Impression vs Click: Differences & Importance


When it comes to online advertising, there are two main terms you need to be familiar with: impressions and clicks. But what do these terms mean, and what’s the difference between them?

In this article, we’ll break it down for you by comparing impressions vs clicks, and explain why both impressions and clicks are important when measuring the success of your ad campaigns.

What Is an Impression?

Also known as a view-through, an impression is defined as the number of times your ad is seen by users, including when it appears as a banner, button, or text link. An impression happens anytime a user opens an app or site and the ad is visible, which means that even if a user doesn’t click on your ad, it still counts as an impression.

Why Are Impressions Important?

Impressions give you an idea of how many people are seeing your ad. Even though someone may not click on the ad, impression tracking shows they may still be interested in what you’re selling and will remember your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase. It’s important to know about performance-based advertising so you can get a high number of impressions for your ads, which would attract potential customers.

The number of visitors generated by the advertisement is considered one of the simplest methods to figure out the reach of an advertisement channel. Marketers may use this information to calculate numerous other marketing metrics.

What Are Clicks?

As opposed to ad impressions, clicks represent the actual number of times someone has placed their cursor on your digital advertisement and clicked on it to be taken to your website. This is the most beneficial way for the advertiser to spend their money since it eliminates all the guesswork—you’ll know how many people will visit your site relative to the purchase of the advertisement.

When the end-user reaches your website, it should be interesting and interactive enough to elicit an emotional response for them to connect with you. If you’re building your website on your own, make sure you use the top website-building tools to create an interface that will ensure better user satisfaction.

Why Are Clicks Important?

Ad clicks are important because they tell you how effective your ad is in getting people to take the desired action, whether that’s visiting your website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. A high click-through rate (CTR)—the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of impressions it gets—is what you should be aiming for with your ads.

Clicks are a way to measure how well your ad is performing in terms of how it engages the audience and drives sales conversion. Although advertisers calculate both cost per impression vs cost per click, clicks are often more closely watched because they provide actual proof that viewers are interested in what they saw enough to take action.

DID YOU KNOW: A pay-per-click campaign (PPC) for advertising means you’ll pay for every click your ad receives. This differs from the CPM (cost per mille) approach, in which you’re charged for every thousand impressions regardless of how many people view it.

Impression vs Click

So, what’s the difference between impressions and clicks? While impressions give you an idea of how many people are seeing your ad, clicks tell you how many people are actually interested enough in what you’re selling to take action and visit your website. When calculating the cost per click vs cost per impression, the first is often seen as a more important metric, and is therefore charged on a single-click basis. This is because clicks are considered the leading indicator that someone is actually interested in what you’re selling and wants to learn more about your product or service.

However, this isn’t always how it works in practice. Whether clicks or impressions are more important really depends on what your advertising campaign goals are. If you’re selling a product or service that requires more consideration from potential customers (such as an expensive piece of jewelry), you might be more focused on getting people to remember your brand name and what you sell. In this case, while comparing the importance of ad impressions vs clicks, the first would be considered more important.

On the other hand, if your product or service can be purchased quickly and easily (such as a pair of socks), you might be more focused on getting people to take action and click through to your website, in which case clicks would be more important. If you’re not sure where to start, try experimenting with both metrics and see what works best for your business.

DID YOU KNOW: Apart from assessing impressions vs clicks, you should also be aware of Search Engine Optimization—the practice of improving a website’s rank in search results by optimizing it for particular keywords. A solid SEO strategy means using appropriate optimization tools to improve your site’s content as well as its technical architecture.

Key Takeaways

The main difference between clicks vs impressions is that the first is the number of people who’ve clicked on your ad, while the latter shows how many have seen it.
The number of impressions is considered one of the simplest methods to figure out the reach of an advertising campaign.
Clicks show how effective your ad’s position is in getting people to take the desired action.
Whether impressions or clicks are more important depends on your ad campaign goals.

Wrap Up

As you can see, both clicks and impressions are important metrics to keep track of when measuring the success of your online paid advertising campaigns. Now that you know what they are and why they’re important, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about how much it’s worth to pay per click vs to pay per impression, and exactly where to place your ads for maximum impact.


Why are impressions important?

Ads impressions are important because they show you how your ads rank, allowing you to calculate a campaign’s effectiveness. If you’re not getting a lot of impressions, you should think about making some changes.

What is impression in Google Ads?

Every time your ad appears on Google (search result page, Google Maps, etc), an impression is registered. The difference between impression vs click is that even if only a portion of your advertisement is displayed, Google counts it as an impression, whereas clicks are only counted if they take the user to a website.


I am curiosity-driven and detail-oriented so you will often find me researching the latest trends, experimenting with search engine optimization, or testing software. As a keen observer of content, my teammates often like to joke that "noting escapes the eye of Beti."

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