What is an impression

The impression is a measure of the success control of online content. In the broadest sense, the term refers to the user’s visual contact with an online element. The focus is on the visual display of the content, which occurs, for example, when a person is shown a URL to a website in the search results or sees an advertisement on the screen.

Every visual contact counts as a single impression

According to WHOLEVEHICLES, the general term impression is limited to mere visual contact with online content. Even if the user scrolls over an element, this is recorded in the measurement. The metric leaves out further interactions with the content.

For example, if an advertisement appears 500 times on the screen of the person reached, then 500 individual impressions are generated.

How successful is a website? Assessment of the performance with impressions

Knowledge of visual contact with an advertising element in the form of the impression metric is essential for the digital world: the performance of advertisements and content on the Internet can be assessed using impressions. As a criterion for advertising performance, the impression serves as the basis for calculating other important parameters such as the CTR (click through rate). Impressions can be used to determine how extensively an advertising medium or page has been spread.

However, the decisive factor for the evaluation of campaigns and content is not the impression alone, but its combined consideration with other measurement parameters. Relevant measures include the reach or the clicks on the advertising material.

Classification of the key figure impression

Depending on whether an element is an advertising ad or the URL of a website, the impression is used in a different context. The context is therefore decisive for what is considered an impression. Important applications are the page impression and the ad impression.

Page impression

The page impression allows the evaluation of the value of content or products in relation to their internet presence. A page impression, also known as a page view, comes about when a user clicks on a website or its sub-pages. Page impressions are the basis for calculating the CPM (thousand-contact price) for quantitative cost analysis.

Ad impression

With ad impressions, unlike page impressions, the focus is not on visual contact with a website URL, but on the visual display of an advertising ad. These displays, also known as ad views, are stored and logged on so-called ad servers. Ad impressions are also the basis for determining the CPM. The measurement of the advertising material contact is elementary, since billing models often include the payment of 1000 ad impressions. Ad impressions are therefore to be understood as a kind of currency for recording pure visual contact with advertising messages. Ad impressions and page impressions can differ due to advertising algorithms.

Impressions in the Search Console

If you want to analyze the behavior of your site visitors, you can have the number of impressions on your own website displayed in Google’s Search Console under “Performance”. An impression is the number of times a searcher has seen a link to your website. Depending on the type of search result, impressions are calculated differently by recording, for example, whether or not the result was scrolled. If you land on page three with a keyword on your own website, but the searcher only clicks forward to page two, this is not counted as an impression.

In the Google advertising network, the impression is an important parameter for the calculation according to the cost model CPM (cost per mile / costs per impression).

Impressions and social media

The impression metric is also used in the context of social media, as advertisers can use these channels to reach their target groups. However, the definition of the impression varies depending on the network.

Impressions on Instagram and Co.

The definition of the impression on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat is similar, but has to be differentiated from the key figure of the reach: In contrast to the reach, which indicates how many real people saw a piece of content in a certain period of time, multiple views of the posts on social networks multiple impressions are generated. This means that impressions are not a measure of the total number of people reached. As a rule, impressions are higher than the reach, as they record the individual visual contacts with the content (for example with a post or a story). In the Instagram network, the impressions are referred to as story views. Snapchat also differentiates between reach and story views.

Impression on Twitter

On Twitter, every point in time at which a Twitter user sees a tweet is considered an impression. It does not matter whether the tweet was seen in the search results, in the feed or as part of the conversation. It is also worth mentioning that Twitter, unlike other social media networks, does not track reach.

Impression – a versatile parameter

The impression is one of the most important key figures in digital advertising, as it provides information about the performance of websites and advertisements as a counted visual contact with an online element.

What is an impression