Difference between Impressions and Clicks

eugene koplyk Eugene Koplyk 05/08/2021 3 min read


  1. Impressions. What does it mean?
  2. Clicks. Connection with impressions
  3. Clicks vs. impressions 
  4. Google analytics impressions vs clicks

Ad impressions vs. clicks is a game, which you can win only by experimenting and taking risks.

When we start talking about things like engagement, pay-per-click advertising, and how to measure it, most often we hear the word “click”. But for better or for worth clicks are not everything, especially when we come to “impressions”. So, impressions vs clicks - is a long-time discussion, and what are they in the nutshell, you can find out below. 

Impressions. What does it mean?

Impressions are something that is usually before the clicks. To get a click, firstly you have to be shown to the user. The exact moment when you see an advertisement is called an impression.


And, yes, impressions can also be and should be counted. This basic measurement is called CPM (Cost Per Mille), which means a particular amount of money for every thousand impressions.

Clicks. Connection with impressions 

As you can logically understand, click is every time somebody’s clicking on the ad, thereby following the link and increasing the chances to make conversions out of clicks and get more leads. That is why clicks are often considered more crucial than impressions. 


However, don’t forget that both clicks and impressions are often a part of a funnel, where clicks become a continuation of impressions, and conversions become a continuation of clicks. The clicks also have their own calculation - CPC or Cost Per Click. It works the same way as with impressions. You pay to the ad for each time a user clicks. 

Clicks vs. impressions 

Now, the difference between clicks and impressions is evident, clicks are showing an engagement of people when impressions are only adjusting a number of users, who view-through an ad. The logical question will be: “Who needs impressions, then?” The thing is counting impressions helps to identify the final cost of your campaign, and knowing the number of impressions, you can approximately say how many clicks you will get. 

Google analytics impressions vs clicks

On a par with CPM, there is a term like OCPM - Optimized Cost Per Mile. OCPM appeared because Google impressions vs clicks aren’t the only way how viewer’s clicks are transferred into conversions. The problem is that CPM reveals your ad to the first any users that won’t necessarily click on it. Unlike CPM, OCPM filters the users and makes its own research on them. 

Typically, OCPM means collaboration with Facebook, which in their term signifies opposition to Google and Facebook. When you pay for impressions or clicks to Facebook, it finally appears that OCPM becomes more productive, but still more pricey. You just have to understand that when you utilize CPM, it is much cheaper and, at the same time, less effective. 

Google analytics

Also, among other pros and cons, about adwords impressions vs clicks, it should be noted that by using Facebook you give much of the control to the platform. Statistically, this action showed better results than CPM, but still if you are not ready to back on Facebook algorithms, and prefer to distribute money on your own - CPM is your option. 

Finally, in a click vs impression war, take into account that Facebook isn’t the only analytical platform. Here we come back one more time to CPC vs CPM. The scheme of actions will be the same, the main thing is not to forget about the key points of optimization, so as not to squander your entire budget. If you want to become a real impression vs click guru, don’t hesitate to test unusual keywords and strategies. While testing, don’t leave tracking quality scores, and, of course, try to target specific locations and groups.  

eugene koplyk
Eugene Koplyk
Head of Marketing department
As a Digital Strategist, I help companies grow their business online. Here share my expertise, ideas, and best practices on Ecommerce marketing initiatives, branding, SEO, conversion and many more. If you want to stay connected, follow me on LinkedIn.
clicks vs impressions