Accounts

Accounts allow users to login to the control panel and get their work done. There are three types of accounts, each of which are designed to be used by different types of users based upon the tasks that they need to complete. Commonly, you will see these different account types referred to as roles throughout this user manual and other documentation. An overview of each account type, which includes administrators, advertisers, and publishers is given in the sub sections that follow.

Administrators

Administrator accounts have the potential to grant users full access to the functionality of the control panel. Generally, you will want to reserve administrator accounts for the employees of your company. 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. The deep set of permissions available to administrator accounts allows you to accomplish that by enabling you to control access rights on a per-user basis. For example, you can create administrator accounts for your accounting department employees that only grant them access to accounting reports.

Advertisers

Advertiser accounts should be created for companies or individuals that pay you to advertise on your web site(s). At times, your company may also want to run various in-house ads too. To accommodate that need, it is suggested that you also create an advertiser account for your company.

Publishers

Publisher accounts should be created for companies or individuals that you outsource delivery of your ads to. It is not recommended that you create publisher accounts for internal use on your own web sites. Instead, it is recommend that you organize your zones into groups by web site if you operate more than one web site and wish to be able to report on each web site individually.

Campaigns

Campaigns are used to schedule media to be run in your zones. A campaign may contain multiple media and can be assigned to any number of zones. Many criteria, such as start dates, stop dates, impression limits, frequency capping, geographical targeting, and priorities are available to help you precisely control and optimize the delivery of your campaigns.

With so many options, you wouldn’t be wrong to assume that campaigns are complex. The key thing to understand is that campaigns connect your media to your zones. This relationship is illustrated in the diagram that follows.

There are a couple of things that you should gather from the diagram above. The first thing is that campaigns can be assigned to multiple zones. You can see that Campaign #1 is assigned to both Zone #1 and Zone #2. The second thing is that campaigns can contain more than one media. Take a look at Campaign #2 and you can see that it contains three media, which themselves are of different types including a graphic banner, a flash banner, and an HTML banner. The third and final thing that you should notice is that when a zone contains multiple campaigns, it will rotate them according to their targeting and priority criteria. If you look at Zone #2, you can see that it contains three campaigns to be rotated. However, Campaign #2 is targeted to only U.S. visitors, so visitors from other countries will only see the other two campaigns.

Files

Files are the digital assets of your media, such as a GIF, JPG, or SWF creative. While it’s possible to upload your files to other web servers, it’s strongly recommended that you upload them with the control panel for the following reasons:

  • Your files will be stored in the backend database, which means they’ll be included in backups for easy recovery.
  • It’s impossible to accidentally delete a file that you need because the control panel checks to make sure a file is not referenced by any media before deleting it.
  • The file server caches files in memory and aggressively forces clients and proxy servers to cache files locally, which results in increased performance and significantly less bandwidth usage.
  • In a CDN environment, files are automatically mirrored to all CDN servers.

When considering the types of files and the maximum file sizes that you will accept, it is strongly recommended that you adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Internet Advertising Bureau, which can be found here on their web site.

Folders can be used to organize your files if you have a lot of files. A folder can contain an unlimited number of files. Along the same lines, there are no limits how many folders you can create and folders can be nested an unlimited number of levels deep.

Media

Media is a generic term used to refer to banners, dynamic ads, text links, page peels, pop ups, pop unders, videos and wallpapers. You’ll create a media for every advertisement that you serve. As the definition for campaigns states, media are reusable components that can be assigned to any number of campaigns.

Banner

A banner is a graphical advertisement, typically in the shape of a square or rectangle that is placed within the content of your web page. All common graphical formats are supported, including Flash (SWF), GIF, JPG, and PNG. For more complex needs, such as web forms, HTML code is also supported.

Dynamic

Designed specifically for floating layer ads, full-page overlays, other types of free-form creatives and even redirects to external content such as video streams for pre-roll and post-roll video ads.

Page Peel

Creates a page ear effect in the upper right or left corner of a web page, which folds over further when the visitor interacts with it to reveal a large graphical advertisement behind the page.

Text

A text ad is nothing too fancy. For a simplistic hyperlink, the plain text type will meet your needs. If you want to do something a little more stylish like the text ads popularized by Google, you should use the rich text type instead as it allows you full control over the HTML and CSS markup.

VAST

The IAB’s Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) specification is a universal XML schema for serving ads to digital video players. It provides support for linear pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll MP4 or FLV video ads as well as non-linear GIF/JPG/PNG, Flash (SWF), text, HTML, <IFRAME> and <SCRIPT> overlay banners. In addition to this it also specifies video tracking events, which enables measurement of video advertising consumption. For more information, please see the VAST chapter which provides guidance on recommended players, configuration of players and reporting.

