What Does Impressions Mean in Digital Marketing?

impressions in Digital Marketing

In simple words, impression also referred as a view or an ad view, is a count of an advertisement or any other form of digital media viewed once by a visitor or displayed once on the web page. The number of impressions of a certain advertisement is calculated by the total number of times the particular page is loaded and located. These are not action-based and are defined by a user potentially seeing the advertisement.

What are Impressions?

Digital marketing has made tracking much more quantitative than offline advertising.

One view = One impression.

If the same person sees your ad multiple times, it is counted as multiple impressions.

For instance, the hoarding owner has no solid way of calculating the number of impressions his platform grants the advertisers. But the campaigns online can effective measure the impressions correctly and are generally sold in terms of cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions. CPM is not only a pricing model but also a reporting metric.

Tracking Impressions

Tracking impressions is an important component of SEO practices. Most of the digital marketing agencies use various tools to track the impressions. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind measuring the performance of most types of online marketing campaigns:

  • Number of times a post appears on social media.
  • On-site views of internal calls-to-action
  • Pay-per-click impressions

Access of materials through third party sides such as Google Image Search, etc. Access of materials through third party sides such as Google Image Search, etc.

Types of Impressions

Served Impressions- The current mode of tracking the online impression relies on the content served: whenever a marketing related file is accessed and transmitted, such activity counts as an impression. This is very easy as it is based on pure server data to count the impressions. But it has one problem, it’s difficult to tell how much impact the content has had. Also, in some cases the files can be accessed without being viewable by the consumer.

As a result, the ecommerce businesses are acquiring display ads which have more accurate systems for measuring the impressions. The new viewable impressions standards seeks to address this need.

Viewed Impressions- A viewable impression is one that’s visible to the user when a page loads. The viewable impressions method uses the data gathered from a user’s device to refine the impressions except the cases when the content was not seen. Viewable impression tracking can mark user behaviours which prevent ad viewing such as:

  • User scrolling down before the requested ad has loaded.
  • Ad-blocking software
  • Broken plug-ins preventing content display
  • Pages loaded in the background which were never accessed.
  • User movement between the different applications.
  • Mobile unresponsiveness

The benefits of viewable impressions are multiple. Firstly, the business receives more accurate information on the number of actual impressions made. Secondly, the data collected is highly actionable and suggests improvements which ensures greater rates of delivery.

Govinda Chandak


Govinda Chandak

Qualified Electronics Engineer (B.Tech.) and Certified Digital Marketing Expert with a proven track record of working in the industry for more than 8 years. Core area of specialisation comprises Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing (SMM), Content Marketing & Syndication, and Industry Market Research. I’m passionate about intelligent customer journey mapping & delivering ROI. I can help you build your brand reputation & improve your business’s online presence with an extensive knowledge of various technical aspects.

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