Dave, I finally signed up and have a Google AdSense account, but I’m confused by all of the terminology in their reports. For example, what’s a Page Impression versus an Ad Unit Impression? Thanks for any help you can offer.
I’ve written extensively about Google’s AdSense program (read all about Google AdSense). It’s very cool, but, you’re right, it can be very confusing if you’re not used to thinking like a marketing and advertising maven.
Further, they only today announced some changes to their reporting that is intended to clarify exactly what’s what, including what they now call an “Ad Unit Impression”. Let’s start with that, shall we? Here’s how Google explains the difference between a Page Impression and an Ad Unit Impression:
There’s a new option in your reports that allows even more accuracy in your tracking. We’ve introduced the concept of ‘Ad Unit Impressions’ to complement the current ‘Page Impressions’ in your reports.
Until now, your AdSense ‘page impressions’ reflected the number of times the AdSense code was triggered. This meant that multiple ad units on a page would log up to 3 ‘page impressions’ in your reports, when only a single page view had taken place in a user’s browser.
Page impressions are now just that – the number of page views we detect. Ad Unit Impressions are the new name for the old behaviour: one impression logged for each ad unit shown.
Got it? In general, AdSense reports show the following fields of information:
- Page Impression — how many times the page or pages containing the AdSense advertisement was shown to visitors
- Clicks — the number of times someone actually clicked on an advertisement
- Page CTR — the resultant click-thru rate, as a percentage
- Page eCPM — the effective cost per thousand (M = mil, it’s Latin) for your ad space. This is a statistic that only a marketing person could love, so it’s fine if you ignore it, but it can show you what ads / ad units are most valuable, particularly if you use channels
- Your earnings — no explanation needed. Bigger is better.
I hope that helps clarify how to read these Google AdSense reports!