January 30, 2021 by Jason Pittock | 8 min reading time

With so many options for how to put Google Ads together, it’s tough to know where to begin. Which Google content network banner sizes will attract the most leads for your target audience? What shape has the most appeal and impact?

And there’s another important factor to consider—cost. Bigger isn’t always better—sometimes it’s just more expensive. 

Shopping for Google Network banners can be overwhelming, so let’s sort it all out and make it easy for you. We’re going to help you explore the main Google Display Network banner sizes and how to choose the right ones to attract lots of attention to your PPC ad campaigns. 

What Are Google Network Banners?

In simple terms, a banner ad is an ad that's embedded into a web page that’s part of GDN (or an AdSense partner). A banner ad can consist of an image, a video, and/or copy, and it can be static or animated. 

The purpose of banner ads is to attract traffic to your website by linking it to the advertisers website. Ultimately, when someone clicks on any part of your banner ad, it takes them to the advertiser’s landing page, and when your banner ad and landing page are awesome enough, it leads to a conversion. 

Let's move on to how to determine the best Google Network Banner ad sizes.

How to Determine the Best Google Network Banner Sizes (For You)

Small businesses can’t always afford to hire a graphic designer, although that would make things a lot easier in setting up ads that meet the Google content network ad specs. No worries, though, it’s easy enough to create your own Google banner ads when you use the right software. 

Technology comes to the rescue with these three easy-to-use programs for creating Google ads:

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Adobe Illustrator
  3. Adobe Spark

No experience? No problem! With Adobe Spark, you can easily drag and drop images to create your own design. There are also lots of built-in templates to choose from and they won’t break the bank. 

With the right program up and running, there are a few other things you need to think about before you get started creating your banner ads. Such as, for example, choosing a size that:

  • Looks visually appealing
  • Publishers prefer
  • Fits your niche or industry
  • Suits your website’s layout
  • Has been proven to work (the most commonly used Google Content Network banner sizes are tried and tested, for example)

In case you're wondering what your niche or industry has to do with Google banner ads, learn that some industries tend to use the same Google Network banner sizes. If the entire industry is using the same size, it's a good indication that you should be doing it too. 

Last, but not least, there are 4 very common sizes for Google Display Network banner ads. They got this distinction by having the most ad inventory and click-through rate. 

  1. Medium Rectangle (300 x 250)
  2. Large Rectangle (336 x 280)
  3. Leaderboard (728 x 90)
  4. Large Skyscraper (300 x 600)

Let’s drill things down a bit more. 

Vertical Google Network Banner Sizes

In general, vertical ads aren't as popular as horizontal ads, especially in languages written and read from left to right. That doesn’t mean vertical ads don’t have a place in your marketing strategy. 

While it's not the most preferred choice, Vertical Google Network banner sizes can be effective for some applications.

As a word of caution, don't cram long sentences and big words into your vertical ads. It will only make your ad look cramped and confusing. A poorly designed vertical ad will be more of a turn-off than a turn-on. 

These are some common vertical Google Network banner sizes to choose from:

  • Skyscraper (120 x 600)
  • Wide skyscraper (160 x 600)

Horizontal Google Network Banner Sizes

Horizontal Google Network banner sizes don't really fall into a standard category.Basically, most of these horizontal ad banners have non-standard dimensions, and, as you can imagine, it makes them hard to place on certain websites. 

Ad publishers tend to find it easier to work with standard sizes, and some of them won’t accept anything other than these. If you still want to go with a horizontal ad, it could limit your options for placement. 

While horizontal ads won’t necessarily be your first “go-to” choice for banners, you might find a perfect application for them here or there. 

Here’s what’s available in terms of standardized horizontal banner ads:

  • Large Leaderboard (970 x 90)
  • Banner (468 x 60)

Square Google Network Banner Sizes

Square banner ads come in two handy sizes. Once again, they’re not the madly popular choices, but they can be pretty handy when you need to put content in a nice, neat box.

Square banner ads aren’t quite as attractive as rectangular-shaped ads. They’re easier to read than vertical banner ads, but they’re not quite at the level of readability as the more popular rectangle ads. 

Most web designers and copywriters find it harder to create attractive images and copy for square banner ads, and harder means, you guessed it, not as popular

If you’re ready to give the square ad a try, these are the sizes you have to work with:

  • Square (250 x 250)
  • Small square (200 x 200)

How to Select the Best Google Network Banner Size

With so many options available, it takes a bit of time to learn about all the available banner sizes on different advertising networks, but I can assure you, it’s time that’s well spent -- because  when you spend your time well, you're also spending your money well.

Banner ads get your brand in front of more people fast, especially when you leverage good copywriting along with it. Naturally, you want to do your best with your banners. But what are some of the tips to consider when choosing the best Google Network banner sizes for you, your business, and your target audience? 

  • Even when you use a website design template, every website is unique. Google considered this when they set up a range of different sizes and shapes for Google banner ads. 
  • Be aware that larger ads are more likely to get a higher click-through rate, and Google charges more for larger ads. Where budget is an issue, a smaller ad size can still give you a lot of value for your marketing dollars.
  • Testing is one of the best options. Then run your ads to get data and figure out what are the best banner sizes that perform better for your specific business. 

Top Examples of Google Network Banner Sizes

Each of the  4 most common banner sizes is used in more or less equal measure. For most applications, one of these four sizes will help you to get good results because they all work well for mobile applications as well as for desktops. In other words, these sizes are easy to work into website designs. 

  1. Medium Rectangle (300 x 250) This size has a large supply of ad inventory on the Google Display Network. By enabling both text and image ads, you’ll also increase the ad inventory. Embed this size within the content or at the end of articles for the best performance. 
  1. Large Rectangle (336 x 280) In this case, bigger is better. The large rectangle is also popular because it has a generous amount of ad inventory within the Google Display Network. Its size is easy to see, so visitors will be more enticed to click on it. For the best performance, place it at the end of an article or enclose it in an article. 
  1. Leaderboard (728 x 90) The leaderboard is a very common Google ad size and you’ll be happy to learn that it converts well, especially when you place it above your main content. It’s an excellent choice for displaying logos, the brand name, and other text. 
  1. Large Skyscraper (300 x 600) The large skyscraper size is a fan-favorite by brand advertisers and it offers some of the highest payouts for publishers. You'll get lots of impressions when you use this size especially when you place it next to articles and other types of content. It's also a good choice for advertisers seeking higher conversions.

You can count on some degree of risk whenever you run ads on the Google Display Network because of click fraud—more so than the regular search network. Fraudulent clicks increase your cost per conversion and they’ll drive your advertising budget up too. 

There's lots more to learn about how to use Google Network banner sizes to get the most out of your PPC campaigns without getting bogged down by click fraud. If you’re ready to learn more about it, give us a call at ClickGUARD, and let’s have a chat to see how we can help you reach your digital marketing goals. 

Jason is a passionate data-driven specialist with extensive PPC & SEO experience. When not writing about SEM he can be found surfboarding the wildest ocean waves of the Argentinian coast.