I’ll cover many of the traditional issues related to Impression Share in AdWords in a future post.)  For now, I want to discuss how you can use your Impression Share report to help build your keyword list for Search Engine Optimization.

How To Use Your Impression-Share Report for SEO

This is actually a very simple idea.  If you are running a Google AdWords campaign every month for certain targeted keywords, you should use your Impression Share report to learn which keywords you’re having the most trouble with.  For instance, if you have 90% Impression Share for 10 ad groups, and only 30% Impression Share for two ad groups, then you should look at the keywords in those two ad groups to identify any keywords that you can target with SEO.  Then, add those keywords to your SEO keyword list. That way, you can start to go outside AdWords to raise your “Share of Search,” which is a term that I just invented as I was writing this post to refer to the number of times your website is appearing in either paid or organic search results across all search engines.

Will Marlow is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in increasing your “Share of Search” across all relevant search engines.  He is certified by Google in Google AdWords and Google Analytics.