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.

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. 

Banner Ad Sizes

The table below shows the different types of banner ads for desktop and mobile:

Name Size (Px)Visual Representation
Medium Rectangle300×250       
Leaderboard728×90       
Wide Skyscraper160×600       
Half Page300×600       
Large Rectangle336×280       
Billboard970×250        
Banner468×60       
Half Banner234×60       
Skyscraper120×600       
Vertical Banner120×240        
Portrait300×1050        
Large Leaderboard970×90        
Square250×250       
Small Square200×200       
Small Rectangle180×150       
Button125×125                    

Mobile Banner Ad Sizes

NameSize (Px)Visual Representation
Mobile Leaderboard320×50                
Mobile Full Page Flex320×320               
Large Mobile Banner320×100               
Square250×250               
Small Square200×200                

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.