KPIs for Marketing

KPIs for Marketing: display ad impressions

Learn how to measure the success of your display ad campaigns with the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Display advertising is a powerful marketing tool. It allows companies to target their desired audience, build brand awareness, and increase their revenue. But how can we measure the success of display ads? That's where KPIs come in – Key Performance Indicators. In this article, we'll be looking at display ad impressions and the KPIs that matter to them.

Understanding Display Ad Impressions

Before we dive into the KPIs, it's important to understand what display ad impressions are. Put simply, an impression is counted each time an ad is displayed on a website. Impressions don't measure clicks or conversions, but they are a useful metric for determining the reach of a campaign.

Let's take a closer look at how display ad impressions work. When a user visits a website, the website sends a request to an ad server to display an ad. The ad server then selects an ad from its inventory and sends it back to the website to be displayed. This entire process happens in a matter of milliseconds, and each time an ad is successfully displayed, it counts as one impression.

However, it's important to note that not all impressions are created equal. For example, if an ad is displayed at the bottom of a webpage where users are less likely to see it, it may not be as valuable as an ad displayed at the top of the page. Additionally, some ads may be displayed to bots or non-human traffic, which can skew impression numbers and make them less accurate.

What are display ad impressions?

Display ad impressions are the number of times an ad is displayed on a website. Each time an ad loads, it counts as one impression. For example, if an ad is displayed 10 times on a website, it will have 10 impressions.

It's worth noting that impressions can be further broken down into different categories, such as viewable impressions and non-viewable impressions. Viewable impressions are those that are actually seen by users, while non-viewable impressions are those that are displayed but not seen (for example, if the ad is below the fold and the user doesn't scroll down far enough to see it).

Why are display ad impressions important?

Display ad impressions are an essential KPI because they show the reach of your advertising campaign. The more impressions your ads get, the more people see your brand. However, it's important to remember that impressions alone don't tell the whole story. For example, if your ads are getting a lot of impressions but not many clicks, it may indicate that your targeting needs to be adjusted or that your ad creative isn't resonating with your audience.

Overall, display ad impressions are a valuable metric to track, but they should be used in conjunction with other KPIs to get a complete picture of your campaign's performance.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Display Ad Impressions

As mentioned earlier, KPIs are crucial to measuring the success of your advertising campaign. Here are some of the most important KPIs for display ad impressions:

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The click-through rate measures the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of impressions. A high CTR means your ad is compelling and engaging.

It's important to note that a high CTR doesn't always mean a successful campaign. For example, if your ad is getting a lot of clicks but not converting those clicks into sales, then your campaign may not be as effective as you think. That's why it's important to track multiple KPIs and analyze them together to get a full picture of your campaign's success.

Viewability Rate

Viewability rate measures the percentage of an ad that's viewable to a user. A viewable impression is when at least 50% of an ad is in view for at least one second.

Viewability is important because if your ad isn't viewable, then it's not going to be effective. You could have a great ad with a high CTR, but if it's not viewable, then it's not going to generate any revenue for your business.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures the number of conversions divided by the number of impressions. A high conversion rate means your ad is effectively attracting and engaging your audience.

It's important to track your conversion rate because ultimately, the success of your campaign is measured by how many sales or leads it generates for your business. If you have a high CTR and viewability rate but a low conversion rate, then you may need to re-evaluate your ad's messaging or targeting.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

CPM measures the cost of 1000 impressions. It's useful when comparing the cost of advertising across different platforms and campaigns.

CPM is a good metric to track if you're trying to optimize your ad spend. By comparing CPM across different campaigns, you can see which campaigns are more cost-effective and adjust your budget accordingly.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS measures the revenue generated from a campaign divided by the advertising cost. A high ROAS means your campaign is effective in generating revenue.

ROAS is a great metric to track if your ultimate goal is to generate revenue for your business. By tracking ROAS, you can see which campaigns are generating the most revenue and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you have a campaign with a high ROAS, you may want to invest more money into that campaign to generate even more revenue.

