Why Your Ad Size Matters

Written by Tim Edmundson

At SteelHouse we put creative first. We know that if you want to stand out from the pack, you need fresh creative that grabs your customer’s attention. So it goes without saying the artistry of your ad is important… but what about its size?

The truth is ad size matters because locked away in those ratios — 300×250, 728×90, 160×600, and many more — is the potential for performance. If you want to drive strong results, you not only need beautiful ads, but also a wide variety of sizes to reach the customers who matter most, exactly where they are.

Create Ads That Reach Your Customers…

We’re in an age where publisher sites are getting more creative with their layouts. Because of this, they can run a range of ad placement sizes that balance monetization with their site’s layout and style.

Here’s a quick look at Google’s most common ad sizes for 2017:

> 250 x 250
> 200 x 200
> 468 x 60
> 728 x 90
> 300 x 250
> 336 x 280
> 120 x 600
> 160 x 600
> 300 x 600
> 970 x 90

That’s a lot of variety, and your campaigns need to be able to take advantage of that. If you’re primary audience is frequenting sites with placements you can’t serve, that’s a problem. By limiting the number of ad sizes in your campaign, you’re setting yourself up to miss out on inventory that could very well land your next conversion.

…Wherever They Are

Consumers like to mix it up when browsing the internet. They’ll browse on their desktop at work, their tablets when relaxing at home, and their phones when shopping or waiting in line (hopefully not while driving). Your customers are using every device possible — and your ads should be too. It’s important to create ads that can serve on different devices; some ad sizes will be mobile or desktop specific, while others like the 300×250 and 200×200 can double as both. Utilizing many different ad sizes in your campaign helps you reach your customers where they’re spending their time online.

According to an October 2016 Think with Google piece, 57% of consumers use more than one connected device a day. Not only that, as many as 20% are using multiple devices at the same time. There’s no indication that this trend will slow down either, since the world continues to be more connected and people more comfortable with multiple devices over time.

The more ad sizes you use, the more you can serve across all devices. Don’t limit your campaign’s size options, or you’re going to miss customers when they’re bouncing from device to device.

The Ad Size Breakdown

Let’s take a tour of some of the best performing ad sizes according to Google. If you want to drive performance, start with these.

Ad Size: 300×250

Thanks to high inventory levels offered by publishers, this is one of the most common sizes on the internet. Running ads like this is table stakes, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t bear mentioning. Any campaign you’re running should have ads customized for this size — they run on both desktop and mobile.

Ad Size: 728×90

Another extremely popular size, the “leaderboard” placements are abundant on publishers sites. These generally sit above content near the tops of pages, and can drive strong performance as they are often the first thing users will see when landing on a site.

Ad Size: 300×600

This ad size is where your creative can really stretch its legs. Also known as the “half page,” this type of placement gives you an enormous opportunity to grab your customer’s attention with striking visuals and bold copy. You have more space to utilize, so make good use of it.

Ad Size: 160×600

The ad size known as the “wide skyscraper” is best suited along site sidebars. These are pretty common placements on publisher sites, which means they should be included in any campaign you launch.

Ad Size: 320×50

This is one of the heavy hitters of mobile. Known as the “mobile leaderboard,” these ads strike a great balance of being attention grabbing while not being too intrusive to a mobile experience.

Variety is Key

If you want strong performing campaigns, you need to be equipped with the right tools. Having a variety of ad sizes ready to serve across multiple devices will help you reach vital customers where they’re spending their time online. Ensure your ads are beautiful and sized for success!