The Difference Between Website Impressions and Clicks

Clicks vs Impressions

if you are an internet user you have probably come across words impressions and clicks. They are both used to determine the effectiveness of an online ad but can you actually distinguish between them?

Website impressions

Impressions can barely be counted as interaction. It is more of a measurement of the number of views of a certain page. An ad loaded in front of the user already counts as an impression. You can’t get clicks before you get impressions. A client first has to see your ad before taking any further actions. Paying for impressions is usually known as CPM – Cost Per Mile. Mile=thousand. For example, you will pay $1.15 CPM, meaning 1000 impressions 1000 real people seeing your ad) on your ads will cost you only $1.15. Or this scheme can work the opposite way – you will be paid for a certain number of impressions: you pull in views and get paid 0-1$ per thousand views.

Ad clicks

Clicks mean more than impressions as this is the next step a user takes with your ad. To get a click a user needs to actually click on your ad and follow the link. As with CPM, using CPC you can either pay or get paid for a certain number of clicks on your advertisement. The CPC advertising also has some kind of filtering. Multiple clicks from the same IP address will only count as one click so your competitors will not be able to drain your budget. Clicks are more important than impressions but still are not conversions yet.

You also can choose to use affiliate ads, meaning you pay for the click but they also track the amount of time the user spends on your website to predict if there will be a conversion. The more time spent – the more you have to pay.


Clicks and impressions are an important measurement of an ad’s success on any online platform, especially on Facebook. There OCPM – Optimized Cost per Mile – is widely used. Facebook actually looks for people who might be interested in your ads so your ad will be more efficient and you will not pay a fortune for it. The drawback of OCPM, however, is that you lose control of your ad and let Facebook make all executive decisions for you. You can choose to use OCPM, CPC, CPM or CPA so that your campaign works the way you want it to work. CPM happens to be the cheapest but also least effective option, OCPM will be more expensive and more effective.

Do it yourself ad optimization

No matter what type of a fixed cost ad you choose, you want to optimize your costs. First, work on your targeting, choose a set of keywords and find the most effective of them, eliminate the negative words so your ad is not associated with them. Use your user’s geo targeting, think of local events, climate, holidays. Test different ad strategies and choose which one works best for you.

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