Setting Goals for Display Ad Impressions

Display advertising is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase their online presence and reach their target audience. However, before launching a display advertising campaign, it's important to set clear goals and objectives. Here are some of the factors you should consider when setting goals:

Establishing Your Objectives

The first step in setting goals for your display advertising campaign is to determine its objective. Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Each objective will require a different approach and set of key performance indicators (KPIs).

If your goal is to increase brand awareness, you'll want to focus on reaching as many people as possible with your display ads. This means targeting a broad audience and measuring success by the number of impressions your ads receive. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate leads or drive sales, you'll want to focus on reaching a more targeted audience and measuring success by the number of clicks or conversions your ads generate.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Once you've established your campaign objective, the next step is to identify your ideal customer and aim to reach them with your display ads. This will help you tailor your campaign and maximize its effectiveness.

One way to identify your target audience is to create buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers. You can use demographic data, such as age, gender, and income level, to create these personas and then target your display ads to reach those specific groups of people.

Determining Your Budget

Setting a budget for your display advertising campaign is crucial to its success. You'll want to determine how much you're willing to spend and then monitor its effectiveness closely. Use KPIs to evaluate your campaign's success and adjust your spending as necessary.

When setting your budget, consider the cost per impression (CPM) or cost per click (CPC) of your display ads. These metrics will help you determine how much you can afford to spend to achieve your desired results.

In addition to setting a budget, it's important to regularly monitor and analyze your campaign's performance. This will allow you to make adjustments as needed to improve its effectiveness and maximize your return on investment (ROI).

In conclusion, setting clear goals and objectives is essential to the success of your display advertising campaign. By establishing your objectives, identifying your target audience, and determining your budget, you'll be well on your way to achieving your desired results.

Optimizing Display Ad Impressions

Now that you've launched your campaign and set your goals, it's time to optimize your display ad impressions for maximum effectiveness. Here are some strategies you can use:

Ad design and messaging

Design eye-catching ads with clear messaging that grabs attention and encourages clicks. The design of your ad plays a crucial role in attracting potential customers. Use bright colors, bold fonts, and high-quality images to make your ad visually appealing. The messaging should be concise and to the point, highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Test different ad versions to see which performs best. You can experiment with different colors, fonts, images, and ad copy to see what resonates best with your audience.

Targeting and segmentation

Use data to target the right audience for your campaign. Segment your audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviors to ensure your ads reach the most relevant people. For example, if you are selling a product that is primarily used by women, you can target your ads to women aged 25-45 who are interested in fashion and beauty. This will ensure that your ads are seen by people who are most likely to be interested in your product, increasing the chances of conversion.

In addition to demographic and interest-based targeting, you can also use retargeting to show your ads to people who have already visited your website or interacted with your brand in some way. This can help increase brand awareness and encourage people to take action.

A/B testing and experimentation

Experiment with different ad formats, messaging, and targeting to identify what works best for your campaign. Use A/B testing to compare different versions of your ad and make data-driven decisions. A/B testing involves creating two versions of an ad and showing them to different groups of people. You can then compare the performance of each ad to see which one performs better. This can help you optimize your ads for maximum effectiveness.

In addition to A/B testing, you can also experiment with different ad formats, such as video ads or carousel ads. Video ads can be a great way to showcase your product or service in action, while carousel ads allow you to showcase multiple products or features in a single ad.

Overall, optimizing your display ad impressions requires a combination of creativity and data-driven decision making. By designing eye-catching ads, targeting the right audience, and experimenting with different ad formats and messaging, you can maximize the effectiveness of your display ad campaign and achieve your marketing goals.


Display advertising is a powerful tool for reaching your target audience and generating revenue. By understanding the metrics that matter and setting clear goals for your campaign, you can ensure its success. Use KPIs to measure the effectiveness of your campaign and optimize it for maximum impact. With the right strategy, display advertising can help you take your business to the next level.