As with most institutionalized and regimented things, banner sizes too come in some pre-existing forms or dimensions, known as “standard banner size”. From full banners, half banners and skyscrapers, to micro button banners, there are multiple categories of banners with multiple widths, heights, or utilities. Depending on their location on a webpage, each banner has a specific name and a specific function. The following image, for instance, gives an overview of the kind of banner shapes and sizes which are generally seen on a website.
What is the purpose behind using banners?
Banners are generally graphically enriched, informative advertisements which are designed to attract. Because more traditional forms of attention such as magazines and TV are gradually becoming less important in this digital era, more and more advertisers are opting towards the digital medium for their advertisements. Of course, some web pages also use banners in the form of self-identity – that is, they advertise various aspects of the website that a user might be on.
Simply put, they are simple image files (generally jpeg, gif or flash) which integrate three basic elements: text, logo and image. The size is quite small, which makes it easy to put on any website without slowing it down. Unlike Rich Media, there’s almost no interactivity with the audience or consumer, which is why banners are also known as static files at times.
Different kinds of banners: the facts
At one point of time, there were over 205 different forms of banners spread over different countries. Of course, that created quite a few problems, considering that the internet is essentially a border-less network of people. AS a result, the IAB regulated the sizes and provided a rigid guideline to determine standard banner sizes. Before considering the sizes, however, there are some more factors which we might look into.
Standard Banner Sizes which come in two different forms
There are two main types of web banner ads when it comes to content:
- Single image banners, which may be animated with the use of GIF images or through static images such as JPEGs. GIF animated banners are the most widely prevalent form of ads. These banners are generally more cost effective than others.
- Flash banners which use flash technology, which implement quality graphics with smooth operational elements and vibrant colours. Ads displayed on Yahoo!, for instance, are are generally flash banner ads.
Different kinds of banners according to sizes
What are the most popular formats for website banners available at present? They are:
|Size (in pixels)||Style|
|120 x 240||Small Skyscraper|
|120 x 60||Button|
|120 x 600||Skyscraper|
|120 x 90||Button|
|125 x 125||Square Button|
|160 x 600||Skyscraper|
|180 x 150||Rectangle|
|234 x 60||Half Banner|
|240 x 400||Fat Skyscraper|
|250 x 250||Square|
|300 x 250||Square|
|336 x 280||Square|
|468 x 60||Full Banner|
|728 x 90||Leader-board|
|88 x 31||Button|
While there are other sizes and forms available, such as a 120 by 30 button or a 550 by 80 pop-up, etc. the above mentioned sizes are considered what is known as a “standard web banner”.
The methodology behind creating standard banner sizes for the web
There are several methods by which you can create a banner for a website, but we’ll just cover the five most prominent ways of doing so.
- Photoshop: The most popular method by far, Photoshop employs pre-set banner sizes and lets you decide what you want to do. However, the use of Photoshop is mostly restricted to static images.
- MS Paint: MS Paint is also commonly used but designers generally give it a miss for its limitations. Banner size selection is especially difficult with it because there are no ways of inputting fixed dimensions.
- MS PowerPoint: Many people also use MS PowerPoint, but again, this is not a recommended method for it. If you want, however, you could choose the Blank Presentation option to create a text and image based design.
- Online Banner Constructors: These are popularly used by people who want a quick and easy way of customising their banners. Although not as professional as using Photoshop, it does have its advantages. There are plenty of free services available, so you can take your pick and generate simple banners in no time.
- Macromedia Fireworks: This is for the more technologically advanced graphic designers who can utilize it to make gifs and other such banners. It takes a little bit of HTML coding, but nothing too advanced.
Why is the banner size relevant to good business?
Banner sizes are influential in how people perceive your website or website design. Size is the first thing that impresses people when they see something, because we’re primarily visual beings, and that means the bigger it is, the more approachable it is as well. The thing is that banner sizes, when disproportionately big, can take away from the main factor: the website which generally happens to be WHY the visitor was on the website in the first place.
This is why standardized banner sizes are so relevant to our web experience at this point of time. The top three banner sizes are, it has been seen, responsible for generating at least 78% of business for most publishers or advertisers. These three sizes are leaderboards, wide skyscrapers, and the medium rectangles.
On the other hand, if you take a list of the top ten standard web banner sizes, you will find that it generates 90% of revenue from ads. These are as follows:
- Medium Rectangle Banner (300 x 250) – ad impression share of 34%.
- Leaderboard Banner (728 x 90) – ad impression share of 31%.
- Wide Skyscraper (160 x 600) – ad impression share of about 13%.
- Skyscraper (120 x 600) – 2% share
- Rectangle (300 x 100) – 2% share again
- Micro Bar (88 x 31) – 2% share
- Half-page banner (300 x 600) – 1% share
- Large Rectangle (336 x 280) – 1% share
- Mobile leaderboard (320 x 50) – 1%
- Banner (468 x 60) – 3%
These figures are only indicative of the popularity of various banner sizes, and how effective they are in a real time scenario when it comes to making an impression.
Best Practices for Banner Ads:
- Headlines: Having strong headlines (headings) are a great way of captivating audience attention. A variation in text colour and sizes often leads to a better and fuller experience of a banner.
- Content: Items related to the topic such as content or images in the banner are always useful, especially in pop-up banners. In other words, it is more helpful if you choose banners according to the marketing message you wish to employ.
- Calls to action: The CTA basically determine how quickly you can convince your audience to follow the banner to another website. The relationship is a direct one: the better the CTA, the better the audience response.
- Animations and GIFs: These tend to be better as banner ads simply because they attract more attention by distracting users from whatever text is present on the webpage. If the ad comprises mainly of graphics i.e. digital images, a large square or a wide skyscraper is the best bet.
- Size matters: The previous section established this, but when looking to establish your business through banners, the bigger the better in all likelihood. Leaderboards are extremely eye-popping, so if you need to grab attention, this is the best option.
- Hit and Trial works: In the banner world, it definitely does workout well. There are numerous websites which can give you analytical data when you place an ad, to help determine which size works best for you.