What are Unique Impressions? Why Are They Important?

Reading time: 4 minutes

There are many metrics that business owners and their marketing teams need to follow regarding advertising campaigns. These analytics can change how you run and market your business as they convey consumer responses, making them more than worth your undivided attention.

It’s important to stress that “impressions” differ from “reach.” Reach refers to the number of people who have seen your ad, while impressions refer to the number of times your ad has been displayed on a screen. So, you can see how these numbers are different and how each is important, but there’s another layer to the impressions factor: “unique impressions.” 

Why is the Unique Impression Metric Important?

Essentially, a unique impression[3] is the first time a user sees an ad within a 24-hour timespan. To specify, due to ad refresh[4] technologies, if a consumer notices your ad three times within 24 hours, the second impression will not count as unique until the next 24-hours begin. 

Unique impressions are vital because they can help marketing teams and publishers pinpoint the value of inventory[7] space and ad set. Unique impressions are one of the best ways to evaluate the eCPM[1] or the effective cost per thousand ad impressions. 

This beneficial metric assists in establishing how much eCPM occurs because of refreshed ads and how much is due to first impressions. Also, unique impressions are a fantastic aid for comparing products and services.

You have to know the effect of your inventory choice on your targeted demographic, and unique impressions are more than willing to provide that information. Unique impressions create a fair comparison overall, helping you make your business decisions based on real-time, accurate data and understanding which inventory method works best.

Calculating Unique Impression CPM

Understanding how to calculate unique impression CPM[2] gives you one of the best tools possible to grow your revenue by utilizing essential marketing information. Everything you need is right on your analytics dashboard, but the knowledge is irrelevant if you don’t know the proper calculations. 

If you want to calculate your unique impression CPM correctly, you can use the following formula.

Total Revenue/Unique Impressions x 1000 = Unique Impressions CPM

Utilizing this formula will help you gain insight into your unique impressions, giving the information needed to gauge performance[5]. Overall impressions are essential as well, but unique impressions offer a deeper level of information that will allow you to adjust your ad set as needed. 

Unique Impressions and Refreshed Impressions

Those in the ad tech[8] industry understand that refreshed impressions and ad refreshes are not the best way to gauge ad results and performance. They’re not a solution to the problem at hand, which is how many people are uniquely seeing your ads for the first time within 24 hours. 

Refresh impressions throw out statistics that are great for overall views, but they aren’t able to give the broken-down knowledge necessary to help you accurately determine your audience and what they’re seeing. Unique impressions, however, let you know who is visiting your ads and how often, and this information can provide you with real insight into who exists within your target audience. 

Static inventory often appears in animation, images, or videos, and due to consumer engagement statistics, static inventory is popular. Not only do these advertising methods catch the attention of the potential customer, but advertisers usually lower the PPC cost of every static ad that’s refreshed, which means the ad publisher[9] (you) will save money.

You need to know how much time users spend on your website. You can’t do that by constantly rotating inventory, as it negatively affects revenue and decreases the value that particular inventory has to your specific business. 

Unique impressions give a more detailed version of who sees your ads. However, auto-refreshed ads might be a fantastic solution for business owners who stick to the best industry practices and have consumers spending more time than usual on their respective websites. 

In the same sense, static inventory can also be beneficial to you as it enhances the user experience. Consumers love content that inspires and draws them in visually, so there’s the potential to save money on clicks and catch customer attention at the same time. The trick to implementing static inventory correctly is to ensure that you’re pulling the unique impressions out of them. 

The most important part of analytics, unique impressions included, is to see how users interact with your website. The length of time they spend, the buttons they click, and the content that catches their attention are crucial to helping you understand how to make your site better. 

For example, if your content is heavy visually, static inventory is the suitable method for you. Static inventory will help you monetize your site and gauge how users interact because you’re utilizing the proper ad inventory[6] for your advertising preferences. 

Regardless, website and business owners consider refreshed impressions while calculating total revenue. Total revenue is the sum of refreshed impression revenue and unique impression revenue combined. It’s all about studying which solution works the best for your particular ad set and your company and then moving forward from there. Most companies conduct ad testing, which will help them establish how they should advertise and which metrics serve them. 

Final Thoughts

There’s no question that refreshed impressions can help ad publishers make more revenue and see more traffic. However, relying on a metric that allows for the consistent refreshing of ads without holding unique views above the rest isn’t easy. All marketing teams and business owners should pay attention to the first metric of ad impressions, the unique impression. 

As the ad tech industry becomes more technical, its ad publishers have to meticulously keep track of their metrics and analytics. If you don’t have a clue as to how your ad units perform, how can you make any room for improvement? Unique ad impressions are available to help you optimize your ad set inventory according to which method works for you. 

1. Effective Cost Per Thousand Impression [eCPM] ( eCPM ) eCPM is known as the effective cost per thousand impressions and is a metric used by publishers to determine the actual rate they’re earning from their ad inventory. eCPM is calculated by taking your (total ad earnings/impressions) x 1000.
2. Cost Per Mille/Thousand [CPM] ( CPM ) Cost per mille, or thousand (mille = thousand in Latin). A pricing model in which advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their advertisement served. This is the standard basic pricing model for online advertising. See also CPC and CPA.
3. impression. Impression is when a user views an ad on a page or when an ad is displayed on a webpage.
4. ad refresh. This is when a publisher reloads ads on a page at an every 30, 60, 90 seconds or even a custom setting.
5. performance. A form of advertising in which the purchaser pays only when there are measurable results.

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