VPAID

The Video Player-Ad Interface Definition (VPAID) specification is a universal XML schema developed by the IAB for interaction between ad units and video players focused on enabling a rich interactive in-stream ad experience.

Wallpaper

If you have a fixed-width web site, wallpaper ads work just like the desktop background image on your computer and can occupy the empty space on the left and right sides of your pages for visitors with high resolution screens.

Window

A window ad is designed to open an advertisement or web page in a new browser window. That window is called a pop up if it’s opened into the foreground or a pop under if it’s opened in the background. An additional window type, third-party, is also available that lets third-parties open the window if it’s not known in advance whether it should be a pop up or a pop under.

Groups

Groups can optionally be used to organize your zones into sets for reporting purposes. If you operate more than one web site, you’ll probably want to create a group for each of your web sites. That will allow you to generate a group reports to view statistics for each of your web sites on an individual basis.

Pixels

Pixels are able to be piggybacked on advertisers campaigns or zones, which simplifies the process of managing tags versus attaching them directly to creatives.

Reporting

Most of the fields in our reporting use industry standard terms, but in some cases we may use alternate names or abbreviations.

Standard Metrics

  • Share – Represents the share of voice for a given line item, which is derived from dividing its views by the total views.
  • Views – Represents the number of a times a line item was viewed, which is also known as an impression.
  • Clicks – Represents the number of a times a line item was clicked.
  • CTR – The percentage of views that generated a click, which is derived from dividing the number of clicks by the number of views.
  • Actions – The number of a times a line item generate a post-view or post-click action, which may represent a lead or purchase event.
  • ACR – The percentage of clicks that generated an action, which is derived from dividing the number of actions by the number of clicks.

Conversion Metrics

  • Conversions – Represents the total number of post-view and post-click actions that occurred during the measurement period.
  • View-Through Conversions – The total number of conversions that were measured post view.
  • View-Through Percentage – The percentage of conversions that were measured post view, which is derived from dividing the number of view-through conversions by the number of conversions.
  • Click-Through Conversions – The total number of conversions that were measured post click.
  • Click-Through Percentage – The percentage of conversions that were measured post click, which is derived from dividing the number of click-through conversions by the number of conversions.
  • Revenue – The amount of revenue that was generated by conversions if ROI data sharing has been enabled on the S2S or client-side action tracking pixel.

Event Metrics

  • Event Count – Represents the total number of events that occurred during the measurement period.
  • Triggered Rate – The percentage of views that resulted in an event being counted, which is derived from dividing the event count by the total number of views.

Interactive Metrics

  • Interactive Views – Views are counted as interactive when a user mouses over a creative for at least 1 second, expands it or clicks on it.
  • Interactive Rate – The percentage of views that were counted as interactive.
  • Interactive Time – The total amount of interactive time that was observed for a creative.
  • Average Interactive Time – The average amount of interactive time that was observed for a creative, which is derived from dividing the interactive time by the number of interactive views.
  • Interactive CTR – The percentage of interactive views that generated a click, which is derived from dividing the number of clicks by the number of interactive views.
  • Expanded Views – Views are counted as expanded when a user expands a creative for at least 1 second.
  • Expanded Rate – The percentage of views that were counted as expanded.
  • Expanded Time – The total amount of expanded time that was observed for a creative.
  • Average Expanded Time – The average amount of expanded time that was observed for a creative, which is derived from dividing the expanded time by the number of expanded views.
  • Total Engagements – Engagements are typically counted each time a user clicks, expands a banner, triggers a custom counter event or starts, pauses, resumes, completes, replays, mutes, unmutes or plays a video fullscreen, but may be customized with different logic on a per-creative basis.
  • Engagement Rate – The ratio of total engagements to served impressions, expressed as a percentage.
  • Unique Engagements – The number of unique views that were counted as engaged.
  • Unique Engagement Rate – The ratio of unique engagements to served impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Inventory Metrics

