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Impression: Definition, Benefits, and How to Use It

Last updated: Oct 13, 2022

What is an Impression?

An impression is a metric that measures the number of views of a website's content or page. Impressions are earned every time your content is seen or potentially seen by an audience.

Knowing what impressions are very important in digital marketing. The purpose is to find out how well your content reaches your audience. In this case, you can make it your primary metric if your goal is to build brand awareness.

The Differences Between Impression and Reach

In digital marketing, you will find two metrics that have similarities, namely impressions and reach. Typically, these two metrics are used on social media channels and in paid ads. For ordinary people, the two are difficult to distinguish.

To find out the difference between impressions and reaches, let's understand how these two metrics are calculated. Reach is calculated by adding up the people who viewed the content. While the way to calculate impressions is to add up the content impressions themselves.

That is, if an audience sees a piece of content in the morning and then sees it again in the evening, then the content gets one reach and two impressions.

By knowing the amount of reach, you can measure how many audiences you have reached. Meanwhile, by knowing impressions, you can measure how often your content appears on the audience's screen.

How to Use Impression

As a digital marketer, knowledge about what impressions are will be very useful in running a campaign. Impressions are not only used to determine the number of content impressions but also to calculate other metrics.

Some other metrics you can calculate using impressions are CTR and CPM. Here is the explanation: 

Counting Click-through Rate (CTR)

CTR, or click-through rate, is the rate at which your audience sees your content and clicks on a link or button on that content. CTR is used to measure the effectiveness of content in driving an audience to take action, usually related to a purchase.

Impression is an important metric for calculating CTR numbers. How to calculate CTR is to compare the number of impressions with the number of clicks. The formula is:

CTR = (click / impression) x 100%


If your content's impression count is high, but your CTR is low, it means that your content isn't engaging or isn't succeeding in directing your audience to take the action you want. You can use these two metrics for evaluating content.

Count Cost per Mile (CPM)

Another metric you can calculate using impressions is CPM, or cost per mile. Mileage means 1000 impressions. CPM stands for cost per thousand ad impressions, which means the cost of advertising per thousand ad impressions.

CPM is used in paid ads to determine the advertising costs that must be incurred by advertisers. Typically, advertisers use CPM for advertising for brand awareness purposes.

The role of impressions is very important in CPM. The lower the CPM is, the cheaper it will cost you to display ads. To find out the CPM value, you can use the following formula:

CPM = (ad spend / impression) x 1000


How to Increase Impression

Now that you know what impressions are, how they differ from reach, and how they can be used to measure other metrics, it's time to learn how to improve them.

With high numbers of impressions, you can build brand recognition so that the audience is more familiar with your business. Tips for increasing impressions are:

Know Your Target Audience

The target audience is something that you must know before implementing any digital marketing strategy. Without knowing your target audience, you will run ads or share content with just about anyone.

Of course, if you do that, the number of impressions you get will not be optimal. To target an audience, you can first create a buyer persona.

Produce Content Consistently

You can't expect high impressions just by creating one piece of content. This is because you won't know what content will perform the best and how long it will take to generate high impressions.

By creating content consistently, your website will have more to offer. The more content you have, the more impressions you can get.

Increase Ranking on the SERP

In SEO, the position of the website on the search page (SERP) is very important. The higher the position or ranking of the website in the SERP is, the more people will see your website. This will increase the number of impressions.

To improve the position of a website page in the SERP, you can follow the complete guide to developing a website with SEO.

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