Choosing the Right Banner Ad Size: A Guide

What Are the Best Banner Ad Sizes?

When choosing banner ad sizes, consider factors such as your target audience, banner placement, budget, messaging, and the use of AI for automated sizing. These elements can significantly impact your ad's performance and effectiveness in conveying your message to your audience.

Banner advertisements are widely used across various online platforms, including social media, display networks, and video channels. They typically consist of a combination of text and images. With the average person being exposed to over 1,700 banner ads per month.

It’s crucial for marketers to develop intentional strategies that consider all design aspects, including size.

Below, we outline the standard sizes for banner ads and provide guidance on selecting the right sizes for your campaigns.

What Are Standard Banner Sizes?

Standard banner sizes are determined by their height and width, measured in pixels, on a webpage. These sizes dictate the shape and dimensions of the ad, determining how it will appear and fit alongside other elements on the page.

Understanding these sizes is crucial for visualizing how your ad will look and ensuring its visibility to viewers.

The most common standard banner sizes include:

  • Leaderboard (728×90)
  • Large rectangle (336×280)
  • Medium rectangle (300×250)
  • Mobile banner (300×50)
  • Wide skyscraper (160×600)

For optimal performance on Google Display, ad file sizes should be under 150KB and uploaded in formats such as JPEG, SWF, PNG, or GIF.

Choosing the right banner ad size depends on your advertising strategy and the goals you aim to achieve. Considerations include your target audience’s device usage, the size of text and images in your ad, ad placement, messaging, and the desired call-to-action (CTA).

Importance of Using Standard Sizes

Using standard sizes in digital advertising is akin to using standardized formats in print advertising, such as billboards. Online, publishers designate specific units for digital ads, often with size specifications set by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Designing ads according to these standard sizes ensures that all elements of your ad are visible without needing retroactive edits. It also demonstrates a deep understanding of the online advertising landscape.

Standard ad sizes are widely recognized and have contributed to the effectiveness of banner ads. Brands that adhere to these standards increase the likelihood of a successful ad campaign.

Common banner sizes

Common banner sizes are essential for online advertising, appearing on blogs, ecommerce sites, and digital publications. They serve to drive traffic to specific landing pages, enhance brand awareness, and boost revenue.

The most common sizes for Google Display banner ads include:

Leaderboard (728 x 90 ad size):

Positioned at the top of web pages, these banners are among the first elements users see. Their prominent placement makes them highly visible and likely to attract clicks and conversions. Leaderboard ads are effective because they are visible without requiring users to scroll, maximizing their impact.

Large Rectangle (336 x 280 ad size):

The large rectangle ad, while once a common size, has been delisted by the IAB due to its limited accommodation on ad networks. This ad format typically appeared alongside content in the form of a large rectangle, offering ample space for advertisers. Despite its delisting, the large rectangle saw relative success as a banner ad.

Medium Rectangle (300 x 250 ad size):

 A medium rectangle ad, also known as an MPU (Mid Page Unit) or Med Rec ad, is a smaller version of the now delisted large rectangle ad. It features a height of 300 pixels and a width of 250 pixels.

Marketers favor medium rectangle ads because they are versatile for both desktop and mobile advertising. They provide enough space for brands to convey their message effectively without overwhelming the page.

Mobile Banner (300 x 50 ad size):

 Mobile banners, sized at 300 pixels wide and 50 pixels tall, are designed for display on mobile devices. Despite their smaller dimensions, these ads are cost-effective and can deliver significant ROI when well-crafted. Typically positioned at the top or bottom of mobile screens, they offer limited space for ad copy, images, and interactive media.

Wide Skyscraper:

While the aforementioned sizes are standard for web banners, the actual format of each ad can vary. Ads can be static, animated, interactive, expandable, pop-up, or transitional. Regardless of the dynamic you choose, it’s advisable to design your ad with one of the five standard sizes in mind.

