Version 5.0
AdvertServe User Manual :: v5.0

Initial Setup

Accounts

Administrators

New Administrator Wizard The first thing that you should do before you start using the system is create administrator accounts for each employee of your company that will need to use the system. Sharing accounts between multiple employees is not a recommended practice. Typically, you will need to give your accounting department, account managers, sales representatives, system administrators and webmasters different levels of access to the control panel to restrict them to accessing only the functionality that is required for them to perform their assigned tasks.

To create a new administrator, click on the Accounts icon in the toolbar and then click on the Create New Administrator link.

  1. Administrator Properties
    Enter a Username and Password for this administrator. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
  2. Account Permissions
    Set permissions for this administrator to restrict the operations that they can perform when they log in.
  3. Account Preferences
    Set preferences for this administrator to customize their reports and e-mail notification settings.
  4. Contact Information
    Enter contact information for this administrator. At a minimum, you must enter a Contact Name and an E-mail Address.

Press the Create Administrator button to complete the process.

Advertisers

New Advertiser Wizard You will also want to create accounts for your advertisers. Your advertisers can be given access to log in to the system to manage their contact information, review their campaigns and media, and to generate their own reports on demand. They will of course only be able to see reporting data for their own account! You can also control which types of reports they are allowed to generate with their account permissions.

To create a new advertiser, click on the Accounts icon in the toolbar and then click on Advertisers in the navigation menu and finally click on the New link below it.

  1. Advertiser Properties
    Enter a Name, Username, and Password for this advertiser. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
  2. Account Permissions
    Set permissions for this advertiser to restrict the operations that they can perform when they log in.
  3. Account Preferences
    Set preferences for this advertiser to customize their reports and e-mail notification settings.
  4. Contact Information
    Enter contact information for this advertiser. At a minimum, you must enter a Contact Name and an E-mail Address.
  5. Competitor Exclusion
    Allows you to enter competitors for this advertiser. When two advertisers are selected as competitors, their campaigns will not be allowed to be shown together on a page at the same time. There is also the Self Compete option, which makes an advertisers own campaigns compete with each other in the same manner as if they belonged to two different competing advertisers.
  6. Google Analytics Integration
    Enable integration with an advertisers Google Analytics by utilizing link tagging, which allows you to label traffic generated by advertisements placed on your site to make it easier for advertisers to analyze.
  7. Piggyback Pixels
    Allows you to provide a pixel or a collection of pixels to be fired when advertisers ads are viewed, clicked on or generate a conversion or retargeting event.
  8. Publisher Exclusion
    Allows you to enter publishers exclusions for this advertiser. By excluding any publisher, you will exclude all campaigns owned by this advertiser from being allowed to appear on the publishers web site. This guarantees that none of this advertisers campaigns, present and future, will be allowed to appear on any excluded publishers web sites.
  9. Regulatory Compliance
    Allows you to handle regulatory compliance rules by excluding an advertisers ads from running in certain countries or on pages with undesirable keywords.

Press the Create Advertiser button to complete the process.

Publishers

New Publisher Wizard You will also want to create accounts for your publisher. Your publisher can be given access to log in to the system to manage their contact information, generate codes for zones they are authorized to run and generate their own reports on demand. They will of course only be able to see reporting data for their own account! You can also control which types of zone code and reports they are allowed to generate with their account permissions.

To create a new publisher, click on the Accounts icon in the toolbar and then click on Publishers in the navigation menu and finally click on the New link below it.

  1. Publisher Properties
    Enter a Name, Username, and Password for this publisher. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
  2. Account Permissions
    Set permissions for this publisher to restrict the operations that they can perform when they log in.
  3. Account Preferences
    Set preferences for this publisher to customize their reports and e-mail notification settings.
  4. Contact Information
    Enter contact information for this publisher. At a minimum, you must enter a Contact Name and an E-mail Address.
  5. Minimum Rates
    Allows you to enter default CPM, CPC, and CPA payout rates that campaigns must exceed for this publisher to accept them.
  6. Regulatory Compliance
    Allows you to reject traffic from certain countries that you don't wish to receive traffic from for this publisher.
  7. Theme Targeting
    Allows you to enter theme targets for this publisher, which campaigns with greater relevancy may then be targeted to.
  8. Zone Restrictions
    Allows you to enter zone restrictions for this publisher, which is used to define the list of zones they are allowed to generate code for if given permission to access the code wizard.

Press the Create Publisher button to complete the process.

Sizes

New Size Wizard The next thing that you should do is define a set of acceptable sizes for banners. All of the industry standard sizes are created by the setup utility, so you may not need to create any new sizes at all. Even if you don't, however, you will want to go to Settings > Sizes and edit the standard ones to change their default banners as the pre-installed ones are simply black GIF files that say "DEFAULT" in white text. Surely you will want to change them to something that looks a bit nicer!

