Average display advertising clickthrough rates

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
6 min read

US, Europe and Worldwide display ad clickthrough rates statistics summary

I’ve put this compilation together to greatly help marketers and students studying interactive marketing create direct response conversion models for digital marketing campaigns.

When I originally compiled these stats from different sources, social media ads were only within their infancy, however they are actually established as a mainstay of internet marketing. More recently I’ve added a comparison of CTRs for Facebook and Twitter and paid search rates (AdWords or SEM) by the end of post.

If you are looking to obtain additional from your own display advertising we’ve reduced members’ paid media playbook.

Display Ad CTR benchmarks – January 2018 update

Through 2018 we update our statistics summaries with the most recent research since it becomes available.

The best source for current benchmarks is Doubleclick (the display advertising section of Google) who’ve this regularly updated interactive Display Benchmarking tool within Think Insights. It is possible to select by country, sector and ad format to generate your personal benchmarks. Google no more update this monthly. During our last update the most recent figures were for last April. Here’s our summary of current global Ad CTRs:

1. Overall Display Ad CTRs

Across all ad formats and placements Ad CTR is merely 0.05%

So, that is just than 5 clicks per 10000 impressions showing the issue of driving direct response from online display or banner ads.

While it is a suprisingly low CTR, nevertheless, you consider it, cross media optimisation research we’ve seen show that online ads do assist in brand awareness and buy intent, particularly if coupled with offline media. It isn’t the case that most ad viewers have ‘banner blindness’ and so are unaware of ads which are viewable placements. If this were the case, businesses wouldn’t spend money on the amount of display and programmatic ads they do.

Tests from famous brands Dynamic Logic and Millward Brown conclusively show that display ads also encourage site visits (viewthroughs) and searches even where people don’t select ads.

We also see higher CTRs online for other online ad formats like Google AdWords and Facebook – these can exceed 1%, so can be far better in driving volume and in addition routinely have higher intent, so conversions are higher.

2. Rich media CTRs

Rich media Ad CTR is 0.1%

Across standard and rich media, this shows an ad clickthrough rate of 0.14% that is more realistic estimate if ads will undoubtedly be positioned on the fold. For Smart Insights advertisers you can expect an MPU in the proper sidebar above-the-fold which includes a typical CTR of 0.15 to 0.22% according to the creative and content asset available.

3. Ad CTR trends 

This chart, also from Google-Doubleclick implies that the 0.1% CTR has been the average for quite a while even though recent fluctuations cast doubt on the info accuracy.

Trends in Ad Clickthrough rate

For anyone researching trends in display advertising in various countries or sectors you could attempt the Doubleclick Ad Research page – these reports don’t are usually updated so frequently though.

Social media ad clickthrough rates – an assessment of Facebook and Twitter CTRs

Wordstream have posted a fascinating analysis comparing Facebook and Twitter. It’s generally known that Facebook has low CTRs because ad units aren’t that prominent – it’s similar with LinkedIn. Although that is changing as more prominent ad units are manufactured, particularly on mobile.


You can browse the full analysis from Larry Kim on Facebook vs Twitter CTRs on Wordstream with a wider analysis of the significance of these advertising including mobile.

There can be newer 2017 research Facebook Ad CTR from WordStream’s Facebook advertising customers showing that across sectors clickthrough rates (CTRs) change from around 0.5% to 1.6%.

Pay-per-click or SEM clickthrough rates (e.g. AdWords and Bing)

These statistics are thanks to the Adobe Digital Index reports, published annually because of their customers across 200 billion site visits.

paid search (AdWords) clickthrough rates

Of course, these figures are averages and the truth is, CTRs are generally higher for brand searches.

We likewise have an assessment of Google Clickthrough rates by position.

4. Comparison of display, search (AdWords) and social ads CTRs

This comparison of average online media clickthrough rates from Marin pays to for modelling the response of digital media for top-level budgets.Search vs social vs ad CTRs

Facebook ad clickthrough rates by sector

Facebook offers different types of ad formats with different goals will naturally vary in response as these retail Facebook ads from. You can view that Facebook ad CTRs which might be more highly targeted that display ads have significantly higher CTRs, particularly for To generate leads (i.e. adding subscribers to a retailers email list) and Dynamic Product ads (retargeting visitors who’ve already visited a niche site with relevant offers).  

Wordstream likewise have these summary Facebook ad CTRs by sector:

These Facebook Ad CTRs for various kinds of ad formats are extracted from a test run by Smart Insights contributor Marie Page. They show that through the use of targeting in Facebook it is possible to improve on general Internet ad clickthough rates.

Boosted vs Promoted post vs ad results

The challenge of online ad viewabililty

Viewability is another issue for advertisers to take into account when evaluating online ad effectiveness as measured by clickthrough rates. Ad blocking also offers an impact since ad blockers have increased in popularity across countries and demographics, accounting for 35% of ads in a few countries.

Viewability identifies the percentage of ads in a campaign or on a publisher site which are potentially designed for clickthrough. Just 44.9% of most ads are clickable in accordance with Google-published viewability data since ads could be below the fold and users usually do not scroll to see them. This varies across publisher and content category.


Given the impact of viewability and ad blocking on online ad clickthrough rates you can view there are moves in the market to only charge for viewable ads, which with increasing choices for native advertising will potentially enhance the effectiveness of ads.

Variation in online ad clickthrough rates by country

This is historic data for reference – for the most recent utilize the interactive Display benchmarking tool.

Region Overall Click-through Rate Percent (%)
North America
Canada 0.09%
United States 0.10%
Austria 0.11%
Belgium 0.13%
Denmark 0.12%
Finland 0.05%
France 0.12%
Germany 0.11%
Greece 0.17%
Ireland 0.10%
Italy 0.10%
Luxembourg 0.09%
Netherlands 0.14%
Norway 0.11%
Spain 0.12%
Sweden 0.08%
Switzerland 0.12%
United Arab Emirates 0.18%
United Kingdom 0.07%
Australia 0.07%
China 0.12%
Hong Kong 0.17%
India 0.18%
Malaysia 0.30%


Source: DoubleClick for Advertisers, a cross portion of regions, January and December 2009, Published July 2010

For latest data see Doubleclick Display Ad Benchmark Statistics.

Variation in online ad Clickthrough Rates by ad format

Ad clickthrough rate naturally varies in accordance with placement (position on screen) and ad format (size and shape). The original full-banner performs very poorly in comparison to skyscrapers, the ubiquitous medium rectangle and the newer large rectangle format.

Variation in online ad Interaction Rates by ad format

Interaction rates differ for different ad formats similarly to ad formats.

Interaction rate definition:

Interactions are thought as an individual does a number of of the next:

  • Mouses on the ad for 1 continuous second
  • Clicks an Exit link
  • Makes the ad display completely Screen mode
  • Expands the ad
David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

Leave a Comment