Reach vs Impressions: The More Important Factor

The moment you start working with various digital marketing platforms, including the SEO and social media platforms; it becomes vital for you to understand and work with analytics.

Be it Google analytics, facebook analytics, twitter, or any other paid or free analysis tools. Analyzing the concept of “Reach” and “impressions” is shared among all.


You too must have come across these two terms reach and impressions. If you want to improve website ranking and also, your working towards brand awareness for improvement of your business, these metrics are critical for you. 


In this article, we will discuss the fundamental difference between Reach and Impressions. Later we will tell their importance and meaning to different social media marketing platforms. Also, we will notify you about the importance of understanding these two terms.

Reach vs Impressions: Difference

Reach and Impressions are quite different from each other. People often are in confusion as both the terms have a relatively different meaning for various social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. In general, both the names can be described as below.


Reach: Reach refers to the total number of individuals who viewed your post, ad, or content. If 250 people have seen your advertisement, then your Reach is counted as 250.

Impressions:  Impressions refers to the total number of times your ad is displayed on people’s screen. If your ad is posted on the user’s screen for 400 times, then your impressions are counted as 400.


This is a general definition. Now we will tell you the meanings of these two matrices from some of the largest platform which is used to improve website ranking.


Facebook defines Reach as the total number of people who see your ads at least ones. Facebook divides reach into three categories.

Organic Reach: The total number of unique people watched your ads organically on Facebook News Feed.

Paid Reach: This defines the total number of individuals who watched a piece of your content that is paid like an ad.

Viral Reach: This factor provides a report of those people who viewed your content because of one of their friends has interacted with your content.


Facebook defines Impressions as the total number of times your ads were seen on other screens. If any unique user has seen your post two times in his/her feed, then impressions are counted as two.


Facebook added that a video is not necessary to be played for impressions to be counted. Then how can you check them for real? For this, Facebook divided the impressions into two categories, namely ‘served” and “viewed.”


Served means the ad has been paid and the system has to deliver it somewhere, where the Viewed impressions are only counted if the user watched your post.


Here the concept is more straight as Twitter doesn’t measure Reach. It only defines the Impressions. It counts impression when any twitter user sees your post in their feeds, conversations, or search results.


Let us take an example that you have 2000 followers on twitter. You post an ad on twitter, and every follower of you sees your post then your impressions are counted as 2000. If you came with a reply to the same and all your followers, see your tweet again then you have a total impression counted as 4000.

Other Platforms


It treats the Reach and Impressions in the same way as that of facebook treats.

Google AdWords 

It calculates the reach in two slightly different ways: cookies based reach and unique reach. Cookies based reach is the same as the traditional way where unique reach counts the reach by eliminating duplicate views.


It calls Impressions as the “story views.” The terms are different, but they measured in the same way by an SEO expert. 

Google Analytics 

Google Analytics, another best platform, also has two different terms in place of reach and impressions. It called them “users and page views.”

The term “Users” track the total number of people who reached your website at least once where the name “Page Views” tells you the total number of pages viewed by visitors on your platform through your campaign.

Which Is Most Important?

Both terms have the importance that you surely understand by reading up. This will depend on your targets and goals to select one of them to focus more.


Tracking impression will help you to know about your ads on a moment-to-moment basis. Suppose you deploy an ad and it immediately gets less to no impressions suggests that there is something wrong.


If you have a lot of reaches and no conversation yet then in this situation reach can help you to figure out troubles.


SEO experts say if you focus on both the terms, then you can quickly know the effectiveness of your ads and programs and can improve website rankings. The following are the benefits of knowing both impressions and reach.

  • This will help you know the frequency(impressions divided reach) of your ads. There are many criteria related to the frequency which will tell about your website rankings and how people are interacting with you.
  • This will also help you better understand the average impressions per user. Great Impression perusers are better for time-sensitive promotions.

Contribute by sharing your thoughts and experience on this topic. Also, do not hesitate to ask about any further queries or doubts.

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