Mobile Ads and Sizes: Choosing the Best Size for Your Ad

August 31, 2020

Why Choose Mobile Ads?

There are more than 5.15 billion mobile users in the world. More and more people are using mobile devices to browse the internet, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that mobile internet users have surpassed desktop internet users and time spent on mobile has surpassed that of watching TV every day.

Mobile devices offer greater ease. You can check the latest news, watch videos, stay connected with your friends and family while on the go. Since mobile devices are used all around the world by people of all ages, it creates a huge pool for advertisers to try and win.

People do a variety of things on mobile from streaming shows to watching educational content. They also come across ads while browsing the web. We can’t deny the fact that mobile ads are effective, but how do you find the most suitable ad for mobile users?

Comparison of ad revenue performance based on platform and device type

The above chart shows how mobile revenue is bringing competition to desktop revenue due to the increase in mobile users.

If you’ve used mobile internet, you must have come across a variety of ads and while they all convert, they differ in terms of efficiency and conversion rates. This is why it is important to know the right ad size so that you can maximize every dollar spent on mobile ads.

We’ll answer this question in this article to help you figure out the right ad and size for your campaigns.

Let’s start:

Rich Media Ads

These are graphic ads of very high quality. They’re interactive as they respond to user interaction, such as ads that open when you scroll over ‘em. However, they’re not programmatic ads and will need to be direct.

Rich media ads can contain an image, video, or audio encouraging visitors to interact. While they’re extremely popular and engaging, some publishers stay away from rich media ads as they’re very heavy in size and can slow pages down.

Back in the day, rich media ads were mostly used by app publishers but now you will find these on websites as well.

Rich Media Ad Sizes:

Here are the two most popular sizes for rich media ads:

  • 600×500
  • 320×480

Sizes typically depend on where you wish to place ads – mobile apps, websites – and what they contain.

Tips to Use Rich Media Ads

  • Make sure to use ads that are interactive and not intrusive.
  • Do not go overboard with animations, keep it subtle.
  • Some rich media ad formats cover the entire mobile screen. If you choose such ads then make sure to place an exit button to ensure users have the chance to exit the ad.
  • Do not make the mistake of forcing users to interact with your ads.

Mobile Banner Ads

This is among the most popular options out there. You’ll see banner ads everywhere from websites to streaming platforms to mobile apps.
Banner ads are the standard ad format for all publishers, even the biggest ones. They’re said to be suitable for medium or small publishers who do not know much about mobile advertising. However, some big websites like Huffington Post also use banner ads.

They appear in the form of a bar, column, or box with text and image on the user’s mobile screen. They’re effective because they can be very hard to miss; however, you must pay special attention to their placement to enjoy good engagement.

Mobile Banner Ad Sizes:

  • Medium rectangle – 300×250
  • Mobile leaderboard – 320×50
  • Large mobile banner – 320×100
Mobile banner ad revenue distribution by ad size

According to the above chart, 300×250 is the most popular option and makes up the largest share of the revenue. The chart compares our performance against competitors but can be used to understand what kind of ads others are opting for.

Now, back to banner ads. Each option offers different CPM and CTR rates. Here’s an average breakdown across our book of publishers:

SizeCPMCTR320×50$0.61.2 percent420×420$0.93.2 percent768×1024$2.38.3 percent1024×768$2.912.9 percent

As evident from the chart, bigger ads tend to offer higher CPM and CTR rates; however, they may not always be suitable since ads that cover a large part of the screen can disrupt the experience and make the user exit a page.

Tips to Using Mobile Banner Ads

Here’s how to use mobile banner ads to increase your revenue:

  • Keep experimenting with different ad sizes to find what works best for you.
  • Avoid placing ads in a manner that results in accidental clicks. It might bring you money but it can force users to leave your site.
  • Do not place too many ads on a page – especially close to each other – as they do not look good visually, can also affect the user experience and you could get penalized by Google.