To create a new size, click on the Settings icon in the toolbar and then click on Sizes in the navigation menu and finally click on the New link below it.

  1. Size Properties
    Enter a Name for this size and define its Width and Height. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
  2. Compatible Sizes
    Use the arrow buttons between the Compatible and Not Compatible combo boxes to make other sizes interchangeable with this size.
  3. Default Banner
    Enter the Image URL and Redirect URL for the default graphic banner to be served for this size. When is a default banner served? Only when you do not have a default campaign assigned to your zones or you are trying to serve a disabled/expired campaign or media directly. Should you choose to enter Alternate HTML Content as well, possibly to display a Flash enhanced version of the default banner, it will be shown instead of the banner in all cases except where the ad server is invoked by an <IMG> tag. When the ad server is invoked by an <IMG> tag, the default graphic banner will be displayed instead because an <IMG> tag is unable to process and render HTML content.

Press the Create Size button to complete the process.

Themes

New Theme Wizard If you'll be using publisher accounts, it's probably a good idea that you go to Settings > Themes to review the list of available themes and modify them to suit your needs.

You will find that a wide variety of standard themes is already pre-entered into the system. Do not be mislead into thinking that themes are only for describing the content or topic of a web site though. Themes can be used to categorize publishers in many different ways. For example, you might already organize your publishers into different tiers based on the quality of their traffic. What you can do is create themes to represent each of those tiers. That would allow you to optimize run of network campaigns to be targeted to the appropriate tiers of publishers.

To create a new theme, click on the Settings icon in the toolbar and then click on Themes in the navigation menu and finally click on the New link below it.

  1. Theme Properties
    Enter a Name for this theme. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.

Press the Create Theme button to complete the process.

Groups

New Group Wizard If you operate multiple web sites, you'll probably want to be able to report on them individually at times. To accomplish this, you should create a group for each of your web sites.

When creating zones, you'll be able to assign them to the group that's associated with the web site that they will run on. The end result is that you can generate a report for a group to get a web site specific report. That report will include a summary of all zones assigned to the group as well as all campaigns and media that ran in those zones, which would otherwise be very time consuming to create because zone reports can only be generated for one zone at a time!

To create a new group, click on the Zones icon in the toolbar and then click on Groups in the navigation menu and finally click on the New link below it.

  1. Group Properties
    Enter a Name for this group. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.

Press the Create Group button to complete the process.

Zones

New Zone Wizard The last thing that you need to do is set up your zones. Small web sites will only require a few zones, but larger web sites might require over a hundred zones. It all depends on how much fine-grained control you want over ad placement. If you want to be able to target ads to individual pages of your web site, a separate zone will be needed for each page. However, if you don't want that much control, it is perfectly acceptable to reuse the same zone for a collection of web pages. In fact, you will probably find it logical to reuse zones for multiple web pages if your web site is organized into sections or categories.

To create a new zone, click on the Zones icon in the toolbar and then click on Create New Zone link.

  1. Zone Properties
    Enter a Name for this zone. Specify its Type, Size and also its Parent Group. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
  2. Zone Limits
    Enter frequency capping for this zone. Frequency caps set to zero are effectively disabled. This is because the ad server considers a limit of zero to mean unlimited. While zone frequency capping is neat, it's mainly intended to be used with adhesion, castaways, crawlers, lightboxes, overlays, page peels, popups/popunders, shoutboxes, smoke screens and wallpapers as it doesn't make much sense to use it with other types of media.
  3. Zone Piggyback Pixels
    Allows you to provide a pixel or collection of pixels to be fired when a zone is viewed, clicked or generates a conversion action.
  4. Zone Substitution
    More and more users are viewing your web site with tablets and mobile phones every day. With zone substitution, you can opt to serve more appropriately sized ads to those visitors. For example, you can have your 970x90 banner zone display for desktop users but substitute a 468x60 zone for tablet users and a 320x72 zone for mobile phone users resulting in a much better user experience.
  5. Zone Overrides
    Certain features that are enabled when generating a zone code with the code wizard may be overriden using these options without needing to modify site coding.
  6. Publisher Assignments
    Use the arrow buttons between the Assigned and Not Assigned combo boxes to change the publisher assignments for this zone. This is used to define which publishers can generate code for this zone. The publishers must, of course, have been given permission to generate code with the code wizard as well.

Press the Create Zone button to complete the process.

Organization Tips

Let's look at an example of how you might best organize zones for a small web site.

Component Organization

As you look over the diagram above, there are a couple of things that you should notice.

While zones are a powerful tool to control how you define rotations and place your ads on your web site, there is one case where they will not work for you. If your web site uses a single template to define the look and feel of your web site, you may want to place a zone within the template rather than within the content of your individual web pages. In order to make those zones that are placed in the template work as if they were unique to each content page, you will probably need to use custom targeting or keyword targeting. Both of those would allow you to dynamically pass a page title or category name to the ad server to be targeted.