Google Ads, Benchmark Reports

Google Display Ads CPM, CPC, & CTR Benchmarks in Q1 2018

In Q1 2018, we analyzed over 760 million ad impressions and nearly 3 million clicks on the Google Display Network (GDN) to uncover the average CPM, CPC, and CTR for advertisers on the AdStage platform. Compared to last year, we found the average CPM on the GDN increased by 51%, the average CPC increased by 83%, and the average CTR dropped by 27%.

Google Display Network Benchmarks in Q1 2018

In Q1 2018, advertisers spent, on average, $2.80 per thousand impressions (CPM), and $0.75 per click (CPC). The average click-through rate (CTR) on the GDN was 0.35%.


display ads benchmarks


Download the Q1 2018 Paid Search and Paid Social ads Benchmark Report to see results for all the major ad networks.

AdWords Display CPMs on a steady upward trend

After a spike in Q3 2017, when the prices jumped 62.5% from the previous quarter, CPMs haven’t changed much, and continued to grow steadily -- up 12% from last quarter. In Q1 2018, advertisers paid $2.8 dollars per thousand impressions -- a dollar more than at the same time last year.



Cost per click on the Display Network up 83% from last year

After a slight drop in prices at the end of last year, CPCs on the Google Display Network were back up at $0.75 per click in Q1 2018, almost 20 cents more compared to Q4 2017. Based on the trend we saw on the AdStage platform last year, the prices should continue to rise in the first half of 2018.

CTRs likely to stay within 0.3% to 0.5%

For two consecutive quarters, CTRs on the GDN were climbing a few percent up, but dropped to 0.35% in Q1 2018. We expect CTRs to remain within the range of 0.3% to 0.5% in the first half of 2018.



Google Display Network trends in Q1 2018

As you can see, the prices for ads on the Google Display Network keep rising, while the click-through rate is down. We’re seeing a similar trend with the AdWords benchmarks. That means that the competition for placements (and even more so, the audience’s attention) is getting even tougher than before.

New features will help marketers get more granular targeting

The good news is, Google has unveiled a slew of new features over the past year to help marketers scale their ads more effectively. For example, the new custom intent audiences allow you to target people who are in the market for your particular product or service, based on data from your campaigns website, and YouTube channels. You can manually create audiences by mashing your preferred data or let Google do its thing and auto-create custom intent audiences with machine learning. Previously, advertisers could only select predefined audience categories. Combined with custom affinity audiences and in-market audiences, this new targeting option could be game-changing.

For more on how to improve your GDN performance, check out these three powerful tactics for targeting on the Google Display Network. For more information on Q1 2018 paid advertising benchmarks, read our blogs on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, download the full report to view the data across all major paid search and paid social networks.


AdStage Team