Glossary keyword - Impression

Impression

An impression occurs when a visitor sees an advertisement on a screen. It does not require any action, such as clicking or liking. It is merely based on viewing the ad or potentially seeing it. Usually, impressions act like a metric to evaluate the performance of marketing campaigns. The preferred way is cost-per-thousand (CPM) impressions. 

There are some benefits and flaws of this type of measurement. When companies want to improve brand awareness, impressions act as a helpful evaluation method. The reason is their sole aim to share information about the company to as many people as possible. With traditional marketing, such as billboards, an exact estimation of people who saw the ad is impossible to count. With digital marketing, it is relatively easy to count the number of people who entered the website, and the ad appeared on the page. 

The downside of the impression is that there is no guarantee that a visitor paid attention to it. This flaw divides impressions into two categories. 

Served vs. Viewable Impression

Served impressions count the people who had access to the ad. It estimates how many people entered the page when the advertisement existed there. If the ad appears randomly, marketers count how many times it appeared. However, the downside of impressions is stronger here.

Sometimes users use ad-blocking software. In other cases, some screens are too small for the ad to appear correctly. It is also possible that visitors scroll down and ignore the ad. Plus, broken plug-ins act as a barrier for ad display. All these problems restrain users from viewing the ad, but the company still pays for that ad. In other words, they pay because the advertiser served the content, regardless of whether people saw it or not. However, viewable impressions exclude all the problems mentioned before. This type of impression seeks to solve the issues and eliminate the payment for cases when visitors do not see the ad. Hence, it saves money for the company and gives more accurate data. 

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