Mobile Native Ads

Native ads are used by almost all big companies including YouTube, BBC, BuzzFeed. These ads are popular among both mobile and desktop users as they are non-intrusive and appear like organic content.

These ads usually come with a ‘suggested’ or ‘promoted’ tag and are known to mimic the content style, size, format, and type. This is how they’re able to get visitors’ attention.

A well crafted native ad can offer very good returns. According to Twitter, users can get an ROI of up to 198 per cent by using native ads on the platform.

Native Ad Sizes:

There’s no specific size for native ads as they’re made to blend with the content on the page.

A native ad can be in the form of a headline, a banner, a video, or a thumbnail.

Tips to Use Mobile Native Ads

Here’s how you can get the most out of native mobile ads:

  • Native ads are designed to flow well. They’re served without interrupting the user experience. However, it’s important that publishers add a warning (promoted, sponsored, etc.) with ads.
  • These ads are best suited for publishers who have a decent number of engaged visitors.
  • Native ads can be combined with other ad formats like display ads to get better results.

Mobile Video Ads

In short, video ads are more engaging and rewarding. It’s hard to neglect the importance of video ads, particularly when video ads are expected to exceed all other advertising methods by the end of 2020 according to eMarketer.

This is because users love videos given that they’re well made and relevant. Also, they’re more effective from an advertiser’s perspective as we tend to remember more of what we see than what we read or hear. This is why some advertisers are willing to pay more for video ads.

The average adult in the US spends about 5.5 hours per day watching videos. This includes all kinds of videos from educational lessons to Netflix shows to video ads.

The success of video platforms like YouTube have given a major boost to video ads; however, it can be a little expensive for some users. Plus, not all publishers enjoy video ads as they can negatively affect page load times, which can be a concern because most users will leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Despite this, video ads are still in demand. They can be intertwined in video content or be shown individually. Check out our guide to the top video ad networks for publishers for more ideas.

Mobile Video Ad Sizes:

Here are the two most popular sizes for video ads:

  • 320×480
  • 480×320

You can, however, choose different sizes according to the nature of your site.

Tips to Use Mobile Video Ads

Here’s how to maximize revenue through video ads:

  • Consider offering a variety of video ads including in-stream and outstream video ads to attract a wider range of customers.
  • Look at optimizing your inventory according to your advertisers’ needs, i.e.: quality audience and high pageviews.
  • Do not go for long video ads, they should be under 30 seconds and relevant to the audience so they can keep them glued.

Interstitial Ads

These ads are more commonly seen on mobile apps. These ads cover the entire screen and are popular for containing interactive elements.

Interstitial ads typically contain videos or banners. They are most commonly placed between natural transitions, i.e. moving from one level to another in a game or choosing to preview changes you’ve made to a file.

Major names like Pinterest and Airbnb use these ads. They saw an increase of 100 percent and 300 percent respectively in their installation rate by using interstitial ads.

These ads offer good CTRs and can be used to create awareness.

Interstitial Ad Sizes:

Here are the two most popular sizes for interstitial ads:

  • 320×480
  • 480×320

Since they cover the entire screen, there aren’t many options when it comes to sizes.

Tips to Use Interstitial Ads

It’s very important to be careful when using these ads since about 22 percent of users are quick to find the close button.

Here’s how to generate more revenue using interstitial ads:

  • They should only be placed between natural transitions or breaks of a site or app so that the user experience isn’t disrupted.
  • Users should have no problem finding the close button. It should be neatly placed so that users do not feel they’re being forced to watch an ad. However, the placement should be clever to discourage accidental clicks.


We hope these tips will help you choose the right size to increase your ad revenue. However, remember that one size does not fit all and the right ad size depends on a variety of factors including the requirements of your advertisers and visitors.

In addition to this, where you intend to serve ads matters as well. For example, native ads work well on websites but may not be best for games.

We suggest that you try a number of options to find the ad that offers the best results.

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