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Possibly the most exciting PPC news in months? Well, exciting for me anyway – Google has announced that from the end of January the Impression Share metrics will now be available at Ad Group level.

 

Impression Share at Ad Group Level

One of the key elements of Adword’s success is Google’s balancing of available data – giving just enough data while keeping a lot of the insight hidden, pushing advertisers to work hard at trial and error and rewarding those who invest. A prime example of this has been only allowing Impression Share metrics at campaign level. These metrics give insight into the volume of impressions your campaign is missing out on either due to your limited budget or because your ads are being outranked. More granular data of Impression Share Lost to Budget isn’t really necessary, because you shouldn’t really be losing any impressions to budget anyway, but that’s for another blog post. What I find so exciting is being able to see Impression Share lost to rank at Ad Group level, and the effect it could have on your ad spend and volume of traffic.

 

Why Impression Share is important

No matter how tight you make your keyword targeting, your broad and even phrase keywords will undoubtedly still be eligible for some search queries which would make your eyes water at how irrelevant they are to your campaign, and your ads will still compete in the auctions and rank, fortunately though so low they’ll never waste an impression. So losing impressions to ad rank is completely fine and in most cases kind of a good thing.

 

Measuring Your Ads Relevancy

But as your ads are still ranking they’re still risking influencing your quality scores. After click through rate, your Impression Share Lost to Rank is the most useful metric for measuring the relevancy of your activity. Frustratingly Google has always kept this metric at campaign level, which in truth is next to useless as trying to find the offending keywords out of a campaign of potentially tens of thousands is impossible. Being able to identify this at ad group level will help us hone in on the areas with poor relevance and actually make real changes based on the lost impression share.

 

Traffic Levels Visibility

Finally this is a step closer towards full visibility of traffic volumes. Seeing how may impressions are missed out on because of low ad ranking is great, but maybe one day we’ll also be able to see how many searches we miss out on because the ads don’t even rank at all – Google has kept schtum on this from day one.

 

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