The “Low Down” on Impressions

The “Low Down” on Impressions

First of all, this post is going to be incredibly short and sweet. This is simple stuff, considering most people know what an impression is. The point is to simply call attention to it.

Are you tracking how many people see your brand on a monthly basis? What channels are they coming from?

So here it is…

Step number one in our Sales Funnel is Generating Impressions. This is the foundational step in generating sales for your business. If you don’t have impressions, you’ll never generate traffic. Each month we should be measuring our impressions, and each month we should be looking at how to increase them!

Digital marketing has made impression tracking significantly more quantitative than offline advertising. For example, a billboard owner has no concrete way of estimating the number of impressions his platform grants advertisers.

What is an Impression in Digital Marketing?

Before we go to much further, let’s define what an impression is to us.

An impression is nothing more than how many times your brand was viewed. It’s that simple.

This could be anything from a billboard on the side of a road to a sticker on someone’s car to a picture you posted on Facebook, as long as someone is seeing it.

In the digital marketing world, it is anytime our ad or post was seen by someone. This could be via any form of PPC, Organic, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin or any other source.


Keeping track of your impressions is especially important when it comes to branding, or the idea of simply getting your business in the public eye!

Next, this step is “simple!” At least compared to some of our other steps.

Served vs Viewable

Served & Viewable are the two common forms of impressions in digital marketing.

1- Served Impressions:

Served content is currently the standard in digital marketing. Everytime a marketing-related file is relayed, that activity counts as an impression. This is tracked fairly easily as it relies solely on server data to add up the impressions.

This technique is somewhat problematic. Similar to billboards, it’s difficult to tell how much actual impact your content had without some type of further analysis.

2- Viewable Impressions:

This is by far the better way to count your impressions, as it uses the data gathered to cut through the impression and only count cases where the content was more than likely seen.

These impressions typically track and weed out the following cases:

  • Ad-blocking software
  • Screen resolutions too small for the ad to appear on screen.
  • Users scrolling down before the requested ad has loaded.
  • Broken plug-ins preventing content display.
  • Mobile incompatibilities such as desktop-only websites.
  • Minimized browser windows.
  • User movement between different applications.
  • Pages loaded in background tabs then never accessed.
  • Non-user interference, like malware cloaking ads

You can imagine how this data is much more beneficial for your brand to know, as this is the data that will get us to the next phase in our sales funnel.

The next phase is getting people to your website! How do we take all these impressions and get people to click on our Ad or post and go to our website? Learn more about this topic here!

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