What Are Google Ads Metrics and What Do They Mean?

  SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) have been discussed a lot lately in the world of digital marketing. Companies across the World are trying hard to ensure their website is claiming a position in SERPs and is most visible to users. In more of a focus towards pay-per-click, we’ve got six Google Ads metrics that can help PPC advertisers determine how often ads are showing up, and where in the SERPs they are, to help identify growth opportunities. Let’s take a look at six of these metrics and how we can use them to identify growth opportunities within search campaigns.

The six metrics

The first four metrics are competitive metrics, which means they represent an indicator of where your account is performing in relation to your competitors within the ad auction. There are two other metrics that can help us identify areas of opportunity and provide even more insight into how ads are doing, these both include the word “impression” in them. Unlike the first four metrics, these two indicate the actual location of your ads, painting a clear picture of where all of your eligible ads are appearing.

Click share

Click share, a relatively new metric, is the number of clicks you’ve received on the search network divided by the estimated maximum number of clicks that were possible. In comparison to impression share, if you have a click share of 68%, you received 68 out of every 100 clicks on your ad.

Search impression share

Search impression share is the number of impressions you have received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive. This gives you a percentage that indicates how well your ads are performing in an ad auction. A search impression share of 50% indicates that 50 times out of 100 your ad is showing or serving on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Search top impression share

Instead of indicating the percentage of time you are receiving impressions, it indicates the percentage of time your ad is showing in one of the top ad positions, above the organic search results. This is calculated by taking the number of times your ad is showing in the top positions versus the number of times you were eligible to receive an impression in the top position.


Search absolute top impression share

Following the same pattern as the above two, search absolute top impression share is the percentage of your impressions that are shown in the very first paid position. It’s calculated by taking the absolute top impressions divided by the number of times you were eligible to receive an impression in the absolute top position.

Impressions (Top) %

Impressions (Top) % is calculated by taking the impressions that you have earned in the top positions, above the organic search results, divided by all earned impressions. The main difference between this metric and the search impression share (top) is that this is calculated through using your actual earned impressions, not the estimated impressions Google thinks you would have been capable of earning.


Impressions (Abs. Top) %

Similar to the above, this metric takes the impressions you have earned in the absolute #1 spot divided by all earned impressions.

You can use the Impressions (Top) % and Impressions (Abs. Top) % metrics to determine where your ads are appearing. These two metrics are not a reflection of your ads within the greater competitive environment like the first four are, but of their actual performance.

In comparison, the top four metrics are indicators of how well you are performing against others. That is why they are called competitive metrics and can be found in that section when selecting columns in Google Ads.

All of these help us as advertisers to determine how often our ads are showing and where in the SERPs that our ads are visible. When you combine this with an analysis of ad text and landing page content, this can help us to take actions to maximise growth opportunities.