In 2018 Google released impression share bidding and now Microsoft have followed suit.

Whilst impression is not the most popular bidding strategy, it does have its place in a marketing campaign. However, before we dive into its uses – what exactly is impression share?

What is impression share?

Impression share is the number of impressions your ads received vs the number of ads you could have received. The two factors that determine this are the competitiveness of your bidding and the size of your budget.

If you have a sky-high budget and are willing to bid high all the time, your impression share would be very high.

What does this mean?

Impression share is really a reflection of your percentage visibility in the market. However impressions are not conversions so it is worth considering these two together, to help make sure you are hitting your conversion business goals, and not just accruing a high number of impressions.

When should I use impression share?

  • Brand bidding – Where brand visibly is paramount – but at what cost?
  • Competitor Bidding – Big vs Small 
  • Consistency in the auction. If you have high value search users that you want on your website you may want to make sure you show at the top of the page routinely to ensure you get this high-value traffic. 
  • New Content category benchmarking where you want a certain amount of reach. Benchmarking — be at the top for searches regardless of conversions. Market entry.
  • Affiliate links – targeting keywords that you know convert, but without being able to feed conversions into the platform

How to use target impression share

To select this strategy you need to:

  1. Go to Bid Strategy
  2. Go to drop-down and choose Target Impression Share
  3. Choose where you want your ads to appear. You can get impressions on page 1 or at the very top. Consider your priorities here.


To sum up, with target impression share now available on Microsoft, it is important to understand how and when you should be using it. Knowing this is important to help increase your ad visibility and to stay on top of your competitors, which all-in-all helps you increase your traffic and conversion volumes on your site.

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