Mobile App Terminology simply explained

What Are Ad Impressions?

Ad impressions are the number of times an ad is viewed on a given network or publisher’s app. These can be both unique and nonunique, indicating to the advertiser how many users have seen an ad or how many times an ad has been displayed.
Key Takeaways
  • Impressions only indicate the number of times a user views your ad, not their engagement with an ad
  • Impressions can be both unique and nonunique 
  • The amount of revenue generated by an ad impression is measured by eCPM

Why Are Ad Impressions Important?

As you might already know, there’s no such thing as a perfect metric. Impressions might tell you how often your ad has been served, but they can’t tell you how many users have engaged with your ad.

Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that ad impressions are a crucial metric that form the foundation of other important mobile marketing metrics.

  • Impressions give us greater insights into how our ads are performing within a particular channel. From this metric, you can grasp just how significant an advertising channel’s reach is.
  • It’s essential for advertisers to know how many impressions an ad generates to understand the cost of a cost per mille (CPM) campaign.
  • Impressions are the key metric when calculating effective cost per mille (eCPM), which is the model used to pay publishers. Your eCPM tells you how much you are monetizing your traffic for. 

Knowing the number of impressions is necessary to accurately calculate metrics such as click-through rate (CTR).

Ad Clicks vs Impressions: Which Is More Important?

Unfortunately, we can’t rely on impressions alone to track the performance of our app. 

Engagement is always the highest goal in advertising, and clicks can measure this far more effectively than impressions can. A click indicates that your ad was enticing enough for the viewer to take action – for example, to install a game or app. If you want to attribute a metric to your conversions and traffic, you should look at your CTR. This will give you a good idea of how well your ad performed and converted.

How Do You Improve Impressions?

Are your ads not performing as well as you’d like them to? Are you falling short on your KPIs? 

There could be a whole host of reasons why users aren’t responding to your ads the way you’d like. Here’s a short checklist of actionable next steps to take if you want to optimize how your ads perform:

1. Optimize and increase bids to the users and ad formats that perform the strongest.

2. Use the best-performing ad sizes, formats, and placements – you’ll get insights into what works best through A/B testing

creative showing ad impressions and app users viewing an ad on their phone screen


To summarize briefly, impressions are a crucial metric to take into consideration when you track your campaign’s performance. They can tell you how many users are seeing your ads and the absolute number of times your ad is shown. They are an indicator of how much your traffic is worth.


What Is an Ad Impression?

It measures the number of times your ad is shown to a user.

How Do You Know if an Ad Is Working?

Your ad is effective if it carries your users to the next stage of your marketing funnel. This can be calculated through click-through rates, viewable impressions, and ad clicks.

How Are Ad Impressions Counted?

Most platforms count impressions every time an ad starts to load on a user’s device. In contrast, viewable impressions are counted when an ad plays for a minimum period of time.

Why Are Ad Impressions Important?

They provide a simple and easy-to-understand representation of how many people see your ads within a given campaign, audience segment, or channel.

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