  • Utilization – The percentage of views that were utilized to serve paid campaigns, which is derived from dividing the number of paid views by the total number of views and missed ops.
  • Paid Views – Represents the number of a times a paid campaign was viewed, which is also known as an impression.
  • Paid Clicks – Represents the number of a times a paid campaign was clicked.
  • Paid CTR – The percentage of paid views that generated a click, which is derived from dividing the number of paid clicks by the number of paid views.
  • Default Views – Represents the number of a times a default campaign was viewed, which is also known as an impression.
  • Default Clicks – Represents the number of a times a default campaign was clicked.
  • Default CTR – The percentage of default views that generated a click, which is derived from dividing the number of default clicks by the number of default views.
  • Total Views – Represents the combined number of paid views and default views.
  • Total Clicks – Represents the combined number of paid clicks and default clicks.
  • Total CTR – The percentage of total views that generated a click, which is derived from dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of views.
  • Missed Ops – The number of times a zone was invoked but resulted in no impression, which may be due to any of the following reasons: zone is disabled, defaults are disabled in zone settings, multi-ad units display fewer ads than desired or an unrecoverable error occurs.
  • Blacklist – Represents the number of times a request was rejected due to IP address or User-Agent blacklisting.
  • Robots – Represents the number of times a request was detected as a robot, which results in no impression being counted.
  • Filtered Rate – The percentage of total requests that were blacklisted or filtered as robots, which is derived from dividing the total number of blacklist and robot requests by the total number of all requests.

Video Metrics

  • Requests – The number of times a video was pre-fetched, which may exceed the number of views if some requests did not play.
  • Start – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video starting to play.
  • First Quartile – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video playing for 25% of its duration.
  • Midpoint – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video playing for 50% of its duration.
  • Third Quartile – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video playing for 75% of its duration.
  • Complete – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video playing for 100% of its duration.
  • Replay – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video playing for a second time.
  • Pause – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being paused.
  • Resume – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being unpaused.
  • Mute – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being muted.
  • Unmute – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being unmuted.
  • Fullscreen – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being played in full screen mode.
  • Skip – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being skipped.
  • Close – The percentage of video requests that resulted in the video being closed.

Viewability Metrics

  • Viewable Impressions – Viewable impressions are counted when 50% or more of the creative is viewable for at least 1 second, however, only 30% of the creative need be visible if the surface area (width x height) of the creative exceeds 242,500 pixels. It should also be noted that viewability cannot be fully measured when creatives are loaded via IFRAME tags. Thus it is not practical or advisable to base billing on viewable impressions in an environment where IFRAME tags are utilized.
  • Viewable Rate – The percentage of views that were counted as viewable.
  • Viewable Time – The total amount of viewable time that was observed for a creative.
  • Average Viewable Time – The average amount of viewable time that was observed for a creative, which is derived from dividing the viewable time by the number of viewable impressions.

Segments

Segments are designed to define data points that identify a group of users. For example, you might use a segment to identify users that clicked on a banner from a certain campaign. Third-party data segments from various providers may also be purchased and utilized for targeting.

Sizes

If you’ve been advertising on the Internet for any amount of time, you’re probably already aware that the Interactive Advertising Bureau publishes a standard set of sizes for banner advertisements. This standard set of sizes can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

The system comes pre-configured with those sizes already created for your convenience. While we recommend using those sizes because they are standardized, you might have other sizes that you need to use on your web sites. That’s not a problem because you can add as many new sizes as you need and remove the ones that you don’t need too. In fact, it’s a good idea to do just that because having a pre-defined list of sizes versus allowing users to enter sizes when creating media allows you to prevent users from creating media of sizes that you don’t allow on your web sites.

Themes

Themes are designed to describe the types of content present on publisher web sites. If you create or edit a publisher account, it’s possible to associate any number of themes with their account. It’s then possible to target campaigns to those themes to deliver them only to publisher sites with content related to the campaign.

You might be wondering why you would use themes instead of creating separate zones for each of your publishers? Well, you’ve really answered your own question. By using themes, you can cut down on the number of zones you have to manage by sharing zones among many publishers.

Zones

Zones are used to define a group of campaigns to be displayed at a specific position or positions on one or more pages of your web site or web sites. 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.

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

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

  • Every zone must belong to a group. In this case we have created a zone named after the domain name of the example web site. This practice is highly recommended, as it will make it easy for you to generate reports for individual web sites if you have many web sites by simply generating a group report.
  • We have created a 468×60 banner zone for the home page. That zone may be placed at the top of the page, at the bottom of the page, or maybe even at both the top and bottom of the page. What is important to understand though is that you will only place that zone on your home page. If you do that, setting a campaign to be run on your home page will be as simple as assigning it to the zone that you’ve designated for your home page.
  • There are three 468×60 banner zones outlined in the example. What if you have a 468×60 banner campaign that you want to be run in both the home page and featured articles zones? That’s easy because campaigns can be assigned to more than one zone. Just assign your campaign to both zones and you’ll end up with the placement that you want. Later, if you decide that you don’t want that campaign to be run on the home page, you can unassign it from the zone for the home page.

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.