Version 5.0
AdvertServe User Manual :: v5.0

Workflow

Create

There are a number of steps that you need to go through to set up a new campaign. Although it's entirely possible to complete these steps in any order, you'll find that the following order is the fastest and most logical way. It's very easy to become confused about what you need to do next and even easier to miss a step if you don't complete these steps in the suggested order below.

  1. New Advertiser Wizard Creating Advertisers
    Have you worked with this advertiser before? If this is a new advertiser, you will first need to create an advertiser account for them. To create a new advertiser, click on the Accounts icon in the toolbar. 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 change their default home screen experience or send them daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly e-mails with a summary report for all of their campaigns.
    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.

  2. New Media Wizard Creating Media
    The next step is create a media for each creative that your advertiser desires to run. To create a new media, click on the Media icon in the toolbar and then click on Create New Media link.

    1. Media Properties
      Enter a Name for this media and select the Advertiser it belongs to. Specify its Type and also Size if it's a banner. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
    2. Media Attributes
      The attributes are different for every type of media. Required fields are marked with a * by their name. Fields that require the URL of a file have a folder browsing icon above them, which if you click on it will let you upload a new file or select an already uploaded file. For help, click on the (?) icon above any field to access the help page for the selected media type.
    3. Media Tracking
      Allows you to enter optional third-party view, click and action tracking pixels that will be fired when the media is viewed, clicked or when an action such as a lead or purchase is performed later.

    Press the Create Media button to complete the process.

  3. New Zone Wizard Creating Zones
    In some cases you might actually have sold an advertiser a new ad space that didn't exist before. If that happens to be the case, you will need to create a new zone for it. 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. Remember that you will need to code your new zone into your web site after creating it! After you create the campaign(s) to run in the new zone, either you or your web master will need to use the code wizard to generate code for the new zone and place it in your web pages.

  4. New Campaign Wizard Creating Campaigns
    The last step is to create campaigns to schedule all of your advertisers media to run in the zones they've requested. You'll notice that the new campaign wizard allows you to make media and zone assignments. That's why it's best if you create the campaign last. It's fewer steps and you can't forget to make the media or zone assignments as is possible when doing things in a different order. To create a new campaign, click on the Campaigns icon in the toolbar and then click on Create New Campaign link.

    1. Campaign Properties
      Enter a Name for this campaign, select the Advertiser it belongs to and specify its Type. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
    2. Campaign Schedule
      Enter the schedule for this campaign. Only a Start Date is required. If you do not enter a Stop Date, the campaign will run until it meets one or more of its delivery limits or until you choose to disable it. In fact, if you set any delivery limits, you probably don't want to set a stop date because the ad server cannot guarantee that those limits will be satisfied before the stop date occurs.
    3. Campaign Limits
      Enter the delivery limits and daily limits for this campaign. Limits set to zero are effectively disabled. This is because the ad server considers a limit of zero to mean unlimited.
    4. Campaign Capping
      Enter frequency capping and page-level capping for this campaign. Frequency caps set to zero are effectively disabled. This is because the ad server considers a limit of zero to mean unlimited.
    5. Campaign Rates
      Enter the advertiser costs and publisher payout rates for this campaign. You can optionally add some notes here for your reference as well.
    6. Campaign Alerts
      Set up e-mail alerts and reports for this campaign. Select which users should receive the e-mail message alerts. If desired, you may also specify that a detailed report should be attached to the message. At least one schedule, goal, limit or progress trigger must be selected.
    7. Competitor Exclusion
      Mark campaigns as competitors if you do not wish for them to appear on the same page.
    8. Custom Targeting
      Enter the custom targeting for this campaign. Select the operator that should be used to match data for each field. Then enter the data to be targeted. Multiple target values can be entered by entering one target value per line.
    9. Geography Targeting
      Enter the geographic targeting for this campaign. You do not need to select targets for both continents and countries together. Always target the lowest level of geography that you can. If you want to target countries, don't waste your time selecting any continents. Instead select only the countries that you want to target. The reverse is also true. If you want to target continents, don't waste your time selecting any countries because the ad sever already knows which countries are within the continents you've selected! There are times, however, when selecting the lowest level of geography to target is not a good idea. For example, assume that you want to target a city in the United Kingdom. By only entering the name of the city as a target, you run the risk of displaying that campaign to visitors from other countries if the city name is not unique to the United Kingdom. Unless you know that a state/province, city, or zip code is unique to a single country, it's always a good idea to select the country and enter the state/province that you expect them to be located in.
    10. Keyword Targeting
      Enter the keyword targeting for this campaign. Multiple keywords or phrases can be blocked or targeted by entering one keyword or phrase per line. You may also place double quotes around keywords or phrases to indicate that they should be matched exactly. If you want to forcibly require keyword(s) be present, they should be prefixed with a plus (+) symbol. On the other hand if you want to forcibly exclude keyword(s) from being present they should be prefixed with a minus (-) symbol. In either case, the plus or minus symbol should be outside of the double quotes if the keyword or phrase is quoted. You may also specify that a keyword or phrase occur a minimum number of times in full-text content by appending =n to the end of it where n is the minimum number of occurrences.
    11. Media Assignments
      Enter the media assignments for this campaign by using the arrow buttons between the Assigned and Not Assigned combo boxes to assign the desired media.
    12. Network Targeting
      Enter the network targeting for this campaign. Hostnames and IP Address can either be targeted or blocked. Multiple values can be targeted by entering one target value per line. You may use * as a wildcard in hostname target values. IP Addresses can be targeted partially or in ranges. For example, entering 192.168.1.[32-64] would match all IP addresses from 192.168.1.32 through 192.168.1.64 while entering 192.168.1. would match 192.168.1.0 through 192.168.1.255
    13. Publisher Targeting
      Enter publishers exclusions and theme targeting for this campaign if necessary.
    14. Referrer Targeting
      Enter the referrer targeting for this campaign. Referrers can either be targeted or blocked. Multiple referrers can be targeted by entering one per line. You may use * as a wildcard. The ad server automatically adds a * to the end of all target values, so entering a target of http://www.example.com/ would match http://www.example.com/page1.html and http://www.example.com/page2.html.
    15. Software Targeting
      Enter the software targeting for this campaign if necessary. This includes most operating systems and web browsers.
    16. Visitor Retargeting
      Allows you to enter rules to specify that visitors must have visited targeted pages or been tagged with the specified segments between a specified number of days ago in order to be retargeted.
    17. Visitor Tagging
      Allows you to enter the visitor tagging for this campaign. This enables you to tag visitors with segments when they view, click or perform an action on this campaign. Often times it's difficult or impossible for advertisers to place retargeting pixel code on their web site, so by using this feature you can avoid that hurdle by completely eliminating the need for a pixel.
    18. Weather Targeting
      Enter the weather targeting for this campaign if necessary. This includes temperature, humidity and weather conditions.
    19. Zone Assignments
      Enter the zone assignments for this campaign by using the arrow buttons between the Assigned and Not Assigned combo boxes to assign the desired zone.

