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A 2020 Guide to Google Display Ad Sizes

In this day and age of trying to stay top of mind with our target audiences, display remarketing is an essential strategy to reconnect with current customers or potential prospects who have recently engaged with your brand.

On average, it takes six touches before a prospect converts. A properly executed remarketing display campaign will re-establish brand awareness, trust, and increase revenue from lost site traffic and/or abandoned carts. 

Executing a successful remarking display campaign that produces revenue can be challenging. With everything on a marketer’s plate, especially now, how can you execute a top-performing display campaign? Which display ad sizes will give you the best results? 

Google has over 10 different sizes and dimensions, that all vary in CTR’s, price, and publisher preference. With so many options and directions to go in, it’s hard to lean in on what is best for your industry and the target audiences you’re trying to reach. But knowing the different options and the strategy behind those options will help you decide what is best for your audience. 

Let’s break it down, shall we? 

Navigating Ad Sizes and What Google Considers The Most Popular/Best Performing

Ah, the popular kids are back at it again with making us follow their lead to stay trendy. What makes them so popular anyways? According to Google, their top-performing display ads generate the most amount of impressions, clicks, and sales.

The popular group of display ad sizes:

  • 300×250 – Medium Rectangle: One of the most compact options, typically performs well when embedded within the text, at the bottom of pages, or at the end of articles and can be seen on desktop, mobile, and tablets.
  • 336×280 – Large Rectangle: Being slightly larger than the medium rectangle, this ad size increases the chance of grabbing your audience’s attention leading to a greater chance of clicks. The large rectangle performs well when placed within the text or at the end of an article.
  • 728×90 – Leaderboard: Performs well when placed above the main content, and on forum websites. 
  • 300×600 – Half Page: Half pages are one of the fastest-growing sizes by impressions – they’re one of the most visually impactful ad sizes. It offers users rich engagement due to the larger opportunity advertisers have to communicate their messaging. 
  • 328×100 – Large Mobile Banner: These ads offer twice the height when compared to the stands “mobile leaderboard.”

Notice a running theme at all? Anyone remember the phrase, “Be there or be square”?

The top five display ads are all rectangles. These rectangle display ads are the selection of ads that publishers prefer and use the most – they have the most ad inventory and the best click-through rate. 

A few other things to keep in mind in your Display Marketing Strategy:

  • Pay-to-play – It’s a very competitive landscape in the digital media world and large companies that have a bigger budget eat up top positions. The more you’re willing to pay, the better the ad performs. 
  • Make it memorableAlthough ad size does matter, the design is key! Remember, display remarketing, although re-engaging with someone who has been on your site, is still a disruptive form of advertising. Therefore don’t forget to consider other aspects of your ad: ad copy, a strong CTA, and colors.
  • Build trust with content – This is not the time for a sales demo pitch! 78% of B2B buyers admit to consuming three or more pieces of relevant content before talking to a salesperson.

Wait, but what about responsive display ads?

We’re glad you brought that up! 

Responsive display ads offer a combination of text and image options that display in a variety of formats, depending on the ad placement. You provide the images, short headlines, long headlines, descriptions, a business name, and Google rotates to show the best-performing combination.

Responsive display ads are a great option if you have a quick turnaround to launch the campaign and limited creative resources. However, they don’t offer a whole lot of control for branding, as you’re passing the reins over to Google to optimize and create your ads in real-time. 

So What Image Size Should I Use?

Overall, although there are the “most popular” group of Google Ad sizes, there is never a one size fits all for digital marketing strategy, especially with B2B Marketing.

You need to be constantly researching your industry to see what ad formats are running in order to get the most exposure for your campaign. All websites are built differently, so the top-performing display ad sizes for industry A are going to be different from industry B.

As mentioned above, ad size is important, but design is important too. Therefore, you should always be optimizing your campaigns based on best practices and top-performing ad creative.

We recommend you A/B test different design versions of copy, CTAs, and colors in addition to your ad dimensions.  

When A Graphic Designer Isn’t An Option

Budgets are being tightened and not everyone has the ability to pay a graphic designer for different variations of creative for the new display campaign. As previously mentioned, responsive display ads are a great option.

Although they are intended to be a simple set up, there are still some best practices and key elements to consider when setting up your first responsive display ads. 

Here’s what you’ll need & some tips for success:

  • Images

    • Each responsive ad requires a landscape and square image, respectively 1200×628 and 1200×1200.
    • Look for high-quality images that will represent your brand and what you are trying to advertise.
    • Avoid copyright infringements by using your own photos or photos you have the rights to use.  
    • Prioritize images without logos or text on them – Responsive ads automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces, so make sure it will still make sense if your image is cropped.
  • Logos

    • Same as the images you provide, you will need to upload a landscape and square version of your logo – a 1200×300 and 1200×1200. 
    • If you only have a landscape version of your logo, Google allows you to run your ads only with a landscape logo – but it will limit your campaign.
  • Copy

    • Keep it short, sweet, and eye-catching.  
    • Note that Google prioritizes headlines over descriptions, so be sure your headlines contain the critical information for the ad to maintain relevance.

How To Increase ROI

Ultimately, digital marketers want their paid media efforts to contribute to ROI, and a successful run display campaign will do just that. But, first, you need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with a display campaign. Is it clicks? Conversions? Brand awareness? 

Once you have a goal set, here are a few tips to consider when launching your display campaign:

  • Utilize remarketing 

    • If a potential lead comes to your website, remarketing enables you to re-engage with those prospects to increase brand recognition and conversions.
  • Enhance your landing pages

    • Keep the user in mind when building your landing pages and create a relevant experience that provides the solution or answer to what was highlighted in your advertisement.
    • An effective landing page contains a CTA button, relevant content, fast loading speed, and is compatible with all devices.
  • Understand your target audience and develop interesting content

    • Similar to developing your landing pages, the content you produce should be created with your target audience in mind. Instead of building your content around what you want users to look at, research what your target audiences are looking for and build compelling content accordingly.
  • Track against established KPIs

    • In order to make sure your campaigns are positively impacting your ROI, you need to monitor performance metrics based on the goals you set for your campaign. We’ll talk more on what metrics to look at in our reporting section below. 

Reporting On Your Campaigns

How do you know that your campaign was or is continuing to be successful? First things first, you’ll need to set performance metrics, trackable goals, and your plan for analysis. Who are you targeting and what stage they’re in within the purchase funnel hugely impacts your goals. 

  • If you’re targeting a new audience to increase brand awareness you should look at the percentage of new site visitors and engagement metrics, such as time spent on site, bounce rate, and average pages viewed.
  • When targeting audiences in the middle of the funnel – you are trying to push them from the consideration stage to the conversion through remarketing efforts. Therefore, you should be monitoring your number of conversions, cost per acquisition, and qualified sales leads. 
  • At the bottom of the funnel, marketers need to focus on ROI – are your ads converting? How much are these conversions costing you? One metric to monitor is the lifetime value (LTV).  

So which is it? Are you remarketing for conversions? Increasing LTV? Focusing on brand awareness?

Figure out what goal is most important to you, then set KPIs to track against as the progress of your campaign.


At BusinessOnline, we understand that managing your digital advertising campaigns can be overwhelming. As we navigate forward in a world of uncertainty, we will continue to support our clients, share best practices, digital marketing strategies, and client wins. 



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