728×90 – Leaderboard

A leaderboard is a display ad unit 728 pixels wide by 90 pixels tall. The 728×90 is commonly called a leaderboard, but it is also known as a Leaderboard Banner or Super Banner.

A 728×90 ad is usually placed at the top of a webpage so that it is seen immediately when the page loads.

Leaderboard ads are the second-best ad size (after MPUs), as they perform well and are incredibly common.



Click on the links below to jump to the associated section

    1. Examples of Leaderboards
      1. Live example
      2. In Situ Examples
    2. The Best Position for 728x90s
    3. Advice for Site Owners
      1. Use One Leaderboard Per Page
    4. Advice for Ad Buyers
      1. Designing Leaderboard Ads
    5. Technical Information
      1. Expandable ads
      2. Multi-Sized Ad Slots
    6. Summary
    7. Find Out More



Examples of Leaderboards

Leaderboard Live Example

The below 728×90 is a real ad. It will refresh every 30 seconds.



Note: For technical reasons, the live ad may not always load; instead, a backup image will show.


Leaderboard Ads In Situ

Here are some examples of Leaderboards running on real websites.

Leaderboards are almost always used at the top of web pages. However, we have also included examples of the other most commonly used placements for this ad size.


Above the header of a site:

An example of a leaderboard ad above loading above the header of a site


Below the header of a site:

An example of a 728x90 ad above loading below the header of a site


Breaking up content on a site:

An example of a leaderboard ad above loading within the content of a site


Above the footer of a site:

An example of a leaderboard ad above loading above the footer of a site


As an anchor ad (pinned to the footer of the desktop version of a site):

An example of a 728x90 ad above loading used as an anchor ad (desktop only)



The Best Position for 728x90s

When leaderboard ads appear at the top of web pages, they are most likely to be seen (and therefore clicked on). Being onscreen when a page first loads is referred to as being “above the fold.” Above-the-fold ads are the most sought-after by advertisers (as they perform best).

This is what makes leaderboard ads so popular and profitable.

As shown above, some sites place 728x90s within content or at the bottom of web pages. These placements are far less likely to be seen by users, and so will earn less than top-of-screen leaderboards.


Top Tip

Lazy loading is essential when using ads in below-the-fold placements. Lazy loading means the ads only load when the ad is on or almost on screen.

Otherwise, these low-value ad slots will slow down a webpage and drive users away, reducing their value further.


728×90 ads are also sometimes used as sticky anchor ads (meaning they stay on the screen as you scroll). The Online Advertising Guide considers these more annoying than they are worth.

Large sticky ads may earn a reasonable RPM, but they will also drive away some users who become annoyed by them. Having more people visit your website will earn you more money than showing an individual visitor more ads.


What is looks like: Above The Fold



728×90 Advice for Site Owners

728×90s earn amongst the highest RPM out of any ad size. They fit into the top of web pages so easily and are so prevalent across the internet . You should add them to the top of every page to maximise your ad revenue.

A leaderboard at the top of a webpage is unobtrusive and will earn you good money.


Top Tip

Leaderboards are often used in sponsorships and homepage takeovers. Therefore, they must appear in the same place on every page.

It is also best to align with a 300×250 so these ad units can work together.


Use One Leaderboard Per Page

Because they are so successful, placing one of these ad units at the top and bottom of every page can be tempting. However, only the above-the-fold ad unit will earn much money. Above-the-fold, ad units are more valuable because everyone visiting your webpage will surely see them.

Meanwhile, ads at the bottom of pages are rarely viewed (or clicked on).

We recommend including a leaderboard only at the top of web pages. However, if you use multiple leaderboards on one page, ensure you can differentiate between them for reporting and targeting when selling advertising space. Differentiating will ensure you can better monetise the top slot (and prove its value to advertisers).

You can usually do this by labelling the individual placements in your ad platform (you may also need to use different ad tags for each placement).



728×90 Advice for Ad Buyers

A leaderboard is among the best-performing ad slots, so it should always be part of an ad buy. Although it is likely to be among the most expensive ad units, its solid performance generally makes it worth it.

This ad unit is generally placed at the top of the page and is the first thing a user will see. Being above the fold gives these ad units a natural boost to their potential performance.

However, sites sometimes also put a second 728×90 at the bottom of a page. You should, therefore, always check that you can buy the above-the-fold version (to the exclusion of the bottom of the page leaderboard).


Top Tip

728×90s make great expandable ads. To ensure these run smoothly, only book on sites that do not use iframes.

If a site does use iframes, there are ways to expand it anyway. However, this is generally more hassle than it’s worth, especially if you are booking across multiple sites.


Designing Leaderboard ads

When designing leaderboard ads, remember that they are long and thin, suitable for lines of text but less useful for images. Consider focusing on a small image and your logo along with your ad copy.

Placement at the top of pages for a 728×90 means your ads will be closer to the site’s logo than other ads. By placing your ad close to another company’s logo, you risk confusing their brand values with yours. Of course, this can also be beneficial if you choose your ad placements and design your ads carefully.


Top Tip

Many advertisers embed video advertising in 728×90s. However, this ad size is not large enough to show a video properly.

If you want to add a video into a 728×90, create an expanding ad and place the video in that for best results.



Technical Information

Leaderboards take up 65,520 pixels of space, making them the smallest of the five top display ad sizes.

In general, the larger the display ad unit, the better it performs. However, both the Leaderboard and MPU buck this trend and generally outperform their larger counterparts.


Top 5 Display Ads Area in Pixels


Note: Leaderboard ads replaced the old, smaller 468×60 banner ad on almost every website. This replacement process took years, but 468×60 ads are now only rarely seen.

Similarly, billboard ads are often now replacing 728x90s on websites as they can earn more money. Leaderboards continue to be used frequently throughout the web, a trend which seems likely to continue.

Unlike 468×60 ads, leaderboard ads still perform very well and have use cases that 970×250 ads cannot fill, so they will likely stay around for quite a while.


Expandable Leaderboard Ads

A leaderboard ad is perfect for expandable ads. Their usual top-middle positioning on a website allows them to expand in a practical (and eye-pleasing) manner.

Not all websites run expandable ads, so ad specs can vary greatly. 728x90s typically expand straight down (once clicked) and between 300 and 800 pixels.

Leaderboards are also often used when other bits of advertising code (such as tracking or overlays/floaters) need to piggyback onto a page, as they generally load first.

For these reasons, never place leaderboards within an iframe. They should also have a z-index of 999,999,998 (with only overlays/floaters appearing on top of it).


Multi-Sized Ad Slots

728×90s are one of the horizontal ad units.

They can share ad space with any other horizontal ad unit, including a 468×60, 970×90, 970×250, or even a 320×50 or 320×100.

Note: It is essential not to combine all these into one ad space, as it will look strange. A tiny ad floating in a massive space will not perform well.

If you want to use a 728×90 in a multi-sized ad slot, try to follow these rules:

  1. For a 728×90 and 468×60 combo: This works best in a placement where the 728×90 breaks up content. It is the only combo where you could consider adding a 320×50 or 320×100 into the mix.
  2. For a 728×90 and 970×90 combo: This works best when the leaderboard is floating in 970×90 space with nothing on either side. This combo increases competition for this ad space, increasing its value.
  3. For a 728×90 and 970×250 combo: This works best when floating in an ample designated space (this combo can include 970x90s too). As a 970×250 is so much larger than a 728×90 it can look odd if not designed well.


Top Tip

On mobile screens, it is common practice to replace a 728×90 with a 320×50 or 320×100 for design consistency.




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