Marginhound's Guide to Display Advertising

Popular Banner Sizes and Their Uses

The first time a new webmaster encounters the world of display advertising, it sounds like a completely different language. There's a lot of terminology and lore about which ads to place where. This guide will help you make sense of the world of display advertising.

Common Ad Sizes and How To Use Them

Favorite Desktop Formats

  • 728x90 Leaderboard
    • Popular Horizontal Format
    • Usually Found On Top / Bottom of Page
    • Moderately Effective - Often Not Placed Well
  • 300x250 Medium Rectangle
    • Common Rectangular Block
    • Placement: Sidebar, Page Bottom, In Content
    • Popular Format - Lots of Inventory
    • Very Effective
  • 336x280 Large Rectangle
    • Larger Version of Rectangular Block
    • Placement: Sidebar, Page Bottom, In Content
    • Very Effective - Premium Format, Brands Like It
  • 300x600 Large Skyscraper
    • Wider Version of Vertical Banner
    • Placement: Sidebar
    • Very Effective - Premium Format, Brands Like It

Other Important Desktop Formats

  • 468x60 Banner
    • Original Horizontal Banner - In Decline
    • Replaced by the Leaderboard for most applications
    • Weak Performer - But Common, Excess Inventory
  • 160x600 Wide Skyscraper
    • Old Vertical Format
    • Usually Found On Sidebars
    • Losing Ground to 300 x 600 and 300x250
    • Mildly Effective - Reader Friendly, Lots of Inventory
  • 250x250 Banner (and smaller)
    • Older banner format, losing ground to larger block ads
    • Weak - but small, can be stacked up (sometimes)

Recommended Mobile Formats

  • 300x250 Medium Rectangle
    • Desktop Unit Placed on Mobile
    • Lots of Inventory and Good Pricing
    • Placement Limits for AdSense
    • Highly Effective - But Watch User Metrics
  • 320x100 Large Mobile Banner
    • Larger Mobile Banner
    • Often Recommended For Above The Fold on Mobile
    • Place anywhere on page
    • Effectiveness Varies
  • 320x50 Mobile Banner
    • Original Mobile Banner
    • Often Recommended For Above The Fold on Mobile
    • Place anywhere on page
    • Effectiveness Varies
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