Delivery basics

Get started with ads in Google Ad Manager

Google Ad Manager helps publishers manage ad campaigns on websites or mobile apps. You (the publisher) can decide where to show ads on your digital platforms, how much those ads cost advertisers, and report on ad campaign activity in order to optimize revenue streams and bill customers.

Here we'll provide a broad overview of getting started with ads in Google Ad Manager.

Who are publishers to Google Ad Manager?

A publisher is someone who owns or manages a digital platform—a website or app—that delivers content to users. As a publisher, you may find yourself wanting to monetize your traffic. To monetize traffic means you generate revenue based on the people who visit your website or use of your app.

One way to monetize traffic is through ad sales. Advertisers, or buyers who represent advertisers, seek ad inventory that meets their needs. For example, an athletic shoe company might want to advertise on an app that tracks workouts.

How do publishers get ads?

You can transact with advertisers (also known as buyers) in a variety of ways:

  • Negotiate terms for delivery on distinct ad inventory, on specific dates, at a promised pricing.
  • Engage in auction-based ad sales, where you offer ad inventory with a floor price, and bidders compete in real time to win your ad space.

In this scenario, there might be no terms or obligations outside the single auction event. Learn more about ways to engage buyers in Ways of transacting in Ad Manager.

Orders and line items

Orders and line items represent a transaction between you and a buyer. However, you can also engage with buyers in other ways, such as auction-based transactions.

Orders and line items are the basic building block of an ad campaign.

  • Orders contain high-level details about a campaign, such as who the buyer or advertiser is, and the people at your organization responsible for the campaign. 
  • Line items contain information about how an ad creative should show on your website or app, such as when and where specifically to show the creative. Line items also contain details about pricing and targeting, the mechanism that helps an ad reach a specific demographic or audience. 

Line items are where you will add the ad creative the advertiser wants to show on your website or app.

Ad units and ad tags

Ad units represent ad inventory on your website or app where you want to show ads. A critical step to start delivering ads is to create ad units and generate ad tags.

Ad tags are inserted into your webpages or apps so that campaigns know where to show ad creatives. Ad tags belong to specific ad units, which represent the spaces on your website or app where you want to show ads.

If you belong to a large organization or publisher, there might be people with the technical expertise who are dedicated to managing ad units and inserting ad tags.

Campaign example

Imagine that you maintain a website, a mobile site, and apps for Android and iOS. A bank wants to advertise on your website in order to promote a new savings account offer, as well as a home loans offer. An order with this advertiser might include two line items:

  1. Line item 1 (Savings Account Campaign):
    • 750,000 impressions
    • from January 15 to March 15
    • at a price of $5 per 1000 impressions (CPM)
    • that targets all users
    • across all of your content
  2. Line item 2 (Home Loan Campaign):
    • unlimited impressions
    • from January 1 to March 31
    • at an agreed upon price of $125,000 total for 60 days (CPD)
    • that targets users between the ages of 30 and 50 who live in the United States
    • On the mobile apps only

Once the order is signed and the line items created, the last step is to add creatives to the line items. Creatives can be added as you create the line items, or you can upload the creatives to your Ad Manager network later. To be delivered, a line item needs at least one creative.

For the bank's campaign, you add 728x90, 160x600, and 300x250 savings account creatives to your network. You add these creatives to line item 1, since the line item can target multiple placements.

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