Social media platforms have specific requirements for ad images and videos. Here are the most common sizes for different platforms:

Social media banner sizes

Facebook and Instagram:

  • Feed Images: 1080 x 1080 (1:1 aspect ratio)
  • Stories and Reels Images: 1080 x 1920 (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Feed and Stories Videos: 864 x 1080 (4:5 aspect ratio)
  • Reels Videos: 500 x 888 (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Carousel Ads: 1080 x 1080 or 1080 x 1920 (1:1 aspect ratio)

TikTok:

  • Top View Format Ads: 540 x 960 (1:1, 9:16, or 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • Branded Mission Ads: 720 x 1280 (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Brand Takeover Ads: 720 x 1280 (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • In-Feed Ads: 540 x 960, 640 x 640, or 960 x 540 (9:16 aspect ratio)
  • Collection Ads: 640 x 640, 720 x 1280, or 1280 x 720 (1:1, 9:16, or 16:9 aspect ratio)

Snapchat:

  • All Ads: 1080 x 1920 (9:16 aspect ratio)

Twitter (X):

  • Promoted Ad Images: 1:1 or 1.91:1 aspect ratio
  • Promoted Ad Videos: 1:1 or 1.91:1 aspect ratio, 628 x 1200, or 1200 x 1200 resolution
  • Promoted Ad Carousels: 1:1 or 1.91:1 aspect ratio
  • Pre-Roll Ads (Amplify Format): 1:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio, 1200 x 1200 resolution
  • Sponsorship Ads (Amplify): 1:1 or 16:9 aspect ratio, 1200 x 1200 resolution
  • Trend Takeover Ads: 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Live Ads: 1280 x 720 resolution

Factors to consider when choosing banner sizes

This include the target audience, platform requirements, ad placement, and the message you want to convey.

  1. Target Audience: Consider the demographics and behaviors of your target audience. Younger audiences may prefer smaller, less intrusive banners, while older demographics may prefer larger, clearer banners.
  2. Platform Requirements: Different platforms have specific requirements for banner sizes. Research the most popular banner sizes for the platform you’re using to ensure your ad resonates well.
  3. Ad Placement: Where your ad will be placed on a webpage or app can impact the size you choose. Above-the-fold banners may need to be larger and more attention-grabbing, while sidebar banners can be smaller.
  4. Message and Design: The message and design of your ad should also influence the size. A simple, straightforward message may work well in a smaller banner, while a more complex message may require a larger size to be effectively communicated.
  5. Visibility and Engagement: Consider how visible your ad will be and how it will engage users. A banner that is too small may not attract attention, while one that is too large may be overwhelming. Strike a balance that encourages interaction without being intrusive.

Banner placement

Banner placement is crucial for ad success, affecting visibility, click-through rates, and overall effectiveness.

Consider your target audience’s platforms and prioritize ad placement there. Native advertising, where ads blend with content, can feel less intrusive and yield positive results. Placing ads strategically along the customer journey can also boost conversions.

Budget

Budget plays a key role in your ad strategy.

Popular platforms and high-traffic sites often have higher costs, but if they reach your audience, it may be worth it. Assess costs per impression or click across platforms and allocate your budget wisely.

Track performance metrics to reallocate budget to top-performing ads.

Messaging

Messaging is essential for capturing attention and demonstrating value. Keep your message concise and tailored to the ad space.

For A/B testing, consider how message changes might impact ad size requirements.

Context is also crucial; for text-heavy platforms, animated messages in smaller ads may be more attractive.

AI and Ad Banner Sizes

AI is revolutionizing ad banner creation by automating the process based on brand specifications, placement, and business goals. It can generate ads at scale, optimizing sizes for better ROI. AdCreative.ai, available in the Semco App Center, exemplifies this trend. It can create over 180 ads and banners in seconds, leading to significantly higher conversions and click-through rates.

With AdCreative.ai, no design experience is needed. You can select ads for social media or display, and the platform will size them accordingly.

It also helps you craft compelling ad copy by breaking it down into headline, body text, and call-to-action sections, ensuring it fits neatly within the ad.

The platform offers a wide range of ad creatives, each optimized for conversion, along with actionable tips to improve outcomes. This enables you to implement high-potential ads quickly and effectively, maximizing their impact.

Final thoughts

Banner ad sizes are a crucial element of any successful campaign, as they serve as the canvas for your brand’s story and call to action. They play a significant role in your ad strategy, alongside considerations such as placement, timing, and audience targeting.

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need design expertise to determine the right banner ad sizes. Advanced AI tools like AdCreative.ai can help you create effective, scalable ads quickly and efficiently, allowing you to focus on implementing a smart and lucrative advertising strategy.