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Published on

December 8, 2018



We recently had the pleasure of hosting the first webcast in our 2018 webinar series – It’s Already Tomorrow. Last week’s topic was “What’s Next for Paid Search?” If you missed the webinar, tune in here. Due to such a great response, we weren’t able to get to all the questions that came in and followed up with many via email. The question that came in below though was too good not to re-share. Do any other advertisers struggle with this issue?

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Q: How to improve “Search lost IS rank”?

First, let’s talk about impression share. Impression share is the total number of impressions received divided by the estimated impressions you were eligible to receive. This is based on your ad’s bids, targeting and quality scores.

There are many different types of impression shares. There is display impression share, search impression share, search lost impression share (budget), display lost impression share (budget), search exact match impression share among others. The impression share we will be focusing on is, search lost impression (rank).

Search lost impression (rank) is the impressions you lost because of low ad rank.

Rank for impression share is calculated by Max CPC * Quality Score, and your QS can be found at the keyword-level if you add in the column for it (under attributes, I believe). This is the formula that Google uses to “place” your ad among competitors in the ad auction – and what can make or break how many impressions you get. So, when you have a lot of IS lost to rank, you need to deal with either 1) Your Bids or 2) Your Quality Score.

I would recommend that you start looking through your account, and download a keyword report. Try averaging your quality score based on the number of impressions in your trouble areas. How does it look? If it is VERY low in some areas – consider if you even need the keyword or that ad group. If not, turn it off to bump up your overall average quality score.

Google, search loss

Related: Three Essential Scripts for SEM Campaigns

Basically, don’t be weighed down by the stuff you don’t really need or don’t have much hope of improving significantly. If the impressions from a particular keyword, ad group or campaign are important to your business but are lower than average, you need to work on improving your quality score for that area.

Quality score is made up of three things: ad relevance to the keyword set, landing page experience/relevance and expected or historical CTR, number of click. As you can see, it’s easiest to deal with #1 and #2 first, and then #3 – and improved CTR – will follow.

If you have strong quality scores, but you’re still losing IS due to rank, it’s likely your bidding. Try inching up your bid by a certain percentage every 2 days to see how impression share improves overtime. I like to be aggressive with bidding changes, so I will often go for a 20-30% increase right away to see if that helps move the needle.

Do you have more PPC campaign or strategy questions? Contact us today and see an immediate increase in conversions, paid traffic, organic search and much more. Here’s how we help.

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