What is a leaderboard ad?
The 728×90 banner ad unit is an IAB standard ad unit also known as is known as a Leaderboard Banner, Super Banner or just a Leaderboard. The leaderboard size 728 pixels wide by 90 pixels tall. A 728×90 ad is usually placed at the top of a page, so it is seen by the user immediately when the page loads. Leaderboard ads are possibly the most valuable/costly as they generally perform really well.
Leaderboard ads replaced the old smaller 468×60 banner as the results are generally much better and it looks better too.
A leaderboard ad is especially good for expandable ads, as their usual top-middle positioning on a website means that they can expand in a practical (and eye-pleasing) manner. They are also often used when other bits of advertising code (such as tracking or overlays/floaters) needs to piggyback onto a page, as they generally load first.
This is how a leaderboard ad looks:
|A live example of a 728 x 90 below|
728×90 Advice for Site Owners
728x90s command amongst the highest CPMs. They are so standard and prevalent across the internet that they should definitely be used on every page.
As they are so successful, if is tempting to place one of these ad units at the top and bottom of every page. However only the above the fold ad unit will be very successful or earn much money. If you do ad one to the bottom of the page, ensure that you are able to differentiate between the two ad slots when selling advertising space so you can better monetize the top slot.
This ad unit is often used as part of sponsorships and homepage takeovers. Therefore it is important that it appears in the exact same place on every page. It is also best if it is aligned with a 300×250, so these ad units can have a collaborative effect.
Tip: Many sites use this as part of a multi-sized ad slot with a 468×60. We do not recommend this. A 468×60 fills the space of a 728×90 badly and commands a much lower CPM so there is little point. Also with 728x90s being so common, there is little need.
728×90 Advice for Ad Buyers
This is amongst the best performing ad slots, so should always be part of an ad buy. It is likely to be amongst the most expensive, but it is generally worth it due to it’s performance.
This ad is generally at the top of the page, so is the first thing a user will see. However sites often also put a second 728×90 at the bottom of a page for incremental revenue. You should therefore always check you are able to buy the above the fold version to the exclusion of the bottom of the page leaderboard banner.
728x90s are often used for expandable ads. To ensure these run smoothly, only book on sites which do not use iframes. If a site does use iframes, there are ways to make it expand anyway. This is generally more hassle than it’s worth though, especially if you are booking across multiple sites.
Tip: Many advertisers embed video advertising in 728x90s, however this ad size is not large enough to show a video properly. If you would like to add a video into a 728×90, then create an expanding ad and place the video in that for best results.
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Author: Justin Driskill
Justin is the founder of The Online Advertising Guide and a freelance Digital Projects Manager.