The Relationship Between Impressions and Frequency

To grow a successful business practice in today’s digital landscape, being able to manage an effective online advertising strategy is critical. However, to ensure your business sees a positive return on investment, it’s important to know how to optimize your campaigns for the best chance of success.

During the lifecycle of an advertising campaign, there are several key metrics businesses can track to understand the effectiveness of their campaigns over time. Two of these metrics are impressions and frequency, and both of them are essential to driving new business opportunities while staying within advertising budgets.

What Are Ad Impressions?

Ad impressions are measurements showing how often a specific advertisement is served to an individual or group of users. Without discrimination, impression counts are verified by the number of times an advertisement displays on a desktop or mobile application, regardless if they are seen by the same user more than once. Impressions are essential to track, helping companies ensure their campaigns are getting the desired amount of exposure.

Calculating the number of ad impressions you receive during the life of a marketing campaign can help identify a couple of important factors. First, a smaller-than-expected amount of impressions could be the result of poor keyword optimization. Since digital advertisements are typically served through the use of keyword recognition from search terms, a low impression count could mean you’re not targeting the right keyword groups. Second, low impression counts can help to identify inadequate marketing budgets as competitive advertisements may be outbidding your campaigns, causing a lack of user visibility.

How to Improve Ad Impressions

To improve ad impressions, it is important to make sure your ads are engaging to the right users. Utilizing targeted keywords that are frequently searched can help boost impressions. It is important to use a mix of specific and general key phrases to ensure you are casting a wide net for audience attention.  The more universal your ad is, the more impressions that it will encounter. 

Ad Impressions vs Clicks

Just because someone may view your ad doesn’t necessarily mean they will click on it. A click typically signifies a user is engaging with the ad, so the ad is relevant to them. This is one of the most important metrics of ad performance. A click signifies that an ad grabbed their attention and enticed them to learn more. 

What Is Ad Frequency?

While ad impressions track the number of times an advertisement is served, ad frequency tracks the amount of times an advertisement is served to the same users. Frequency is an important measurement because it enables companies to establish essential benchmarks on optimal levels of exposure for each of their ads served to the same customers.

A common misconception about advertising campaigns is that as long as your ads are serving, you’re moving in the right direction. While impressions are the starting point of any successful campaign, if you don’t have a bearing on how often the ads are being served to the same customers, you’ll have no way of tracking the effectiveness of their call to action.

Ad Frequency and Relevance

Many people starting out in digital marketing campaigns assume the more a customer sees an ad the better. However, that’s not always the best-case scenario. Certain digital ad platforms, like Facebook and Google, monitor how many times an ad is exposed to a user and whether or not the user engages with it. This can affect your ad’s relevancy scores. An ad that is not relevant to a user will  stop being shown to a user. In digital marketing, it’s all about striking a balance between the perfect amount an ad is shown to a user.

How to Lower Ad Frequency

Depending on the platform and type of ad, the ideal frequency of a user seeing an ad is about two to three times. Much more than that will cause the ad to get a low relevancy score if the user doesn’t engage with the ad. Make sure your ad is being shown to relevant users and it has a good placement on whichever digital platform you are using. 

Another way to lower your frequency is to adjust the length of the campaign you’re running. If you’ve been running the same banner ad on google for the last four or five months, it’s definitely time to switch it up. It’s important too to make sure your ad is dynamic, engaging, and creative, so it can better speak to users the first time it’s seen.

Make sure you have your existing leads clearly identified so you can directly target them. By specifying your target market, you ensure your ad gets circulated less and you get more clicks instead.

How to Measure the Success of Your Advertising

Combining the analysis of ad impressions and frequency gives practices the ability to fine-tune their advertisements to achieve the best results. Tracking the type of customers your ads reach and how many times an ad needs to run before your customer takes action will help you to make better-informed decisions on the format of the advertisement and how large of an advertising investment you’re willing to make.

Ortho Sales Engine is a marketing platform specifically designed for orthodontic practices looking to get the most value out of their advertising campaigns. Through online ad management services and active lead acquisition processes, Ortho Sales Engine can help you optimize your marketing strategies while improving your ROI.

Ortho Sales Engine specializes in marketing solutions for orthodontists, combines more than 20 in-house services to create customized, repeatable marketing systems, and serves as a trusted partner to doctors and their teams. To learn more or schedule a free consultation, visit