Serving inhouse ads with Google Ad Manager

Introduction

Last week Google released Ad Manager. We’ve been using Adspeed to host all of our inhouse ads on the reeftooutback.com website. Adspeed served us well for a while but I found the administrative interface poorly designed and very difficult to use. I’m a huge fan of intuitive user interfaces and Google provides that for the most part through Ad Manager. Also Adspeed was costing us $20 a month and Ad Manager is free. I will not go over all the features. I’ll focus only on the necessary ones to set up inhouse ads for your company’s website

Inventory

Once you log into Adm Manager you’ll notice four tabs at the top labeled Order, Inventory, Reports, and Admin. First lets focus on the Inventory tab. This is where you’ll set up you actual available ad slots for your website.

Click ‘Inventory’

Click ‘New Ad Slot’

Name your ad slot something descriptive like, RightColumnTop125x125. This name cannot contain any spaces. Select the size of the ads that will be displayed in this slot and fill in an optional description. You can uncheck ‘Allow AdSense ads to compete for remnant inventory’ because these are your own inhouse ads and they aren’t costing you anything, therefore it wouldn’t make sense for adspeed to compete with your own ads. Don’t worry about placements yet. We’ll get to that.

Scroll to the bottom and click Save

Placements

Now lets create a placement. Placements are groups of ad slots put together. Lets say you have one ad slot named RightColumnTop125x125 and another named RightColumnBottom125x125. You could group these two together in a placement called ‘Right Column’. Placements are useful for reporting purposes and for specifying where our creatives (our actual ads) will show up.

Click ‘Placements’

Click ‘New Placement’

Enter a name and again uncheck ‘Allow Google advertisers to target’ since these are for our inhouse ads. Below you’ll see your ad slots. ad the relevant ad slots to the placement.

Scroll to the bottom and click Save

Orders

Lets head over to the Orders section. This is where we’ll actually upload our ads.

Click ‘Orders’

Click ‘New Order’

Fill out all the fields. For Order Name put something like ‘You Company inhouse ads’. Don’t worry about external ID for now. Make sure to set end date to unlimited.

Click the ‘Advertiser’ drop down menu

Create a new advertiser with your company name

Click Save

Orders -> Line Items

Next we’ll create our line items. I like to think of line items like categories for our order. For example if you’re order may be for Toyota Cars, and your line item would be ‘Toyota Corolla’. This is important because you can only apply targeting (which we’ll get into in another article) at the line level. Inside the line we’ll place our actual ads.

Click ‘New line item’

You should be getting good at filling out these forms by now. On this page ‘Delivery Priority’ is the key field. Make sure to set it to ‘House’. This will allow you to set an unlimited end date. Also your start date must be in the future.

Below you’ll see our placements. Select which placement you want this line item to display your ads.

Scroll down and you’ll see targeting. This allows you to target your line item to specific countries, browsers, day and time, or even bandwidth. I’ll get more into the advanced features of targeting in another article.

Below targeting you can set your ‘Delivery Options’. I set Delivery rate and Creative Rotation to ‘even’ and left the other boxes unchecked.

Click Save

Orders -> Line Items -> Upload Creative

You should see a link that says ‘Needs Creatives’ in the status menu. Click this link and now we’ll upload our actual ads.

This next screen is pretty self explanatory. You can name your ad and choose the correct ad slot size. You can use flash or static images. You can even insert your own code under ‘Rich Media’. For most of you you’ll probably have a static image or flash file. If you’ve already uploaded your image/flash to a server choose ‘Standard image redirect’ or ‘Flash media redirect’ and you can put the appropriate link to the actual file. You can also specify where you want the ad to link. Manual weight will be grayed out because we’ve selected even distribution for this ad slot.

Click Save

Generate HTML

Now all we need it the actual HTML to place on our web page. Head back over to ‘Inventory’ and click ‘Generate sample HTML’. Select which ad slots you want to generate code for and click ‘Generate Sample HTML’.

The Generated HTML will show up below and you’ll notice that it’s a complete web page with head and body tags. Just copy and paste the javascript in and your done.

Remember your ads will not show up until they reach the begin date for you line item. Even then it can take 10min to an hour for Google’s cache to update itself so be patient. You’ll know everything is good when you go to your order page and see the status set to ‘Delivering’.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below.


Nick Verwymeren+

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