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What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

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What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

Read time 15 min read
What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

We can set-up and optimize your Google Ads for you but let’s also test your website’s SEO potential! While Diib helps 1000s of businesses grow with Google Ads management, Diib is also one of the best SEO tools in the world and uses the power of big data to help you quickly and easily increase your free organic traffic and rankings. Diib will even let you know if you already deserve to rank higher for certain keywords.


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There are various forms of display ads in digital marketing, and one of the most popular is leaderboards advertising. A leaderboards ad is typically a large banner available in either image or text format and covers the content area in a horizontal position. These ads are often posted on spots receiving high traffic for more clicks. The main aim of using leaderboard ads is to get people’s attention and generating clicks.

There are numerous standard sizes of leaderboards ads, with the most popular banner size being 728 pixels (width) by 90 pixels (height). Though used in popular ad positions, this banner is more ideal for marketers willing to cover the entire content area with a single ad. An image leaderboard ad will only carry a single ad, but a text banner can carry as many as 20 advertisements on a single leaderboard ad.

Although text banners might sound more convenient, most leaderboards are images. The image could be animated with an intention to increase click-through rates. This ad can be placed either at the top, bottom, or middle of the page. When placed at the top, the marketer will position it right above or before the website header or logo. When positioned at the middle of a page, the ad will have a short article or text either below or above it. It’s rare for marketers to place leaderboards at the bottom due to low visibility.

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Why use Leaderboard advertising?

This mode of advertising shares about 12.7% of the global ad spend, according to Marketing Interactive. This leaves you wondering what could render display advertising an attractive option for online marketers. You will soon realize that display ads help improve brand awareness and reach a larger audience across all digital platforms. To increase ROI on your banner advertising strategy, you should consider customizing your approach with demographic and contextual targeting.

When properly executed, good banner ads could become an important part of your online marketing strategy. Leaderboard ads offer you an opportunity to promote your brand across the internet and reach more potential clients and customers. With this form of display marketing, you will not be restricted to one user-preferred social platform. Your brand can reach consumers or customers across all digital social networks where your audience might be looking for good services, recommendations, goods, and news.

With a tool like Google Display Network, you can access about 92% of all internet users. With the best display banners, you get to reach a bigger audience than any other online or offline marketing strategy would. You can also reach your target audience across different devices and throughout the audience’s day, from breakfast to a midnight snack. Here is an example of a Google Display Ad:

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: Local Blitz)

With relevant leaderboard ads customized for a specific target audience, you can drive this target group to your website for conversion. There are many ways to achieve personalized targeting but the most commonly practiced one is contextual targeting. The same way you do keyword research and focusing on search engine result page ranking, you can use specific keywords in your online banners. It’s also possible to attract your target audience using demographic targeting by highlighting their geographic location, interests, or language. If you are targeting sports enthusiasts, for instance, you could have the best display banners customized and posted on a popular sports website.

How display advertising works

You can complement your marketing strategy with a well-thought-out leaderboard advertising approach. The display marketing strategy should unify imagery and branding across all online channels. Below are some of the steps you should follow when getting started with your leaderboard advertising campaign:


The first step is assembling text and image elements to create good banner ads or master creatives. The latter act as templates for all banner sizes you will use in your campaign. Some of the basic design principles to abide by include:

  • Color that evokes the right emotions and matches your brand identity
  • Copy that contrasts with the background and is readable
  • A clear logo that stands out
  • Relevant and high-quality images
  • A call-to-action that drives clicks

Every banner you create should contain these basic elements for it to be engaging and effective. You can create your own banners from scratch, but it’s often a laborious and repetitive process. Developing the best web banner ads calls for expertise in coding and designing skills.


Once you have designed your banners, mass production or scaling the ads into various sizes becomes the next step. For a successful display advertising campaign, you will need different sizes of banners for compatibility with various screen sizes and device formats. Scaling is, however, a time-consuming process because each banner must be coded individually and sometimes to work specifically for a particular network.

When done manually, scaling can take days, but luckily enough, there is software designed for automatic optimization of banners. The software relies on creative management platforms such as Bannerflow that employs learning algorithms to automate the banner scaling process. Research shows that the majority of internet users browse using their mobile devices, which means you should optimize for mobile formats.


This is the final and most important stage of your campaign. By the time your banners get to this stage, they must be well optimized to the sizes offers by chosen ad exchange or ad network. If your using Google, for example, and you have optimized your banners appropriately, you can rest assured that they will display appropriately across all devices.

