Get your first ads up and running

Create your inventory structure

Inventory in Google Ad Manager is the space on your website or app where you display ads. Ad units are the components for your inventory and represent the main sections of your content. You can also use placements to group ad units together and key-values to provide more targeting granularity within an ad unit.

View related Skillshop training course

You can define your networks' inventory structure in the Inventory section of your Ad Manager network.

Plan your inventory structure

We recommend planning your inventory structure before creating ad units, placements, or key-values. The inventory you create will define all the spaces available for ads across your site, so the structure should mirror the organization of your site’s content.

Example inventory structure

How might you plan your inventory for a news website with national and local sections?

  • If you plan on selling to advertisers who want to display on specific local news sections, but not on the national news section, you might need to create separate ad units for each local section.
  • If you don't plan to sell the local section separately, you can use one ad unit for both national and local news sections.
  • You might alternately create separate ad units for each local section and then use placements to group those local section ad units into national section placements.

How might you organize two 300x250 ad slots on your local news section (one at the top of the page and one at the bottom)?

  • You might use different ad units for each slot, or you might use key-values to differentiate between slots.

Here's an example of how your inventory structure may appear:

Placement: National news
      Ad unit: Local New York news
            Key-value: Position is Leaderboard (pos=leaderboard)
            Key-value: Position is Top Box (pos=atf-box)
            Key-value: Position is Bottom Box (pos=btf-box)

      Ad unit: Local Chicago news
            Key-value: Position is Leaderboard (pos=leaderboard)
            Key-value: Position is Top Box (pos=atf-box)
            Key-value: Position is Bottom Box (pos=btf-box)

      Ad unit: Local San Francisco news
            Key-value: Position is Leaderboard (pos=leaderboard)
            Key-value: Position is Top Box (pos=atf-box)
            Key-value: Position is Bottom Box (pos=btf-box)

In this example:

  • The local news section ad units are the basic components.
  • A national news section placement groups together the local news sections for targeting.
  • Key-values define the individual ad slots within each local news section.

You can deliver an ad to:

  • All of the local new sections by targeting the "National news" placement.
  • Any individual local news section by targeting one or more of the ad units.
  • A specific ad slot within any or all of the news sections by targeting the "Position" key-value.

When to use ad units, placements and key-values

Your inventory is a combination of ad units, placements, and key-values that enables you to target horizontally across your content. The examples below show how you might use ad units, key-values, and system-defined criteria to meet inventory requirements.

What you want to do What you should use
Target an ad to specific section of your content Ad units
Easily target an ad to all of your sports subsections Ad units, which provide "flow-down" targeting
Exclude your app inventory from run-of-network ads Special ad units: Mark your app inventory as special ad units

Only available in Google Ad Manager 360.

Easily target all of your sports, finance, and weather landing pages Placements: Combine all of your landing pages in a placement
Target an ad to a specific gender anywhere on your content Key-values, which provide horizontal targeting (e.g., gender=female)
Target an ad to a specific sports team anywhere on your website. Key-values, which provide horizontal targeting (e.g., team=yankees).
Target an ad to your visitors that are based in Canada. Geography, which is a system-defined criterion that’s handled for you
Target an ad to Android users only Operating system (including mobile), which is a system-defined criterion that’s handled for you

Create inventory in Ad Manager

Now that you’ve planned your inventory structure, you can:

Partner with a trusted expert

Looking for assistance getting your account up and running? Consider working with one of our Google Certified Publishing Partners now!

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?