What is an Ad Impression?
An ad impression is one successful ad call – one ad loading on a webpage is one ad impression. This is what is meant most of the time when the word impression is used (including when calculating CPMs), however it is important to differentiate from a page impression, which refers to when the webpage itself loads.
Although it is simple enough once you get it, everyone struggles to keep this concept straight to begin with. To illustrate – if there are three ads on one webpage, when the whole page loads successfully then that would count as one page impression but three ad impressions.
Therefore if you have a website with three ads on every page, and a site which has 10,000 page views per month, you could have up to 30,000 Ad Impressions per month.
Note that you could have up to 30,000, as not every ad will load every time a webpage loads. This could be for many reasons, including:
- Users closing or moving away from a page too fast for all the ads to load
- Ad blockers
- Broken Ad Calls (as in no ad is shown for some reason)
It may sound like these are rare occurrences, but in fact it is likely up to 30% of potential Ad Impressions will be lost this way.
On top of that, it is often likely your fill rate will not be 100% either, so you cannot bank on selling every ad impression you generate.
What it looks like
Click to enlarge
Other names for Ad Impression (synonyms)
Impression (usually, but not always – it’s what meant most of the time), Ad call (sort of – a successful ad call = an ad impression)
It’s the opposite of (antonyms)
Broken Ad Call (sort of)
Not to be confused with
Page Impression, Viewable Impression
Find out more
Author: Justin Driskill
Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.