For about 3 months now I have been using DoubleClick on some of my sites to serve ads. It’s just an ad platform for Adsense publishers, so if you have an account you can use it for free on your sites. Most small publishers don’t use it because there is a steep learning curve before you can fully take advantage of its potential.
It took me a while to figure out some of the stuff I wanted to do but I think I finally got it. If you have a small site then you got other options that are much more user friendly such as OIO Publisher plugin. But DoubleClick gives you a lot more control in my opinion, so I decided to write this short little guide on how to set it up.
So before you even begin using it you need to come up with a plan on how you are going to structure your site and what ad units you want to serve. If you don’t then you will constantly keep changing the code because it’s different for each ad unit each time you generate it.
First of all, let’s take a look how the user interface looks like when you login.
The first step is to click on “Inventory” tab and set up your ad units. An Ad Unit has 1 size but can have multiple placements. I am going to try to make it simple and show you how to use it with just 1 placement per ad unit.
After clicking on Inventory you will see the following screen.
To create an ad unit just click on “New ad unit”. Then a drop down menu will appear with 2 options: Web and Mobile. For sites just use Web.
Now you should see a form to fill out that looks like this:
When entering the name do not make any spaces. When you create placements you can use spaces but not with ad units.
Description is optional, but if you want to remember what the ad unit is for I recommend that you put something in there.
When you put your cursor in the “Size” box Google will give you different sizes to choose from, but if you want to create a custom size then you need to enter it manually.
For example, if I wanted to create a custom ad unit size 497×500 (which is not standard) I would simply type that in and then Google would give you the option to save that custom size.
Once you have completed the steps just click “Save” to save the new ad unit. Simple huh? 🙂
Now we need to create a placement for that ad unit. To do that click on “Placements” on the left sidebar and then “New Placement” button as shown below.
Think of placements as different areas of your site. You can have 300×250 ad unit in 2 different places on your page but using placements you can target 1 specific ad block. I won’t get into complicated setups right now. I think that once you set things up using my short guide you will be able to figure out more stuff on your own.
Now another form will show up on your screen that you will need to complete.
Name your placements so that you know where you are going to put this ad block. For example, one of my placements is called “Premium Zone Below Post”.
Ok, so now you have created an ad unit and assigned a placement to it.
You want to repeat this process for all your ad units. So if you want to have 300×250, 336×280, and 728×90 ad units then you need to do this 3 times.
What now? Well, you should now generate tags and put it in your html code but since you have no orders I recommend that you do that first.
Click on the “Orders” tab and then “New order” button.
Now it’s time to complete the order form which is sort of self-explanatory without any complicated settings.
It will look like this:
The only thing is that if your site doesn’t get millions of impressions just select to deliver ads “As fast as possible”.
Also don’t forget to select targeting for your placements. It’s under “Add Targeting”. Here you basically select the placement you just created. There is no need to include the ad unit if the placement was already assigned to it.
Once it’s saved you will need to approve it before it can run.
When you approve it it’s going to ask you to do it twice because it doesn’t have much data about your web property or because it doesn’t know how many impressions your site can deliver.
You will need to repeat this for all the offers you want to display on your site. Once it’s approved the next step is to add creative which is easy. Just go to the order you just created and then click on “New creative”.
You can upload banners but you can also create custom text ads.
For example, check out the following html code:
It will produce an ad block that looks like this:
I would of course hyperlink the titles of the ads and create multiple ad blocks with different ads to rotate. Then when you plugin in to Doubleclick Google will insert its macros and your links will redirect through Google’s ad server.
To add custom html code you need to select “Third-party” option when adding your creatives as shown below:
When you paste the html code into the box on next screen you will need to put your cursor right before the http:// and hit the “Click Macro” button on the right side.
Here is how it would look like:
The html code must fit into the size of your ad unit otherwise it won’t look good. This method is cool for running your own affiliate offers or cpa offers as “sponsored links” on your site 😉
Once you have added your creatives and you have approved the order you created you can now generate tags for your site to display the ads.
Go back to the Inventory tab and then click on “Generate Tags” on the left sidebar.
Here you will need to select the ad units you have created in previous step that you want to display on your website and then Google will give you the code you need to put into your html code.
The first piece of code goes into your <head></head> section and the other tags go where you want the ads to appear.
Doubleclick offers a lot of other things that I could write about but to explain other stuff I would pretty much need to make a video. You can create “custom targeting” tags under inventory so that you can display different kinds of ads in different sections of your site.
For example, I generated custom targeting tags for each category my site has and then we can serve ads only to one particular category if I want to.
Anyway, it took me a while to finally figure things out. You need to play with it a little bit before you see the potential it offers. I guess the best way to learn is to try it yourself and test things out.