Revenue Optimization

Top Performing Banner Ad Sizes in 2021 [Best Practices Included]

Choosing ideal ad sizes for displaying ads to users is probably one of the most important things that publishers have to pay attention to. Today, a large variety of banner ad sizes is available, but that does not mean that the task is simplified. 

If anything, having more choices can be more confusing. Ideally, publishers should first be aware about their inventory and website. For example, the type of the website (heavy reading content or infographic-based) can be a determining factor for choosing the right banner ad sizes or formats. 

Other than that, having knowledge about the different banner ad sizes can also be of help for publishers. Due to this, we have tried to explain the different ad sizes that publishers have at their disposal right now, in addition to talking about banner ad sizes that perform the best, in this blog. 

Before moving on to ad sizes, here’s a bit of introduction to banner advertising.

What is Banner Advertising?

The term specifically refers to the use of rectangular ad sizes for displaying ads. The ad creative can be an image, text, or a combination of both these things. However, publishers might have noticed that image-based banner ads are the most popular. The reasons for the widespread use of banner ads in the ad tech industry are that they can effectively help in building brand value, easy to implement, and can be used for retargeting

Publishers should also note that while the terms ‘banner ads’ and ‘display ads’ are often used interchangeably in the ad tech industry there is a slight difference between them. The major difference lies in the fact that banner ads are a subset of display advertising. Display ads can be banner ads, interstitials, or video ads. In the current scenario, the term banner ads is primarily used to refer to different ad sizes. 

Why does Banner Advertising still Work?

The advertising industry has come a long way since display ads first came into being. While the whole concept of digital advertising was kicked off with banner ads back in the day, now publishers and advertisers have a number of innovative ad formats at their disposal. 

And surely, native ads or in-app ads have been proven to help publishers earn more revenue. But this does not indicate that banner ads are completely incompetent. Banner advertising has been a reliable way for publishers to earn ad revenue and for advertisers to enhance their brand awareness, and the fact that it is still in use alone says a lot. 

The key to creating an effective banner advertising strategy is to ensure that you are thinking outside the box. On advertisers’ side, the banner ad should be as creative as possible, it should be eye-catching, and have a message that resonates with the user. Publishers, on their end, can ensure that they are serving quality ads, which means having access to good demand partners. Such a strategy can definitely result in a successful banner ad campaign and help publishers get more impressions.

Banner Ad Sizes

Here are the different types of banner ads for desktop and mobile:

Medium Rectangle (300×250)

Leaderboard (728×90)

Wide Skyscrapper (160×600)

Half Page (300×600)

Large Rectangle (336×280)

Billboard (970×250)

Banner (468×60)

Half Banner (234×60)

Skyscraper (120×600)

Vertical banner (120×240)

Portrait (300×1050)

Large Leaderboard (970×90)

Square (250×250)

Small Square (200×200)

Small Rectangle (180×150)

Button (125×125)

Mobile Banner Ad Sizes

Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)

Mobile full page flex (320×320)

Large Mobile banner (320×100)

Square (250×250)

Small Square (200×200)

Top Performing Banner Ad Sizes

So, publishers do have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to banner ad sizes, but they need to see which ad size or sizes will give them the best results. Furthermore, some ad sizes are bound to perform better than others which can be because of a lot of reasons, for example, their placement. To give publishers some idea about what ad sizes can help them earn more revenue, below is some information about the banner ad sizes that perform best:

Medium Rectangle (300×250)

This ad size is considered to be the best performing ad size, which is also why it is expensive. In order to leverage this ad size advantageously, it is advisable to put it above the fold. By doing so, publishers can expect high CPMs. Additionally, if you use a medium rectangle along with a leaderboard ad, you can get higher revenue.

Other than this, the large rectangle (336×280) is also a popular ad format. This banner ad size is quite similar to medium rectangle, but gives room for more content. 

Leaderboard (728×90)

Being a part of IAB standard ad units, leaderboard ads can be easily implemented. Moreover, the demand for these ad units is incredibly high in the market, which means the buying and selling process becomes easy. 

Leaderboards usually appear on the top of the page and therefore can be seen instantly by the user as they open the website. This being said, publishers can also experiment with placing these ads in between the main content and at the bottom to get better results. 

Wide Skyscraper (160×600)

Also known as ‘large skyscrapers’, wide skyscrapers are another popular banner ad size. They are mostly placed on the side of the page and remain in view even if the user scrolls down the page, thereby ensuring improved ad viewability.  

Wide skyscrapers came into existence to replace the conventional skyscrapers (120×600), as the latter didn’t provide much space for content. However, it is not advisable to completely ignore skyscrapers, since they can also give good returns to publishers. 

Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)

Mobile leaderboards are one of the most popular ad sizes or mobile, despite the fact that they are the smaller mobile banner ads. On Google AdSense, these ads are listed as anchor ads, meaning that they stick to the bottom of the page and remain in view as the user scrolls down. 

Mobile leaderboard ads are known for providing good user experience and are a good way to monetize mobile websites

Best Practices for Effective Banner Advertising

  • A/B testing: In the previous section, we talked about banner ads that perform best. Although it is advisable to use popular ad sizes, publishers should not solely rely on them. It may better well be that some other ad format is performing better for a particular website based on the type of the content. So, publishers need to check properly which ad sizes are ideal for their websites. 
  • Deal with Banner Blindness: Banner blindness is a common phenomenon associated with banner ads, since they are displayed constantly to the user. Eventually, users start to ignore ads which leads to reduced ad viewability. This can seriously hurt publishers’ revenue generation potential. Therefore, in order to ensure that banner blindness doesn’t become a problem, publishers need to keep experimenting with their ad placements. For example, placing a leaderboard below the fold can be helpful. 
  • Use ideal ad sizes for mobile: As important as mobile web monetization is in this era, it can also be terribly tricky. The most important thing publishers need to keep in mind is to ensure that mobile ads are not intrusive in any way, as that can ruin the whole page experience. In addition to this, it is important to provide users with a clear-cut way to get rid of the ad, if they want to do so. 

Final Thoughts

The reason why banner advertising is a popular choice for publishers and advertising is the ease of implementation and high revenue potential. The large variety of banner ad sizes provides publishers with a way to monetize their website in diverse ways. 

However, it is always better to understand your inventory before going for any specific ad size. Even if you come across an ad size that is proving to be fruitful, experimenting with other sizes is a good way to go about website optimization. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the standard banner ad sizes?

Some of the standard banner ad sizes are:

Medium Rectangle (300×250)
Leaderboard (728×90)
Wide Skyscrapper (160×600)
Skyscraper (120×600)
Vertical banner (120×240)
Portrait (300×1050)
Large Leaderboard (970×90)
Small Rectangle (180×150)
Button (125×125)

2. What are the examples of mobile banner ad sizes?

Mobile Leaderboard (320×50)
Mobile full page flex (320×320)
Large Mobile banner (320×100)
Square (250×250)
Small Square (200×200)