Measuring reach and frequency

By analyzing reach and frequency data, you can find out how many people saw your ads and how many times they saw them over a certain period of time. Reach is the number of unique customers exposed to a particular advertisement during a specified period of time. Frequency is the minimum number of times a unique user saw your ad over a given time period.

Daily, weekly, and monthly reach and frequency data is available for all Display Network Cost-per-thousand impression CPM campaigns, as well as Display Network Cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns that are using interest-based advertising and/or frequency capping. Reporting is available from September 1, 2011 to the present.

See reach and frequency data

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Click the Dimensions tab. If you want to run the report for a specific campaign or ad group, click its name in the side panel.
  4. Click View in the toolbar above the table, then click Reach and frequency. You can choose whether to view daily, weekly, or monthly statistics. View: reach and frequency
  5. To download the data in a report, click the download button Download Icon in the toolbar above the table.

How does Google calculate reach and frequency?

Google calculates the estimated frequency by obtaining data from a sample group. This data is then applied to the full set of impressions to determine the estimated reach.

For example, let's say customers from the sample group saw the ad an average of two times each, and there were 500 total impressions for the ad. The reach is calculated by dividing 500 by two to determine a reach of 250 unique users.  (Note that AdWords minimizes the possibility that anyone is counted twice, including those who reset their cookies.)

Did you know...

You might be surprised to see decimals in your Unique users, Clicks, and Conversions columns, like this:

1,809,601.18

Because the estimated frequency is based on sample group data, the estimation of unique users, and their subsequent clicks, isn't always a whole number.

About frequency capping

If you turn on frequency capping for a campaign, you specify a limit to the number of impressions you'll allow per day, per week, or per month for an individual on the Google Display Network. You also choose whether the limit applies to each ad, ad group, or campaign. Frequency capping doesn't apply to the Search Network. Setting a frequency cap can be helpful if you want to limit the number of times someone sees your ad, or if you want to focus more on gaining exposure to new people. You may want to note the following:

  • A change to frequency capping, such as a change from a cap of two to three, can take up to a day to take effect.
  • Although it's uncommon, a slight server delay can result in the frequency cap that you've set being exceeded.
  • You can use data from the CTR and Conversion rate columns of your frequency report to help guide you on where to set the cap.

Next steps