Manage placement tags

Test tags

Before you send your Campaign Manager placement tags to a publisher, it's a good idea to test them to make sure they work correctly.

  • Test 1: Export your tags to make sure you have what you need.

  • Test 2: Serve your tags to make sure your creatives appear, rotate, and click through properly.

Tip: If you just saved changes to your creatives, wait at least twenty minutes before you test your tags again. It can take some time for your changes to go live.

Test your tags

Step 1. Export tags in Excel to check tags

  1. Export your tags in Excel format.

  2. Make sure that all the tags you need are in the your spreadsheet. There should be one placement tag for each placement you selected when you generated tags.

    • If all your tags are in the spreadsheet, you're good to go. Move on to the next test: serve tags for testing.

    • If you don't see all the tags you need, make sure all your display placements have default ads. Typically, Campaign Manager will not let you export tags for a display placement if it doesn't have a default ad. If a display placement doesn't have a default ad, just add an image or display creative with a primary image asset with the same dimensions to your campaign. Campaign Manager will automatically create a default ad with the image and assign it to your display placement.

Step 2. Serve tags for testing

Next, see if your tags serve correctly. You can test multiple tags at once by opening them in your browser:

  1. Export your placement tags in HTML format.

  2. Open your HTML file in a browser. (Right-click the file, and open it with a web browser.)

  3. Make sure your creatives are appear properly in your browser.

  4. Click the creative to make sure you're taken to the right landing page.

  5. If your placement has more than one creative assigned to it, make sure they rotate correctly when you refresh the page. For example, if an ad with a sequential rotation is assigned to a placement, then the next creative in your sequence should appear each time you refresh the page.

 

Troubleshoot tag problems from testing

Here are some potential problems and how to solve them.

Creatives don't appear

Make sure you've exported the right tag type for your creatives:

  • If you're trying to load rich media creatives, you'll need to use JavaScript or iframe tags.

  • For rich media display expanding creatives, only JavaScript tags work.

  • Standard tags can only display image files.

View the properties of your ad and check that:

  • The ad is active.

  • The start date is in the past.

  • The end date is in the future.

  • The status of the creatives is active.

Creatives don't click through or click to the wrong destination

Check that:

  • The right landing page is set for the creative within the associated ad.

  • The URL starts with http:// or https://.

The default ad is being served

Check the following:

  • Your ads are active.

  • Your ads are past their start dates, but haven't reached their end dates.

  • You meet the necessary targeting criteria. If you're using targeting in all of your ads, it's possible that you don't meet the targeting criteria. For example, if you've targeted all your ads to France, but you're testing the campaign in the U.S., the ads won't be displayed. To test your tags, create an ad with no targeting. Once you're satisfied that everything is working correctly, you can disable the ad.

Troubleshoot tag problems reported by the publisher

In some cases, publishers report problems with the Campaign Manager placement tags even after you've confirmed that they're working properly. Here are some issues to consider:

Tag types

Check that the advertiser has implemented the right tag type.

  • Google Ad Manager publishers: Google Ad Manager publishers need to use internal redirect tags.

  • Rich media: For you to serve rich media creatives to a non-Ad Manager publisher, the publisher needs to implement either iframe/JavaScript or JavaScript tags. Standard image tags won't work.

Tag formatting

Check with the publisher to make sure that the tags were formatted and implemented correctly. To be sure, you can ask the publisher to re-implement the tags and see if that solves the problem.

Excel: If you sent the tags to the publisher in Excel format, confirm that the publisher followed the instructions to click into each cell to copy the tags, rather than copying the cells themselves. Copying the cells can result in additional punctuation being added to the tags, which can cause them to fail.

Ad blocking software

Disable any ad blocking software installed on your browser before you use Campaign Manager. Otherwise, Campaign Manager may not work properly and you may not be able to test your tags.

Problems you can't solve

You might experience problems with your tags even if they test fine and the publisher implements them properly. If you're still having trouble after testing and troubleshooting, contact customer support and include the following information:

  • Exports of your tags in both HTML and Excel formats.

  • The URL for the publisher's live implementation of the tags. That is, the URL of the site where the tags are live.

     

  • An explanation of exactly what's going wrong (ads not clicking through, ads not being delivered, etc.).

Testing tags for HTML5 assets

If your placements have ads that will deliver HTML5 assets, host your tags on a server for testing. 

We do not recommend locally hosting your tags for testing if you plan to deliver HTML5 assets. That includes downloading HTML files and then opening the local file on your browser. You may experience problems testing locally hosted tags if any of your placements has ads with creatives that use HTML5.

Here's why: Using locally hosted tags may mix protocol (file and http), because HTML5 creatives often include code that calls servers for content. The tag is hosted locally (file://) and then calls a server (http://) — this mix of protocol can cause security issues or unexpected creative behavior.

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