The Cost of Banner Advertising – Trends and Analysis

We have compiled benchmark rates from past years by amalgamating data from multiple advertisers. These numbers are useful to get an idea of what ads might cost based upon actual experience of other advertisers.

Historical Cost of Banner Advertising
Metric 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Cost per
mille (CPM)
$1.71 $1.06 $0.85 $0.86 $0.91
Sample Size:
33 million 62 million 1,150
270 million 360 million
Clicks 257,095 343,000 4.4
750,000 670,000
Click Through Rate (CTR) 0.78% 0.55% 0.39% 0.28% 0.18%
Average Position 1.1 1.4 1.4 2.2 2.4
48,800 50,000 950,000 110,000 60,000
Invalid Click Rate 19% 15% 21% 15% 9%
Aggregate PPC data for a portfolio of several dozen clients

Because our advertisers and their goals change from year to year, some changes may be due to internal reasons, rather than external market conditions. Please be careful when drawing conclusions from this data. In 2016 we saw a continuing trend toward remarketing on the Google Display Network. By targeting users who had expressed an interest in the topic, click through rates increased, impression consumed decreased, and the advertising became more profitable for both the buyers and the sellers. Another recent trend is that we have stopped custom designing banner ads. Instead we have been using Google’s image ad building and responsive ad builder tools to rapidly create ads. We have found that these ads outperform custom designed ads. In addition, they cost less to produce and avoid production delays.