A display ad, or banner ad, is a box or ‘banner’ on a website that looks distinctively like an advertisement and stands out from the rest. It usually includes an image of the product, the brand, and a call-to-action (CTA). Display banner ads have seven main benefits.
- They are visually appealing.
- They build brand awareness and increase visibility.
- They’re targeted.
- They support retargeting.
- They reach consumers on the go.
- They complement other marketing strategies.
- They can be easily tracked for effectiveness.
In order to make the most of these benefits, we need to use the best-performing sizes. In this article, we discuss those sizes in detail.
1. Size Matters
One of the most common questions that our clients ask after signing up with Muslim Ad Network (MAN) is which are the highest performing banner sizes?
Some ad formats are more noticeable which means they get more clicks and bring in more revenue.
So when you create banners for display advertising, consider which sizes to use. The banner size will contribute to the performance of your ad.
Factors to Keep in Mind
When your ads are close to the content and are easily visible upon page load, they will get you a higher CTR (click-through rate).
Make sure that you choose a banner ad size that is easily noticeable. Some banner sizes could be too small and some could be too large to engage users positively.
Various popup ad formats are optimized for mobile devices. If your users are on their mobiles most of the time when looking for your product, you should focus on ad formats that are optimized for mobile devices.
When you plan to use a banner of a certain size, surf around the web to see how many advertisers are running ads for that format.
Some ad formats and banners are more widely used among advertisers which means that they work better.
You can also check the popularity of banner sizes among advertisers at Top Banner Sizes: The 21 Most Effective Banners 2020.
Note: The examples below have been mentioned as the best performing sizes by Google. However, this is true in a general sense.
In our networks, we see that the following banner sizes are the best and request our clients to create banners based on these sizes: 728xx90, 320×50, 300×250, 160×600
Best Performing Sizes According to Google
Medium Rectangle (300x250px)
This ad size easily fits in the sidebar or inside the content area without annoying users. It’s the reason why this ad format is reported to have the best CTR for most websites.
Large Rectangle (336x280px)
This banner ad format is larger and more noticeable than the medium rectangle one. Bear in mind that it may not fit in all website sidebars and is not mobile optimized.
Sometimes, however, the large rectangle easily outperforms the medium rectangle banner ads if placed inside the content area between paragraphs.
The leaderboard is ideal for a top position placement, inside or immediately after the website header. Due to its size and prominent placement, it performs quite well on most websites.
Large Skyscraper (300x600px)
The large skyscraper is a wide vertical banner that also goes by the name” half-page”. As an advertiser, you get more ad space to effectively communicate your message during retargeting.
This large skyscraper can appear in the sidebar or next to the content. However, due to its size, it may not be a fit for all websites.
Large Mobile Banner (320x100px)
This banner ad format is mobile’s equivalent of the leaderboard ad format in terms of effectiveness.
Since mobile traffic makes up a good chunk of users for most websites, this ad format should be part of your arsenal.
2. It Takes Three to Tango
The best banner ads convey their message with just 3 vital bits of information: company name (logo), value proposition, and a call to action (CTA).
Before you even think of doing any marketing, let alone writing a value proposition for a banner, you need to understand your target audience and their pain.
This is the only way you can actually craft a message that is specific to their needs and interests with the confidence that they will respond.
In fact, if you think about it, the better you understand your audience, the more you will know about what kind of banner ad to design, and how to set up your campaign.
With this in mind, your banner’s value proposition should explain clearly how your product or service solves your audiences’ problems.
For a strong value proposition always include movement words such as:
- Free up
If you are selling a physical product you want your audience to buy, you tell them exactly that in your CTA.
If you are a service company or selling digital products for example and have a longer sales cycle, you want your audience to sign up to a trial version or learn more.
So, again, you ask them to do exactly that.
In any case, make sure that your CTA is easy to understand and contains a physical verb like:
The color of the CTA button also impacts the number of clicks your banner ad gets. Some organizations have witnessed an increase in CTR by 100% just by changing the color of the CTA button.
Psychologically and visually, a contrast-color CTA is the easiest to spot at a split-second glance. It also makes it easy for your audience to figure out where to click.
Arranging the Components
Your value proposition and CTA should be the most visually distinct elements. You should place your logo design on the sidelines, at one of the edges of your ad. Furthermore, you should ensure your image does not obscure any copy.
Never try to cram too much information into your banners. It just makes them overcrowded. Pack the value proposition tightly, sticking to simple language and as few words as possible. You should be able to do all this in 2 sentences.
Remember that people do not have time to stop what they are doing to read a 5 sentence banner ad. Just tell your audience what you offer and what action you want them to take.
3. An Image is Worth a Thousand Words
Most digital ads are viewed for less than a second so yours has to stand out. Your background, image, and color scheme must attract attention right away. It needs to distract people from scrolling for long enough to serve them your messaging.
Color is vital as it is used to grab peoples’ attention and evoke emotion. People also associate your color scheme with your brand.
A UX Planet study showed that the most popular colors among men are blue (57%) and green (14%); while women are into blue (35%) and purple (23%).
Therefore, choose colors based on your audience. A little audience research will get you there.
Whenever you can, you should use a solid-color background. It is a good idea not to distract your audience with too many other details in the background.
Images of people in your ads, slogans, and product messages usually work great against a solid color background.
That is not to say you cannot use images as a background. Sometimes relevant images used as background can be very impactful.
Just remember, you want to get your message across quickly without too many distractions.
Images sell like hot cupcakes. This is especially true if you sell a product and are prompting your audience to buy something. No one will click on the banner if they don’t know what it looks like.
Even if you are not selling a physical product, you can still humanize what you are selling by using images.
Your range of ads should have a consistent design. Ideally, you should use a maximum of 2 typefaces and the same color scheme and visuals across every ad.
No matter how nice you may think they’ll look, steer clear of cursive or overly elaborate fonts; instant readability is the name of the game.
You just need to find the one that suits your brand best.
Written by Alwi SuLEIMAN, Marketing Lead at Muslim Ad Network.