    Press the Create Campaign button to complete the process.

Publish

Code Wizard Publishing your ads on your web site is a very easy thing to do. Using the code wizard, you can select the type of code to generate, the zone that you want to publish, check some options if necessary and with the press of a button the code to display your zone will be generated. After that it's as simple as copying and pasting the generated code into your web pages where you want the zone to be displayed. The best part is that coding a zone into a page is a one-time operation, so the code never needs updated making it maintenance free!

To generate code for a zone, click on the Code Wizard icon in the toolbar.

  1. What type of zone are you generating code for? By default the Banner Code wizard is displayed. Use the navigation menu on the left side of the screen to select Dynamic Code, Page Peel Code, Text Code, VAST Tag, Wallpaper Code or Window Code for other zone types.
  2. Click the link for the code format you want to generate (such as AJAX or JavaScript) under the zone type in the navigation menu.
  3. Select the Zone that you want to generate code for.
  4. Optionally select a Publisher if you will be providing this code to a publisher -- forgetting to do this will result in the generated code not associating statistics with their account!
  5. Check any options that you want to apply to the generate code, such as Automatic Refresh to reload ads on a timed interval, Contextual to enable contextual keyword targeting, Display Multiple Ads to display several unique ads in a column, row, or grid, and more.

Press the Generate Code button to complete the process. Copy and paste the generated code into your web page where you would like the zone to appear.

Some code formats, including AJAX and JavaScript, have a Header Code that should go between the <HEAD> and </HEAD> tags in your page. The header code is always the same and should only be placed in your page once!

Certain media types, including Page Peel and Wallpaper, require that you place their code at the end of your page, preferably directly before the </BODY> tag to ensure proper loading.

Code Format Comparison

For help with deciding which type of code to generate, see the following comparison of the available formats. We recommend using either the AJAX or JavaScript code formats as they are the most modern. Use the E-mail code format with HTML e-mails. Use the Third-Party code format when providing code to publishers who have their own ad server. The legacy HTML and XHTML code formats are best avoided in favor of the newer JavaScript code format since it's a 100% backwards compatible replacement for them and is also much better for SEO and improving page speed.

