How to use Impression Share Analysis to Get More Google Ads Conversions

By Brad


General, Google Ads Insights

Impression Share can be used as a diagnostic tool, along with other analyses, to determine the steps you need to take to get more conversions for your current keywords. Let’s take a look at Impression Share and how you can analyze this data to determine how to get more conversions or revenue out of your account.

Impression Share is the percentage of times your ad was displayed compared to how often it was elgile to be displayed. Essentially, it is your share of voice metric. You can see this data at the campaign, ad group, or keyword level.

Along with Impression Share are the associated loss metrics; why did you not receive some impressions? There are two categories of Impression Share Loss.

Lost IS (budget): This is how often the keyword did not display an ad because your budget was too low for you to enter that auction.

Loss IS (rank): This is how often the keyword did not display an ad because your ad rank (Quality Score, bid, ad extensions impact on the auction) was too low for you to enter that auction.

Campaign Impression Share

You can use the Impression Share Loss data, along with some other analysis, to determine what steps you need to take to increase your total conversions or revenue.

Examining Lost Impression Share Budget

Impression Share (IS) Loss due to budget happens when your budget is too low to capture all of the available impressions for that keyword. If you ever want to know what would happen to a campaign if you raised your budget, you can use this number to determine the change to your stats.Budget Projections

The easiest way to capture these impressions is to raise your budget. As that’s not always possible, let’s look at other ways to increase your conversions without raising your budget.

The first data point you want to examine is the number of campaigns with Lost IS Budget. Look to see if some campaigns have cheaper conversions than others.

Loss IS Budget

For instance, campaign 2 is losing 22% of its impressions due to having a low budget. It also has the lowest cost per conversion of every campaign in the list. By moving some budget from another campaign to this campaign, you would add more conversions to the account without spending more budget. This type of budget manipulation can be automated with budget management tools.

Another way to get more conversions for the same budget is to use your budget more efficiently. If you have keywords with higher CPAs than the norm for your account or keywords that are not converting, pausing those keywords will allow your better keywords to receive more impressions, and thus, you will end up with more conversions for the same budget.

Lastly, you can try lowering bids, which can be lowering your manual CPC or CPA bids or increasing your target ROAS amounts. For instance, if you are paying $20 per conversion and can’t afford to have your ads shown all day long, what happens if you lower your target CPA to $18? Will you get more conversions for the same budget? In many cases, the answer is yes. This is a balancing act. If you lower your bids too much, then your ads may start to rarely show, and you will receive fewer conversions. As you lower bids, you will probably see an increase in Impression Share Loss due to Rank.

It is not uncommon to see someone lower bids and receive more conversions if they have a high Lost IS due to budget.

Beyond budget issues, the second reason our ads do not receive impressions is a low Ad Rank.

Examining Lost Impression Share Rank

Every time there is an auction, Google calculates the Ad Rank for all eligible advertisers for the auction. The ads are then ordered from highest to lowest ad rank on the search result page (there are some nuances to this ordering; however, we’ll use a simplified version for the scope of this article). If your ad rank is too low for your ad to be displayed on the page, you lose that impression due to a low ad rank.

Ad Rank is a combination of three factors:

  • Your bid
  • Your Quality Score
  • Your Ad Assets (extensions) impact on the auction

When you see that you are losing impressions due to a low ad rank, the easiest thing you can do to regain those impressions is to raise your bids. Raising your bids generally increases your CPA or lowers your ROAS, so it is usually the last step we want to take in trying to show ads for these lost impressions. If you are using automated bidding, then raising your bid is raising your target CPA or lowering your Target ROAS.

The first step is to ensure we have a nice variety of ad assets. Look at your ad assets (formerly called Ad Extensions) to ensure you are using these:

  • Callouts
  • Sitelinks
  • Image or Business Logo
  • Structured Snippet

You may have more enabled, such as phone, location, price, etc., as appropriate. If you have less than 4-5 different assets, adding more assets can make a small difference in your Ad Rank. As you look at these, you want to make sure they are displayed in all of your search campaigns. You can learn more about auditing your ad assets here.

Next, we want to look at our Quality Scores since it is a large component in determining your ad rank.

Quality Score Analysis

If you see a lot of your Quality Scores are low, then you can work to increase your Quality Scores. The easiest way to see if you can benefit from Quality Score improvement is to use a Pivot Table (the 5 minute mark of this video will give you a starting place in this analysis) or software (the above screenshot is from Adalysis) to help determine if there’s a sub-factor that can benefit from improvement.

If you need help improving your Quality Scores, read The Ultimate Guide to Google Ads Quality Score. This article and associated videos will show you how to improve your Quality Scores.

If your ad assets and Quality Scores are in good shape, then the only way to capture these impressions is by raising your bids.


Impression Share and the associated loss metrics can help you determine what needs to be done in your account to increase your conversions or revenue. By watching it daily (or using automated KPI monitoring), you can spot a trend in the making, such as this account suddenly losing impressions due to its budget being too low (screenshot from Adalysis).

Search Impression Share

It’s rare to maintain above 90% Impression Share for non-branded terms. There are just too many factors that go into Ad Rank and budget for someone to show all the time. For instance, if Google decides to show no ads, then your ad’s rank is too low to show, and you lose an impression due to ad rank. If your ad is often in position 2, and Google only shows one ad on a page, you still lose the impression due to ad rank since your ad’s position was below the number of ad slots displayed on the page.

In general, above 80% is excellent for non-brand keywords, and above 90% (95% for large brands) are good numbers to strive for when managing your brand keywords. However, many well managed accounts will have a 10%-30% Impression Share. Due to their budget limitations and their Target CPAs, they won’t get more impressions. If the account is providing you with the returns you’re looking for, that’s OK. Not everyone needs to have amazingly high impression shares.

When you want more conversions, and you just can’t just raise your budget or bids, use your Impression Share Loss data, along with the steps in this article, to find alternate ways to increase your account’s conversions.

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