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Display Advertising Metrics

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Display metrics

There are several metrics available to see if your display campaign is successful or not. These include:

  • Impressions: An impression is counted each time your ad is served to your target audience.
  • Clicks: A click is counted every time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Cost per Click (CPC): This is how much the click on your ad has cost you.
  • Clickthrough Rate (CTR): This is how many people click on your ad after seeing it. It is the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. The CTR is a good indication of how relevant your ad is to your audience and how well your campaign is performing. More relevant impactful ads have higher CTRs.
  • Viewable CPM (vCPM): This is the cost per thousand impressions for your ad once half of it is visible above the fold for more than one second, that is, once it is viewable. In the past, limited ad serving technology would charge advertisers for impressions in ad units that might be so far below the fold that users never saw them, yet the advertiser paid for this impression. Viewable impressions were designed to remedy this somewhat.
  • Post-impression conversions (view-through conversions on the GDN): A post impression conversion is recorded when a user sees your ad but does not click it, and then later converts through another channel such as organic search, PPC, or email.
  • Reach and Frequency: This measures how many people have seen your ad (reach) and how often (frequency). These metrics are available from premium buys, social media campaigns where Facebook and Twitter, for example, can estimate how many people who were logged in at the time saw your ad. It’s also available on the Google Display Network and YouTube to mention but a few – check for the reach and frequency metrics from all your display buys to see the potential number of people who could be aware of your ad and how often they might have seen it. It’s essential not to confuse impressions with reach and frequency, reach refers to the number of unique people who saw your ad, frequency is an estimation of how many times they saw it while an impression is when and is served so you could have 100 impressions which reached 10 people who saw your ad 10 times each. They are related but different.

Viewable CPM is one I want to call out, because this ensures you’re only paying when your ad is ideally visible to the audience. You’re not paying for it to be served below the fold.

Other metrics I want to call out are post-impression conversions. These are when someone sees your ad but doesn’t buy through a click but buys maybe through another channel at a later date.

Reach and frequency is very important for display activities. This is important for any kind of branding or awareness activity. These are the types of metrics that we tend to report and display on. You’ll notice they’re quite different from the search metrics, which would be around conversions and sales and stuff. This is more about reach frequency and what might have happened after someone saw the ad with that post-impression conversion data rather than last-click conversion data.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

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    Display Advertising
    Cathal Melinn
    Skills Expert

    This module introduces the key concepts involved in display advertising. It covers the advantages of different types of display platforms and demonstrates how to set up a display advertising campaign. It also explores the key considerations for targeting and bidding in a display advertising campaign, and how to report on and optimize campaign performance.