The Importance of Impressions: Why They Matter More as Clicks Decline

Clicks have long been the holy grail of search engine optimisation. Getting users to click your link and visit your website is a core objective. However, with the rise of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and AI-powered features, we might see a decrease in clicks, especially for informational searches.

SGE provides users with answers directly within search results, thanks to AI insights. This builds on existing features like rich snippets and FAQs but takes it a step further. Users might find the information they need without ever needing to click through to your website.

This shift in user behaviour makes impressions, an often-overlooked metric, more important than ever. Impressions tell you how many times your website appeared in search results, offering valuable insights into your brand visibility and overall search performance.

Tracking Impressions: A Breeze with Google Search Console

Google Search Console offers a wealth of data for website owners, including impression data alongside key metrics like page performance, indexing status, and keyword insights. Monitoring impressions gives you a clear picture of how often your website is showing up in search results.

(Google Search Console Example)

Google Search Console Example

SGE and AI: Reshaping Search

SGE represents a significant leap forward for online information retrieval and SEO practices. It underscores the importance of crafting diverse, engaging content across various formats. This caters to user preferences and enhances their search experience, ultimately leading to better search ranking for your website. As SGE continues to evolve, its influence on how we search for and consume information online will undoubtedly grow.

Why Impressions Take Centre Stage

As Google transforms the search landscape, users will likely find answers directly within search results. This means clicks won’t be the sole measure of a website’s success. However, creating informative content remains crucial. Your content will still be visible in search results, albeit in a different format. Here’s where impressions become vital. They show how many users saw your brand, even if they didn’t click through.

A recent Search Engine Land article highlights this shift. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes AI-powered answers will improve advertising, suggesting a move away from the traditional “blue links” we’re used to.

While clicks might decrease for specific content formats like FAQs, the importance of fresh, valuable content remains constant. By monitoring impression data, you can stay ahead of the curve and ensure your brand maintains high visibility in the evolving search landscape.

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