In this new article series, I’ll review important analytics that you should know to help your digital presence. My focus here is on impressions and impressions click-through rate.

An impression counts when your content is exposed to a user. A single user can count for multiple impressions if the user was exposed to the same content multiple times. Impressions do not consider if a user engaged with the content. For example, a YouTube impression is counted when your video’s thumbnail shows up on a viewer’s screen.

An impression is different from reach, but can be considered potential reach. If you have a large amount of impressions, a channel considers that content to be relevant to a large amount of viewers and will present it more often.

Impressions click-through rate represents the percentage of impressions that turned into views. For example, a viewer saw your video’s thumbnail and clicked to watch. It is a good way to gauge brand awareness. Note that if someone accesses your video from a direct link, this will not count in this metric as they were not provided with an impression.

As impressions grow, your click-through rate could lower. There becomes a larger chance the impressions are going to viewers that aren’t part of your target audience … and they may be less compelled to click. Also, just because someone clicks on your content doesn’t mean they stay engaged. So use click-through rate in conjunction with other metrics to get a more complete picture of your video performance.