In simple terms, impressions for organic traffic or SEO means the total number of times a page is seen on the search engines. This figure is not the same as the total number of unique people who saw your page on the search engines.
One person can view your page on the search engine multiple times. Each time a query is searched, the impression is recorded.
Impressions are reported in the Google Search Console or other similar tools for each respective search engine.
What Constitutes Impressions?
For an impression to be reported, a user does not have to scroll to a particular result as it shows on the SERP. As long as the page loads, impression will be reported.
For example, let’s assume I search for this query on Google – who is the best Rapper in the world?
In return, Google shows me 10 websites on the SERP that provides answers. The ten pages loaded would count as impressions even if I do not scroll to that point.
However, sites on page 2 of the SERP would not record any impression for my search. In this instance, until I click page 2 to see the result before impressions can count for those results.
In essence, a user does not have to see all the results on a page to report impressions.
Image Impression In SEO
As explained above, impression works in a similar with images on search engines.
When a query is searched, every image on the viewable limit of a user is reported as an impression for each of them.
Unlike webpages limited to just 10 results per page, image searches show much more. This explains why image impressions report on the Google Search Console is usually very high.
In addition, images that show on the webpage SERP still count as impressions.
Impressions vs Clicks: What’s The Difference?
Impressions are the total number of times a page is seen on the Search Engine while Clicks are the number of times a user clicks a page on the SERP.
Typically, impressions are always more than clicks. Users naturally consider many options before they settle for one click.
Importance of Impressions To Organic Traffic
Find below the importance of Impressions in SEO.
Impressions are a good sign that page is indexed and can be viewed by users on the search engine. Every publisher or blogger who has created any awesome content would love their content indexed and viewed by unique users on the search engine.
SEO Metric Inspired By Search Engine Impressions
One key metric that is a product of Impressions from Search Engine is Click-Through-Rate (CTR).
CTR is the percentage of how many clicks a page gets out the total number of times it was seen.
Hence, the formula for CTR is Clicks/Impressions X 100.
Learn more about CTR and how it relates to SEO.
In addition, clicks are born out of impressions. One can click on a search engine result only when they see it. Hence, organic Impressions are prerequisite to clicks.
Final Thought On Organic Impressions
To recap, organic impressions for traffic are the total number of times a page is seen on the Search Engine Result Pages.
For images, it is the number of times an image is seen on SERP.
Clicks are the total number of times a page is clicked while impressions are the total number of times a page is seen on the Search Engine Result Page.