Publishing each banner individually is another repetitive task you want to avoid. Fortunately, if you had used the Creative Management Platform software to create your ads, you will enjoy direct integration with ad exchanges and ad networks. This means that you can publish and manage your ads by pushing buttons around.

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After Publishing

Your campaign will not end after publishing the ads. Actually, publishing marks the beginning of the display marketing strategy for most marketers. It is important to track or monitor the effectiveness of your campaign. This means auditing the campaign costs, assessing the conversion rates, and conducting /B tests to determine the images and texts that work best for your brand. To improve results, you should create a post-click landing page, as this signifies continuity.

Types of Leaderboard Advertising Campaign

Just like any other display advertising strategy, leaderboard advertising can be divided into four distinct categories. Below are some leaderboard ad example

1. Brand Awareness

This happens to be the most basic use of leaderboard ads. Brands will often pay to have their best web banner ads displayed across various websites in the same manner that they would have the ads published in a newspaper or on a billboard. The main objective is to get your brand name displayed in front of as many eyes as possible. The success metrics for a brand awareness geared campaign are impressions and reach. For example:

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: Shane Barker)

2. Lead Generation

When a campaign is strategized around lead generation, it’s designed to instigate direct interactions with the audience with the intention of leading them to your website and to complete a sale transaction or fill in a form. This type of leaderboard ad will use advanced banners with interactive elements such as in-banner search, product feeds, and live odds. Success metrics for this form of the campaign are click-through-rates and cost-per-click.

3. Affiliate Marketing

This is typically a business understanding where the publisher, who is a website owner, promotes the advertiser’s or affiliate network’s advertisement in exchange for a commission of every conversion or sale generated by the ad. The advantage of ads designed for affiliate marketing is that they drive click-through-rates in a manner that ordinary ads cannot. Examples are attention-grabbing banner designs, obvious page placements, and uniquely enticing offers. Here is another example of affiliate marketing:

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: Neil Patel)

4. Retargeting 

This is a digital marketing approach where you present ads to users based on their previous behaviors on your site. The intention is to bring the users back to where they had shown interest, only that this time around, you want to induce them to take action. This technique is effective for converting a viewer into a regular customer or visitor.

There are more banner ads examples out there, such as dynamic creative techniques, user journey retargeting, and dynamic creative optimization.

We hope that you found this article useful.

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Key Features for Successful Leaderboard Ad Campaigns

Achieving success in this area of digital marketing is way easier than most marketers realize. Below are four key factors to consider when producing high-performance banner ads examples:

Animating and Engaging with Rich Media

By incorporating rich media in your display ads, you can easily engage your customers or target audience. Rich media essentially unleashed the full throttle of HTML5, which is the technology most marketers use for display ad marketing.

Rich media can be defined as display ads that incorporate features such as audio, videos, and other creative elements to encourage the audience to interact with your ads. Rich media is a great alternative to videos because it’s way simpler to build HTML5 animations and in smaller sizes. These leaderboard ad example are easily optimizable.

If you want your best banner to stand out, rich media will come in handy as they are designed to grab the viewers’ attention. According to research conducted by eMarketer, rich media ads drive higher engagement levels than static banners by 16.2%. With access to Creative Management Software, you can easily build rich media advertisement banners. The software automatically codes the rich media ad and therefore eliminates the need to hire a professional for the job. For instance:

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: AdPushup)

However, rich media ads are weighty, and the size of the file might be too large. When poorly designed, rich media ads might reduce performance by obscuring content or slowing down your webpage’s loading speed. Luckily, it’s possible to optimize the ads to the IAB’s Lean standards.

Using Video to Drive Traffic

You can catch the eye of your viewer by adding a video to your display ads. In-banner videos are known to create continuity from ad campaigns of social media. Are you wondering what an in-banner video is? Well, this is a video incorporated within a banner ad. the video can be inserted in a manner that prompts the viewer to click for the full version or as part of the HTML5 animation.

Viewers often prefer in-banner video ads to static banners. The former performs 18.4% better than the latter in terms of click-through-rates. A video is also a great tool for encouraging engagement, and they are six times better at it compared to static ads.

You can also use in-banner video ads to improve your website’s user experience. If a visitor does not want to interact with the video, they will pass it, and when they actually want to, they will go ahead and engage with it. Visitors are presented with a positive choice.

