Which Display Ad Formats Are Performing Best and Why

Meetrics Ad Formats Blog

Written by the Client Service Team

The competition for attention in the online marketing world is very tough. At Meetrics we are often asked which display ads perform the best and why. This is no easy question to answer.

Meetrics Benchmarks Point Out Good Performers in the Market

One way to answer the question of the best performing display ad format would be to look at benchmarks. Meetrics publishes a quarterly overview of performance with the most important key figures and developments for different banner formats. The benchmarks provide an overview of the best and worst performing ad formats. In the report, that is free for download on the Meetrics’ website, some ad formats stand out in terms of performance.

For the international market the sitebar with 81% is having the highest average viewability followed by the skyscraper. The lowest performer is the MPU. When comparing this to the German market we see the same distribution of ad format performance.

Other Good Performing Display Ad Formats

Sitebars and skyscrapers are probably commonly known as good performers especially since these formats are able to be placed sticky on the page. Interstitials and fullpagers tend to have a good viewability as they cover the whole page. However, it happens that they get clicked away fast which could influence the viewability if the viewability definition includes a longer viewtime.

Not All Bad Performers Always Perform Badly

There is a common understanding that certain formats would perform poorly, however this is not always the case. Not in every case a bad performing ad format such as an MPU or a leaderboard need to perform badly. We often see actually high performing MPUs for instance due to a great positioning. For example, if the MPU is placed as an in-read next to very interesting and relevant content, the MPU can generate a very high viewability.

A leaderboard is often placed in the bottom of the page, however, when it is placed in the top, the viewability can become quite good. These cases show that even though the format of the ad has an impact on the performance, it is only one factor amongst many that determines the success of a display ad.

Big Is Not Always the Best

The bigger the better is not always the case for ad formats. It is easy to presume that a bigger ad would be more visible and easier to read and therefore gain more attention. However, the size of the format needs to fit with the device and its screen size. Which means that to become viewable on a certain definition, the ad should not be much larger than the screen size. This is especially crucial for mobile devices.

Maybe More Than Just the Format

All in all, the display ad performance is not determined by one factor but many. To catch the attention of the customer the ad has to be viewable. One of the factors for viewability is the format of the ad, that is however not the ultimate factor. It is more a mixture of factors like placement, closeness to relevant content, size, stickiness, type of web page, etc. additional to the format. In the Meetrics measurement, reasons for non-viewability can be used to indicate if a certain placement can be optimized based on the format. It is not easy to answer why a certain display ad format performs better than another but by looking at the data in comparison to the benchmarks, you can draw conclusions for the format.