What are the Highest CTR Mobile and Desktop Display Ad Sizes?

Best Display Ad Campaign Sizes

For a marketer, paid ads have always been a reliable source of customer acquisition. While the way companies use paid advertising can vary — some use ads for retargeting, some for brand awareness, and some for acquisition itself — every one of us has to get involved in it in some way. 

And, because of banner blindness/ad blindness, it’s not easy to capture the attention of the users with display ads and then get them to take the desired action. This means, on one hand, you have to experiment a lot to figure out what resonates with your target audience. On the other hand, you need to keep an eye on ROAS (Return on Ad Spend). ROAS can shoot up if there’s too much experimentation. For instance, imagine spending a good amount of money to just fix one of the many variables in play (messaging, design, etc).

Especially, with the crisis, it’s important to understand how to maximize the return while keeping the ad spend at the optimal level. In this post, we’ll help you pick the right ad sizes based on your campaign goals. Going with the best ad sizes can greatly improve the viewability of your ads, CTR, and thus, the conversion rate. Let’s dive in. 

At Automatad, we studied over 2 billion display ad impressions from hundreds of web publishers to find out the share of ad sizes (in %), what it costs to buy them, what’s the CTR, and more. With these data, we’ll be able to identify the best ad sizes to use based on your goals.

Brand Awareness Campaigns

For brand awareness campaigns, you need to reach more users. The more the reach, the better the results will be. So you need to ensure that your creatives are in the most in-demand sizes. 

  • Best Mobile Ad Sizes – Though there are plenty of mobile ad sizes and formats available, just two ad sizes account for most of the ad impressions on mobile devices — 320×50 and 300×250. 320×50, also known as, mobile leaderboard alone captures close to 50% of all the display impressions delivered via mobile. And, 300×250 or medium rectangle gets ~40 percent. To put it simply, by focusing on just one or two ad sizes, you’ll be able to reach a wide audience on the open web.

Ad Size (delivered) % of Total Revenue
320×50 48.64
300×250 41.19

  • Best Desktop Ad Sizes – When it comes to desktop, you need to use the larger ad creatives. For instance, 728×90 (desktop leaderboards) capture the highest number of impressions. Vertical ad unit 160×600 comes next to it. As both desktop leaderboard and vertical ad units have higher viewability, it’s best to use them for brand awareness campaigns.

Ad Size (delivered) % of Total Revenue
728×90 25.68
160×600 21.61
300×250 21.52

Performance Marketing Campaigns

On the contrary, performance campaigns aim to get as many conversions as possible. Whether it is an email signup, app install, or contact form submission, you tend to optimize for conversions. So, in this case, it’s best to use the sizes with high CTR for your ad creatives.

  • Best Mobile Ad Sizes – As we already saw that most of the mobile impressions are just captured by two ad sizes, it’s best to go with them. Though there are other ad sizes with better CTR — 336×280, for example — most websites tend to avoid such larger units as it can disrupt the user experience. So, you may not be able to deliver many impressions as per the plan. 

best mobile ad sizes

  • Best Desktop Ad Sizes – When it comes to desktop, you have more ad sizes to experiment with. But it’s better to use the sizes that have high CTR and enough demand (more sites accepting the sizes). So, 300×600 is the best if we consider both CTR and demand. The next best is, 160×600. If you aren’t looking for a larger reach, you can go with 970×250 as it has the highest CTR on desktop.

best desktop ad sizes

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