Whether you are doing Paid Ads (Facebook ads, Google Ads), SEO organic), there are some important concepts that keep coming back.

IMPRESSIONS
This indicates the number that your asset is shown. However it says nothing about whether the user has visited the asset* (=clicked on it).

*Asset is depending on the traffic source/tool you are looking at.
Asset can be: an ad, an entry in SERP, …

CLICKS

An impression is a pre-step for a click.
Whether someone clicks will depend on many factors:
– message (speaks to the user, triggers an emotion, …)
– visual (outstanding, appealing, touching, …)
– the mood of the visitor
– the priorities of the visitor
….

CONVERSIONS

This is the moment where we as asset owner, attach a kind of value to the click (and impression).
Often we think about a financial conversion, though it does not have to be that way.

Could be:
– a subscription (newsletter, …)
– a quote request
– an order (= money)
– could also be just something “anonymous”: clicking to another page, scrolling to the top, ..
Anonymous, in the sense later on we cannot identify the user
– ….

CAMPAIGNS
This is the activity of deliberately driving traffic to an asset in order to obtain a goal. Mostly the goal is to drive (financial) conversions, but could also be impressions and/or clicks.
Different types can be distinguished:
– branding campaign (focus is on as much impressions as possible)
Think of “Coca Cola” just want to build a positive image.
– click campaign (focus is on as much clicks as possible)
Think about when you want to optimize a landing page: you could drive lots of traffic to the page and analyze afterwards (where did people click, did they scroll to the bottom, … ).
FYI: One could use tools as Google Analytics, Hotjar, … to analyze it.
– conversion campaign (focus is on as much clicks as possible).
Think about wanting to very accurate monitor if you put X€ in, you want to get Y€ out.

Most Ad platforms will offer those types (or a combination). By offering those, their (secret / complex) algorithm will balance: your goal (clicks, conversions, impressions), their goal (financial optimization), the end-users need.

Examples

Below are examples where we can see those concepts in action.

In the Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) we can see Impressions / Clicks.

In Google Analytics: you can see the Clicks and Conversions (if you configured those conversions/goals).

In Google Ads/Facebook Ads: you can see Impressions, Clicks, Conversions.