An impression happens every time an ad is viewed online. It is also known as a “view-through,” and it occurs any time a user opens a web page or app and sees an ad displayed.
An impression is different from a click (literally when a user clicks on the advertisement). Clicks are a form of active engagement, whereas an impression is passive. An ad has merely to appear on a page a user is reading and it counts as an impression-even if the user doesn’t really look at it at all.
CPM is an abbreviation for Cost Per Mille. “Mille” is derived from the Latin word for “thousand.” The CPM is used to describe the cost per one thousand views of an ad, or the cost per one thousand impressions.
CPC stands for “Cost Per Click.” It is the amount paid each time someone clicks on, or engages, with an online ad.
Although impressions do not involve direct interactions with an ad, they are important. Impressions can be a crucial litmus test for the overall success of a campaign. The number of impressions generated by an ad can give you valuable insights as to how effective it is at reaching your target audience.
The number of impressions is also a jumping off point for other metrics used to further gauge the success of a campaign. The Click Through Rate, or CTR, for example, gives you a percentage that is calculated by dividing the number of times your ad was clicked divided by the number of impressions.
Key words and phrases are important tools in SEO. Certain words, questions, and phrases are utilized more than others when users search for something. These are logged by search engines, who rank content based on its usage of the most relevant search terms.
Cost Per Click puts a price on key words, with the most popular terms and phrases costing more. Companies bid to “own” a certain word or phrase, and each time a user searches that phrase, their ad will appear in the results.
Bidding on keywords takes finesse. You won’t necessarily want to bid on the most expensive terms. You’ll need to strike a balance between popular searches and more refined terminology that helps your business stand out in a sea of competitors. There will necessarily be a bit of trial and error, but a good digital marketer can help you find the sweet spot for your bids.
CPM and CPC are both effective forms of digital marketing. Deciding between the two will ultimately depend on many factors, including target audience, budget, and type of business.
Often, the two work well together. Impressions give you a general idea of how well a campaign is doing, and CPC can tell you precisely which ads users are responding to. CPC will also give you a more immediate edge for ranking, as opposed to the long-game of organic SEO.