Format TypeDescriptionAnti-CachingCompatibilityGraphicsFlashHTML
AJAX
  • Designed for zone placement in HTML or XHTML web pages.
  • Generated code is up to 70% smaller than the HTML/XHTML formats.
  • Uses asynchronous JavaScript (AJAX), which detaches the loading of ads from the loading of your page content allowing it to load faster. This is critical for SEO because many search engines will lower your rank if your page content does not use these optimizations. Also, in the event that ad server happens to go down, your web site is protected from loading slow because the browser does not need to wait for the ads to load before rendering pages.
  • Preferable to use in combination with custom or keyword targeting integration to avoid code duplication.
  • Fully compatible with all dynamic web page technologies such as ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes
AMP
  • Designed for banner zone placement in Google AMP web sites.
  • Does not allow for vanity domain usage and requires HTTPS.
  • Expandable and pushdown ads require user interaction (i.e. touch or click), so automatic expansion is not possible.
ExcellentExcellentYesNoYes
DFP
  • Preferable to use when the generated code will be provided to a third-party publisher that uses DFP.
  • Requires HTTPS.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes
E-mail
  • Designed for zone placement in HTML e-mail.
  • Does not require JavaScript or <IFRAME> support, which most e-mail clients do not provide.
  • Limited to displaying graphic banners: GIF, JPG, or PNG
  • Accuracy is impacted by lack of JavaScript support, so 100% of impressions may not be counted due to caching.
LimitedExcellentYesNoNo
HTML
  • Designed for zone placement in HTML web pages.
  • Preferable to use when the generated code will be provided to a third-party publisher if their ad server cannot insert random numbers or time stamps to implement cache-busting.
  • Fully compatible with all dynamic web page technologies such as ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes
JavaScript
  • Designed for zone placement in HTML or XHTML web pages.
  • Generated code is up to 70% smaller than the HTML/XHTML formats.
  • Preferable to use in combination with custom or keyword targeting integration to avoid code duplication.
  • Fully compatible with all dynamic web page technologies such as ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes
JSP
  • Designed for zone placement in JSP web pages, but requires the use of a JSP tag library.
ExcellentLimitedYesYesYes
Pixel
  • Designed for tracking native or third-party served content.
  • Does not require JavaScript or <IFRAME> support.
  • Limited by design to displaying a 1x1 transparent pixel.
  • Accuracy is impacted by lack of JavaScript support, so 100% of impressions may not be counted due to caching if the third-party cannot implement a proper cache buster (random number).
Third-PartyExcellentYesYesYes
Third-Party
  • Preferable to use when the generated code will be provided to a third-party publisher.
  • Requires the third-party ad server to insert random numbers or time stamps to implement cache-busting.
  • Supports click tracking by the third-party ad server through the [clickurl] placeholder that they should replace with their own click tracking URL macro, which may be either encoded/escaped or non-encoded.
  • Compatible with third-party publishers with ad servers that use AJAX code for serving.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes
URL
  • Designed for zone placement in desktop applications or mobile applications.
  • No anti-caching is performed, so applications should never cache responses to ensure accuracy.
  • Proxying of client information such as language, IP address, operating system, and web browser is recommended. Simply use the standard Accept-Language, User-Agent, Referer, and X-Forwarded-For headers in HTTP requests for that purpose. Omission of that information will result in certain types of targeting being disabled.
NoneLimitedYesYesYes
XHTML
  • Designed for zone placement in XHTML web pages.
  • Preferable to use when the generated code will be provided to a third-party publisher if their ad server cannot insert random numbers or time stamps to implement cache-busting.
  • Fully compatible with all dynamic web page technologies such as ASP, ColdFusion, and PHP.
ExcellentExcellentYesYesYes

You will probably also notice that it's possible to generate code for placing campaigns and media directly. It is not recommended for you to do that unless you're placing static campaigns or media into a newsletter or other publications that will be short-lived or never change. For your web sites, however, it's suggested that you always use zones because the campaigns and media you run on them will change frequently. By using zones, you will never have to re-publish any codes on your web site after the initial setup no matter how many changes you make to your zones and their campaign assignments.

Report

Generating Reports

Reports After clicking on the Reports icon in the toolbar you will be presented with a general summary report for the current month. Many times this report will provide you with the information that you were looking for. Sometimes you might want to dig a little deeper into that information though, in which case you will have to find the report you want in the reports navigation menu. At first that task may seem a little overwhelming because there are a huge number of reports, but you'll find that the reports are all organized pretty logically and the wizards to generate every report are all very user friendly and easy to use.

Don't worry if you choose the wrong options when generating a report because it's possible to edit your report after generating it to change options quickly without having to start over from scratch.

Exporting Reports

Once you've generated a report, it can be exported with a single click into several different formats including:

When you want to e-mail a report to someone choosing PDF or TXT is usually the best option. Although you should choose CSV or Excel if they will need to edit the contents of the report. The XML format is perhaps the most versatile since it can be post-processed with XSLT to output a highly customized report in various formats.

Optimize

Suppose that you've been looking at the reports for a campaign and you've noticed that it is receiving a high number of click-throughs in a few of the zone it's running in. You have a couple of choices of how to optimize the campaign to take advantage of this situation. The easiest thing to do would be to edit the campaign, view its zone assignments, and then increase its priority in each of the zones that it performs well in to give it more impressions. If you don't want to increase the priority of the campaign at all, another option is to remove the campaign from some zones that it is not performing so well in to dedicate more impressions to the zones that are performing well. In some cases, such as with keyword or geographic targeting, you might find that improvements can be made by adjusting targeting criteria to be more specific as well.