Impressions as a variable
Impressions of an online advert is sometimes used as a variable for measuring how well your digital agency is doing their job.
Impression is the number of times the advert was “seen” by people visiting the page where the advert was displayed- the destination. The goal is to try to find destination content which the people you’re targeting are visiting. Then you show your advert and hope that some viewers will click on it and go to your website or buy your product.
Since “number of impressions” only measures how much “space” your budget bought, agencies have evolved the Impressions metric to calculating the ratio of impressions to clicks. Called Click-through-rate.
Are you tempted to measure your digital advertising provider on their ability to convert an impression into a click?
Consider that it shows that the agency is still thinking like an above-the-line, billboard selling, TV ad campaign traditional agency. But doing it online. This is becoming less and less effective because the world has changed… which is probably why you’re using digital as a channel.
However, people now go to Google and type in their problems and websites appear with possible solutions. The top few search engine results are the ones that get clicked on. Showing your Diesel Generator advert to someone who is solving their need for a cupcake recipe by going to Food24.com is not nearly as effective as ranking number one on Google when they type in “how much is a diesel generator?”. Impression based digital adverts imply that if the “right age/gender/town person” while looking for “cupcake recipe” is exposed to “Diesel Generator advert” they will stop looking for cupcake recipe and rather click on the Generator advert. In other words, the need for a Generator advert has to displace their need for a cupcake recipe… their original goal.
So you might be asking how then do I measure my digital marketing agency if its not through Impressions and displacing an initial goal)?
The better question to ask your digital agency:
For how many keywords does my website rank in the top three of Google? This simple question forces the company doing your digital work to be accountable to the way marketing on Google works: Provide the answer to people’s questions when they go to Google to solve the problem your company solves… For this to be effective you must be in the top three Google search engine results for the keywords someone would use if they had a problem your industrial company solves.
While impressions are a possible metric used to measure a Digital agency’s performance, along with Click through rate of impressions, its not the best tool. You should rather be using a more updated metric like “number of relevant keywords my website ranks in the top three of Google.” Asking this question will save you from competing with cupcakes and cappuccinos.
An awesome website will go much further than a million impressions!