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What Search Impression Share Means for Your Hotel Website

30 October 2018


Why is search impression share important for my hotel’s website?


Your search impression share is an indicator of the effectiveness of your hotel’s ad in reaching people. It helps you understand how an ad for your hotel could reach more people if you increased your budget and/or ad rank, which is determined by your maximum bid and quality score (see below for more information).


What is an impression?


An impression is counted each time an ad for your hotel appears on a search engine results page (SERP) or other site on the Google Network. For example, if your ad appears on an SERP once when someone searches the appropriate keywords (e.g. luxury hotel in Spain), then you have one impression.

However, your hotel’s ad will not appear on an SERP every time someone searches the appropriate keywords. There are two main reasons this would happen, which are discussed below.


What is a search impression share?


Your search impression share is a metric that answers the following question:

“Of all the possible searches for your keywords in your area at the time your ad is running, what percentage results in your ad being shown?”

It is calculated using the following formula:

Impression share = Impressions / Total Eligible Impressions

Google estimates total eligible impressions using many factors, though it is essentially the total number of times Google thinks your hotel’s ad could appear given the keyword searches.

This means the optimal impression share would be 1, or 100%.


Why isn’t my search impression share 100%?


Not many search impression shares reach 100%. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Ad Rank Your ad rank determines if and where your hotel’s ad appears on an SERP. The following formula determines your ad rank: Ad Rank = Maximum Bid x Quality Score

    Your maximum bid is determined by your budget, which is discussed in the second point.

    Your quality score is determined by how relevant and useful Google thinks your hotel’s ad is to the user. Specifically, click-through rate (CTR), relevance, and your hotel’s landing page determine the quality score.

  2. Budget Your budget also affects your search impression share. Increasing your hotel’s marketing budget so you can increase your maximum bid can, naturally, increase your search impression share. However,  this is not always the case, as will be discussed presently.


How do I increase my search impression share?


An obvious way to increase your search impression share is by increasing your maximum bid. This is an effective measure if your competitors’ quality scores are the same as yours. However, it is entirely possible that even if your maximum bid exceeds a competitor’s, their ad rank would exceed yours if their quality score is higher than yours.

For example, if Hotel A bid $8 and their quality score was 1, their ad rank would be 8. If Hotel B bid $2 and their quality score was 10, their ad rank would be 20. Thus, Hotel B would rank higher than Hotel A, even though the former spent less on their bid than the latter.

Thus, taking measures to improve your CTR, relevance, and hotel’s landing page would increase your quality score and thus the ad rank for your hotel, thereby increasing your search impression share.


If you’d like some help figuring out what to do with your search impression share, or if you’d like some advice on your marketing strategy, we here at Umi would be happy to help.




About Impression Share

Explaining What Search Impression Share Is in Adwords

Impressions: Definition

What Is Google AdWords? How the AdWords Auction Works

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