There are numerous ways of incorporating videos in your campaign. You could use them as background for your product ads. You can export your banners as MP4 files for use within Digital Out-of-Home or display ad marketing. The image below shows an example of a video ad. This banner allows the reader to click on a link to watch the full video.

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: Merkle)

Optimizing Campaigns for Mobile Friendliness

Optimizing leaderboard ads for mobile devices should be a priority for any marketer. The best display ad campaign is one that works effectively across all devices and can adapt to the changing consumer habits such as high mobile ad spends over weekends.

All your ads should be well optimized by scaling and coding them for compatibility with mobile devices. The size of the banner can be made responsive and still feature elements such as images, videos, creative elements, and audios tailored for effective interaction with mobile users.

The use of mobile devices has been on the rise over the years. Therefore, the best banner is one that is responsive to these devices and is scaled to the appropriate mobile size. If you really want to achieve optimum results, you should adapt to how your audience consumes information. Mobile searches are as effective as desktop searches, and advanced features should be applied in mobile ads to avoid rendering them static and lifeless.

Mobile gadgets are more preferred for leisure hours. To tap into this trend, consider producing high-performance leaderboard ads. You should then pay close attention to the banner sizes you publish, when, and where. With a Creative Management Platform software, creating, optimizing, and publishing mobile-friendly ads should not be a problem.

When optimizing display ads for mobile, marketers are encouraged to use the same technology, tactics, and strategies they would apply for desktop ads. Successful leaderboard ad campaigns are those that are responsive across all devices, and mobile users should have the same exquisite experience as desktop users. You can test your ads and websites to ensure they are mobile friendly using tools such as Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, for example:

What Is a Leaderboard Ad? 5 Top Examples

(Image Credit: Google Support)

Linking Live Data Feeds to your Banner Ads

You can make the most basic ads more relevant by simply adding data feeds to them. When you incorporate these live feeds, you get to offer your audience more information about your brand in real-time. It could be your brand’s latest achievements, products, sports odds, or offers.

A web feed or data feed is typically a spreadsheet that updates information on an ad in real-time. The feeds could be XML files containing data such as numeric values, sentences, or words, in any language, links, or image URLs. A data feed is a great tool for a dynamic display of live inventory.

With a web feed, you are assured that your ad campaign will remain relevant, fresh, and personal. This is a dazzling way to display and control the consumption of relevant brand information.

Data feeds were first used in the iGaming industry to display live sport betting odds. Brands in other industries have since adopted data feeds to pass brand information and awareness to clients. This strategy has gained popularity due to the ease of creation and control with Creative Management Platform technology. All you need to do is connect the feed to your master design, and the copy will show your offers, products, or services across all ads in your campaign.

You can use data feeds in smart campaigns that apply dynamic creative strategies to display more data. If you are thinking of building a hyper-relative and personalized ad, data feed is the way to go.

A combination of retargeting and data feed is a brilliant way to enhance leaderboard advertising performance. You can customize the data feed in a manner that each customer only sees data that is relevant to what he or she is interested in.

Diib®: Advertising Stats Every Business Needs!

Your leaderboard ads should not be static, simple, and boring. With the appropriate technology and expertise, you can create relevant and engaging banners with much ease. Partnering with Diib Digital will bring you an added measure of confidence that your ad campaign is reaching the right audience and is effective. Here are a few of the features of our User Dashboard we’re sure you’ll love:

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A leaderboard ad is the first ad a user sees when they load onto a page. They are usually located at the top of the page as a banner advertisement. THey are in the perfect position to be seen and to not intrude on the users purpose on the website.

The leaderboard ad size is the second most common ad size. It is approximately 728×90 and is called a horizontal banner.

Leaderboard ads or horizontal banners are most commonly displayed on the top of the web page. This allows the user to see the ad before any other content on the web page.

Unfortunately 728×90 does not fit on mobile devices. The main purpose of this type of advertisement is to reach desktop users.

The 728×90 banner usually goes on the top of a web page horizontally. These types of banners are called leaderboard banners or leaderboard ads.


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Daniel Urmann

Author Bio:

Daniel Urmann is the co-founder of Diib.com. Over the past 17 years Daniel has helped thousands of business grow online through SEO, social media, and paid advertising. Today, Diib helps over 150,000 business globally grow online with their SaaS offerings. Daniel’s interest include SMB analytics, big data, predictive analytics, enterprise and SMB search engine optimization (SEO), CRO optimization, social media advertising, A/B testing, programatic and geo-targeting, PPC, and e-commerce. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Finance and E-commerce from Cornell University – S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.


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