In a sea of possibilities, how does one make a choice? Google AdSense offers many ad sizes to choose from and for a newbie, selecting those right for your website might seem like a daunting task. You need to consider not only how many, but what format and size the display ads on your website will be. The main factors to take into consideration are user experience, page layout, your audience profile, and of course your performance goals.
When it comes to revenue expectations, there are certain ad sizes that are consistently bringing higher yields than others. Of course, you need to place them appropriately on the page, so that they don’t disrupt the user experience, but are still highly noticeable. Some ad sizes are preferred by advertisers, meaning a higher demand for them and therefore higher returns for the publishers.
In this article, we will focus on the top 5 best performing Google AdSense banner ad sizes, as determined by Google itself.
Top AdSense Banner Sizes
- The Medium Rectangle (300×250)
This is the ad unit most popular among both publishers and advertisers. It is compact, yet noticeable (especially when placed above the fold), fits most sidebars as well as side by side to the content. It supports both text and image ads and can be used on both mobile and desktop. Because of its versatility and a large amount of inventory available, it is quite preferred by advertisers, turning it to one of the higher-paying ad sizes. One popular combination you may want to test on your pages is placing a Medium Rectangle ad unit (also known as MPU) with a Leaderboard (728×90), which is another high-performing ad size from our list that can help you get higher CPMs.
- The Large Rectangle (336×280)
This ad size is similar to the medium rectangle, but as you would guess by its name – it is larger. It is, however, not as versatile, as it is not optimized for mobile and may fit only some larger sidebars without deteriorating user experience. Supports both text and image ads and is best placed between content paragraphs or at the end of an article. Its size makes it more prominent and thus leads to more interactions and higher click-through rates. This makes it another preferred ad size by advertisers and a great inventory option to have on your site.
- The Leaderboard (728×90)
Next on our list is the Leaderboard. One of the most widely used ad sizes, with great demand for it across advertisers. It performs well when placed above the main content, as well as on forum sites. Leaderboards can be both text and image ads but are only available for desktops. The ad size is popular among advertisers as placed right after the header of the page, this ad unit is the first thing a user sees when he lands on the page, making it highly viewable without a negative impact on the user experience, provided the quality of the ads is high.
- The Half Page (300×600)
Also known as the Large Skyscraper, this ad size takes up a huge part of the screen and gets advertisers the visibility they want and the space they need to get their message across and/or get more creative. The best results with this size are achieved through interactive or video ads. You may also think of this ad unit as a vertical leaderboard because of the impact that is achieved through it. As stated by Google, this is also “one of the fastest-growing sizes by impressions”. Its popularity among advertisers has made more publishers offer the ad size and enjoy the high returns on it.
- The Large Mobile Banner (320×100)
An alternative to the Medium Rectangle for mobile and to the “mobile leaderboard” (320×50), the Large Mobile Banner is a top-performing ad size, especially with advertisers focusing more and more on mobile. It is a responsive ad unit with high CTR rates and performs best when placed at the top of the page, but also fits well between paragraphs or just before the page footer.
What Else Do You Need To Know?
To make the most out of their ad inventory, publishers need to consider a few more things besides ad size selection. Here are our tips to maximize ad revenue:
In the ad tech world, there are rarely any black and white answers and it all really comes down to extensive and proper testing. We urge you to A/B test other ad sizes and formats as well. Your unique content and audience may be better suited to other Google AdSense ad sizes and you can only find out if you test them.
Optimize For Mobile Devices
Depending on your audience, this may be of higher or lower importance. However, user experience should be tested on all devices as you want to keep those visitors returning. One size does not fit all as the saying goes and this is especially valid for ads and website layouts. For mobile ads you should consider how intrusive the ad may seem relative to other content and provide clear and obvious ways to close the ad, should the user want to do so.
Less Can Be More
In the context of user experience and keeping your audience happy and returning to your website, the ratio of ads to content is very important. For example, for mobile, you must not have more than 30% ad density, which is regulated by the Better Ads Standards and enforced by Google. You may be tempted to place 2 smaller ads instead of just one slightly larger, hoping for higher revenue, but often it is not just the number of ads on your page that make a difference. On the contrary, fewer ads, but the right fit for your website, may lead to higher overall revenues.
We took a look at the top-performing Google AdSense sizes to get you started with display advertising. There are many more ad formats and sizes to experiment with, taking into account your audience specifics and website layout. To maximize your ad revenue keep testing and always take decisions with the user experience in mind.