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Get started using DFP (for Small Businesses) on your website

Understandable introduction to running web advertising using DFP.

Written by Jon Berg <jon.berg|a|turtlemeat.com>

Created: May 2011


This document will describe DFP - DoubleClick for Publishers - (for Small Businesses) and how to get started serving ads on your website.

What is DFP - DoubleClick for Publishers

Double Click for Publishers (DFP) is a service that lets you manage, serve and monitor advertising for your website. This is ideal for people who needs to expand their web-advertising beyond Google-Adsense. The ads are managed through a web-interface, and the only thing you have to do is to paste a java-script code into the HTML your site to get the ads to show.

It is free for all to use. Go to DFP. This article deals with the DFP program called Small Business (one chair logo). But I suppose the other program (many chairs logo) is very similar.

Highlights what can be done with DFP:

  1. You want to show and manage ads for third-party affiliate programs.
  2. You want to sell advertising space on your webpage.
  3. You want to monitor the performance of the Ads such as click through rate.
  4. Targeting: You can target based on countries, time of day, browsers, languages.
  5. Provide reports to people paying for advertising on your site.
  6. Combining your own advertising and Adsense.
  7. Schedule when advertising campaigns start and end.

What you can not do with DFP

  1. If you want to sell ads on your website - You have to transfer money for the advertising using thrid party services, such as Paypal. And communicate with potential advertisers and set up the ads manually when an agreement has been reached.

Targeting possibilities with DFP

There are a number of targeting possibilities with DFP. You can geographically target on specific countries, states in countires and cities in a country. You can target browser types: is the user using Firefox or Explorer and so on. What browser language, what bandwidth the visitor has and which operating system is used. It is also possible to target based on the domain the visitor on your page comes from, that is what ISP is used, for example is it from a .edu domain which would indicate the visitor is affiliated with an educational institution. It is also possible to do frequency capping, which is limiting the number of times a visitor has seen an advertisment.

Combining your own advertising with Adsense

It is possible to use Adsense as a last line of advertising. If none of the targeting is matched you can show Google Adsense ads. It is integrated with your Adsense account. So you will be able to see ads shown by DFP as their own channels in Google Adsense. The Google Adsense ad will be served through the DFP-Javascript code you paste into your site. It works OK, but currently the "Adsense more ads arrows" don't work properly.

Drawbacks with DFP

Personally one of the drawbacks at first glance is that the DFP site is a bit convoluted. You have to learn the jargon. It is not just a bunch of ads you are setting up with different colors and graphics. No, you are managing inventory, setting up line items, ad-units, creatives and orders. Why make it easy? When you call a spade for a spade you don't make money.

Practical example how to set up an Ad with DFP

Since the DFP is a bit messy here is an example how to set it up.

We are going to set up an ad. With a specific CPM or CPI (cost per thousand impressions). We are going to use geographical targeting so the ads only show up for visitors from particular countries.

Create Ad unit. First you create an add unit.
This is sort of the boxes that ads appear in. Go to Inventory – Ad Units – New Ad Unit. Fill in name and size. Enable Adsense to show Adsense as a last resort.

Create Placement Go to: Inventory – Placements – New Placement. A placement can hold one or many Ad units. But it is simple to have one Ad unit per placement. Name it, and select one Ad unit for the placement. The placement name will show up in your report in your Adsense account as a channel.

Create an Order Go to orders and create new order. Then in that order create new line item. In the line order select type = price priority. Set a price, a high price will result in it being shown more. Set when the time it should start and stop. It is in the line order you can ad custom targeting such as geo-targeting. For example add targeting for the country you are in.

Upload a Creative. A creative is basically what shows up on the website to the visitor as the Ad. It can be an image, text, flash or some custom JavaScript code. Go to Orders – Line Items and select the Line Item that you’ve created in the previous step. Click Add Creatives – New Creative and upload the image. Multiple creatives can be created here and they will be shown evenly and you can see what performs best.

Paste in the JavaScript code. Go to Inventory and click Generate Tags. You have to select the Ad unit created at the first step.

Finally done! Thank yourself for doing all that hard work! It may take half an hour before it shows up on your website.

The report

So then when everything is running you need to monitor the report to optimize what advertising is actually working.

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