Ad Impression Definition

What’s an ad impression? For those who need a quick refresher, impressions are the number of times an ad appears on a web page. Therefore, your AdWords ads will always have more impressions than clicks. Impressions don’t have very much to do with the success of your ad, but they are an important measurement of how many eyeballs your ad is reaching.

If you aren’t getting many clicks on your ads, maybe you aren’t getting enough impressions. If you have plenty of impressions but still don’t have many clicks, that may be a hint that your ads themselves need some work. Low click-through rates contribute to a low Quality Score.

How Many Advertising Impressions Are on Google AdWords Per Day?

According to our recent Google statistics research, Google AdWords serves an average of 29,741,270,774 impressions per day (nearly 30 billion!).

This number is a combination of impressions from Google Search and the Google Display Network:

  • Google Search has 5,570,808,015 impressions per day (5.57 billion).
  • Google Display Network has 24,170,462,759 impressions per day (24.17 billion).

These ad impression statistics are based on our own original research as well as data from Google and SpyFu.

You may be wondering, Why does the Google Display Network have so many more impressions than Google Search? Over 18 billion more impressions per day, to be exact. The main reason why this happens is that Google Search ads are limited to the Google Search site. While Google is always experimenting with how many more ads they can fit onto one Google search results page, there is a limit.

On the other hand, the Google Display Network has the power to place ads on all Google web properties, including Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, and Google partner sites. The Display Network can put ads across a larger number of sites, leading to more daily ad impressions.

Ad Impressions vs. Clicks: How Many Clicks on Google AdWords Per Day?

Google AdWords gets an average of 237,914,225 ad clicks per day. This number is a combination of clicks from Google Search Ads, generating 193,232,044 clicks, and Google Display Network ads, with 44,682,181 ad clicks. Google Search ads get considerably more clicks per day than advertisements on the Google Display Network as illustrated in the infographic.

Why does Google Search receive more ad clicks than the Google Display Network?

The fact that Google Search ads receive more clicks per day than Google Display Network ads may seem surprising considering that Google Display Network dominates the number of ad impressions per day. One might think that more impressions should naturally lead to more clicks, but this isn’t a given. Internet users interact with Google Search ads very differently than they do with ads on the Google Display Network.

  • Using Google Search: Google Search is used by people who are often farther along in the buying process. They are usually searching with a specific intent in mind, making them more likely to click a promising ad. It’s also possible that they don’t realize the search ads are ads rather than organic results.
  • Using Google Display Network: With Google Display Network, your ad is reaching people in a very different setting. When your ad shows up in Gmail, for example, you are entering a user’s home turf, and they are rarely in the mood for ad browsing when trying to stay in touch with family and friends. On Google partner sites, your ad is also probably competing with photos and content on the partner site.

Why Advertise on the Google Display Network if My Ads Aren’t Clicked?

You may be asking, is it even worth advertising on the Google Display Network if users aren’t noticing my ads? After all, what good are impressions without clicks?

Is certainly is worth advertising on the Google Display Network, despite lower click rates than Google Search. For one, display advertising is great for raising brand awareness. Even if users claim they aren’t noticing your ads, they absolutely are to some degree, whether they realize it or not. The higher number of impressions on the Display Network ensure that your ads are being seen by people across a wide variety of networks. These impressions aren’t worthless, even if they don’t all result in clicks.

While a user might not click your ad the first time they see it, brand trust is being built with every ad impression. When users see your ad in various Google partner sites, YouTube, and even Gmail, they are becoming more familiar with your business. This brand trust continues to build so that one day, when a user’s intent matches with your ad, they will be more likely to choose your business because they have seen you ‘around town’ previously.

Google remarketing takes this to the next level by using a cookie to follow a visitor after they leave your site. Who knows why they left – maybe they got distracted by an incoming email message, or accidentally clicked off. The generated cookie remembers what page someone visited on your site, and through the Google Display Network, places your ads related to that page across Google partner sites. Remarketing tends to be very successful because visitors continue to see your ad related to an offer you already know they are interested in, while simultaneously building trust through familiarity.

Google Clicks

As seen in our Google Search Revenue Infographic, the number of clicks and number of conversions have risen on both Google Search and Google Display Network since the previous quarter.

Currently, the average number of clicks per day for Google Search ads is 193.2 million. This is a 21.6% increase from Google search ad clicks in Q2 2012. The average number of clicks per day for ads on the Google Display Network is 44.7 million, which is a 29.1% increase from clicks per day during Q2 2012.

While the number of clicks and conversions have increased, the average cost-per-click has decreased significantly. The average cost-per-click for Google Search ads in $0.53 cents, which is a %16.5 decrease since Q2 2012. The average cost-per-click for Google Display Network ads is $0.35, which is a %18.2 decrease from the previous quarter.

With higher total clicks, a higher number of conversions, and lower CPCs across both advertising networks, this is a great time for businesses who have been holding back to begin advertising with AdWords. The recent changes in the Google economy benefit both Google and AdWords advertisers – Google gets to increase revenues, while advertisers get more impressions, clicks, and conversions at lower costs.

Where Did this Ad Impression Data Come From?

The data for this blog post came from our recent study on Google web statistics, which we consider one of the most comprehensive studies on the internal workings of Google AdWords ever conducted.

The infographic data was collected from WordStream’s AdWords Performance Grader, a free tool that lets AdWords advertisers audit their account and see where they can improve. The tool has evaluated over $1 billion in annualized spending on Google in the past year. For this report, we looked at accounts that were evaluated between July 1, 2012 and October 30, 2012.

Our research for the infographic included over 2,600 AdWords accounts that ran the AdWords Grader in Q3 2012. The accounts in aggregate represented over $250 million in annualized spend. We had accounts with a wide range of spending; some accounts were very small, spending under $100 a month on AdWords. Others were much larger, with some spending up to millions per month in AdWords. The analysis looked at accounts across every industry, and came from all countries where Google does business.

This broad range of diverse data is a great representation of the wide range of customers Google AdWords does business with, and as a result we believe our research to be more accurate than other search marketing studies that deal exclusively with large clients.

If There Are Only 2 or 3 Billion Searches on Google per Day, How Can There Be 5 Billion Ad Impressions?

It’s important to keep in mind that when we say there are 5 billion ad impressions on Google Search per day, we are discussing total ad impressions. One Google SERP can contain 12+ ads per page. Also, we are counting impressions from the Google Search Partner Network, which accounted for approximately 15% of the ad impressions in Q3.

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