AdWords: Share of voice campaign

Are we alone in the universe? How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? What's the share of voice for my AdWords campaign? The official AdWords blog has announced “a new metric available through the AdWords Report Center.” "Share of voice" is a metric often used in the advertising industry to represent the relative portion of ad […]

Are we alone in the universe? How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? What's the share of voice for my AdWords campaign?

The official AdWords blog has announced “a new metric available through the AdWords Report Center.”

"Share of voice" is a metric often used in the advertising industry to represent the relative portion of ad inventory available to a single advertiser within a defined market over a specified time period. Impression Share, a new AdWords metric, is similar to share of voice -- it represents the percentage of times your ads were actually shown in relation to the total number of chances your ads could have been shown, based on your keyword and campaign settings.

For example, say you own a small lawn furniture business and you're using AdWords to sell your products. You're curious to know if you're missing out on potential sales by not appearing every time users search on your keywords. To compare how often your ads are showing to the total opportunities they have to show, run a campaign- or account-level performance report that includes the new Impression Share columns. The report below is a sample of what you'll see:


(Click the screenshot to view the full-size image.)


Here’s a quick rundown of what each Impression Share column represents:

Impression Share (IS): The percentage of times your ads were shown out of the total available impressions in the market you were targeting. This metric is available at the campaign and account level for search.

Lost IS (Rank): The percentage of impressions lost due to low Ad Rank (cost-per-click bid x Quality Score).

Lost IS (Budget): The percentage of impressions lost due to budget constraints.

Using our lawn furniture example, the Impression Share results in the above report may be within your expectations given you:

  • are small business,
  • target your ads to one state (e.g. Arizona), and
  • use ad scheduling so your ads only show on the weekdays when your store is open.

The above conditions help establish your ads' total opportunities to show. Any opportunities to show outside of Arizona or on the weekends do not count against your Impression Share since Impression Share is only measured against the opportunities you're interested in. In contrast, if you targeted more states or scheduled your ads to appear over the weekend, you might see your Impression Share percentage decrease since your ads would have many more opportunities to show.

Not every advertiser's goal is to appear each time his or her ads have the opportunity to show; however, Impression Share is a convenient way to assess shifts in the competitive landscape as well as ways to diagnose where you're losing Impression Share.

Impression Share is available for performance reports at the account- or campaign-level and you can find instructions on how to include the metric in your next report here.

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