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Google has sheepishly added a ‘CPM’ option which all advertisers can take advantage of. I first stumbled across it with Search Engine Journal reporting on Kim Clinkunbroomer’s post at Philly Marketing Labs. I’ve been mulling over it ever since and have started to test a few CPM campaigns based on previous CPC data to see if it translates across well.

Previously, this was the domain of the big spenders and media buys on the Double Click ad network or for those with specific direct agreements. Now CPM is readily available for all advertisers using the Google Display Network (GDN).

There has been a bit of an off and on again relationship between GDN and CPM bidding but it looks set to stay since the Media Rating Council (MRC) accredited their viewability measurement solution, Active View.

Active View is is the key differentiator in the whole CPM bidding option. Google’s Active View CPM means that a ‘view’ is counted as long as “50 percent of your ad shows on screen for a second or longer.”

This means that if your ad is not visible (ie stuck under the fold somewhere), it won’t count as an applicable impression.

In other platforms such as LinkedIn I have not found the CPM and CPC options particularly proportionate when executed which is a little perplexing. We are currently running a few CPM tests with Google’s new CPM option so it should be interesting whether previous CPC and Impression data can be translated into a similar performing CPM campaign. I will post results of the tests here.

How do I run CPM campaigns?

Google has made it pretty easy for anyone to get up and running. Start by setting up a Display campaign and then in the campaign settings go to the ‘Bidding and Budget’ section. Hit ‘Edit’ and you will see this:

How to setup CPM bidding in Adwords

How to setup CPM bidding in Adwords


You can also change from CPC bids to CPM by going into you campaign settings and following the instructions mentioned above.

Feel free to share your experiences with Google’s CPM in the comments.

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