How to set up dynamic allocation in DFP Small Business

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To technically set this up in DFP Small Business make sure that the following criteria are met:

Enable Google AdSense at the network or ad unit level
Make sure that Google AdSense is enabled for the ad units where you want to allow dynamic allocation. If you need a little reminder about how to enable Google AdSense for your ad units, you can go back to the section on how to create ad units.

Traffic the line items on the right priority
Make sure to traffic the line items you want to compete with Google AdSense as Network, Bulk, Price Priority or House line item types. If you need a reminder about the different line item types, you can go back to the section on creating line items.

Set the right CPMs and / or Frequency Caps for the line items competing with Google AdSense
Knowing the most accurate CPM is essential for DFP Small Business to make the best decision about which of your ads to show. When you are first starting out with DFP Small Business, you can take the average CPM you see in your ad network’s interface over the last 2-3 days and use that as a starting point.

However, this CPM is not necessarily the correct CPM to enter into DFP Small Business in the long-term. In order to know your ad network’s true CPM, you can go through the following steps:

Calculate the network’s fill rate: 
The fill rate is the percentage of times an ad network is able to return an ad whenever it is asked for one. Let’s say you send 100 impressions to Network X. In turn, Network X send you back 75 ads, and is not able to fill the other 25 ads. In this case, Network X’s fill rate is 75/100 = 75%.

Network X’s interface is only going to show you the CPM for these 75% of impressions that Network X is able to fill itself. Let’s walk through an example to see how this affects the true CPM of Network X:

Assume Network X says their CPM over the last three days averages out to $2.00.

You send 1,000 impressions to Network X

Network X fill 75% of those impressions (1000 * 75% = 750) at a $2.00 CPM

The revenue you earned from network X for those impressions is:

$2.00 CPM * 750 impressions / 1000 = $1.50

So, for every 1,000 impressions you send to Network X, you’re getting a CPM of $1.50. In order to find out more about the fillrate of your ad network, we recommend you to get in touch with your ad network's contact. 

Advanced tip:
In some cases you might receive one third-party creative code for a certain size from an ad network. This specific third-party creative code might perform really well on your homepage but not as well on your sports section. To be sure that you get the most of your inventory you want to make sure that dynamic allocation takes into account that you receive more revenue for the homepage ads than for the sports section ads.

When this is the case, you can do the following:

  1. Create two line items: one for the homepage and one for the sports section.

  2. Target one of them to the ad unit on the homepage and the other one to the ad unit on the sports section.

  3. Assign a the realistic rate (CPM) for each line item.

For example: let’s assume the average CPM for the 300x250 from this ad network is $2.00, but when you break it down you find that the 300x250 on your homepage gets a $3.00 CPM and on your sports section a $1.50 CPM. Based on this you can assign more realistic CPMs to the two line items you've created and consequently you will optimize your revenue. 

Set a frequency cap
A frequency cap is a limit on the number of ad impressions that a unique user will see from a particular line item over a particular time period. Frequency caps are important because ads can become less effective if a user sees the same ad several times. For ad networks, we recommend to proactively use a frequency cap. This cap can help you limit the number of total ad impressions sent to an ad network. One of your goals as a publisher should be to get all of your ad networks to as near a 100% fill rate as possible, and one lever you have in your control is the frequency cap.

  • Start out with a cap of four impressions per day. If you find your fill rate immediately jumps to near 100%, then the frequency cap may be too tight and you may be missing out on impressions that the ad network could have filled if you had allowed the network to take more impressions.

  • In this case, loosen the frequency cap to six impressions per day, and keep adjusting until you see that the fill rate remains steady in the 90-100% range.

  • Alternatively, if you find that the fill rate is still not in the 90-100% range, try tightening your frequency cap to two impressions per day and see if you find improved fill rates.

  • Most networks have fill rates that are constantly fluctuating, so it’s important to keep an eye on your frequency caps and adjust them as necessary.

Good to know: Please note that you can decide how much effort and time you want to spend on setting up dynamic allocation in DFP Small Business. The level of granularity and optimization is entirely up to you and you are the best person to judge how many resources you have available.