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Tips and tricks for using DFP

Tips and Tricks for DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers)
Tips and tricks for using DFP
In the past year or so, many publishers using the DART for Publishers ad server have experienced the migration to a new Google experience. Ever since Google acquired the ad server, they have been working on a new and improved release that would fit in nicely with the Google Stack. One of these improvements meant a heavy change in the User Interface. So where did everything go? The new interface brings relief and joy to many professionals working with the product daily. But what if you are not that much of a heavy user and relatively inexperienced? Where will you find all the features you were so used to in the old DART?

Written by Daniel Mena & Joost Hesselberth

This article will answer those questions for you. As you read we give you a quick introduction to the new DFP Premium version and explain the differences and similarities of the two systems. Some tips and tricks can, of course, not be forgotten.

Is DFP Premium really that Premium?

With the launch of DFP Premium, many people expected miracles. Now that Google had released a new version of the platform, it will probably do anything I want right? Not really! Although the new version brings many great features and upgrades, it is also still in the process of development.

The most widely missed feature here in the office of DQ&A South Africa is the Query Tool. Although there is a beta version available to us in our own network, it simply does not work quite as good as in DART. The reporting tab in DFP Premium may bring new dimensions to reporting your ad stats, like graphs and tables, but to find what you're looking for takes a bit longer.

Uhm, what happened to all the features I use?

Not to worry, they are most probably still there. Google just felt like changing the names a little. Below we give you a few examples of the old and the new name of the feature. Google's intentions clearly were to make the name of the feature represent the actual intentional use of the feature.

  • Adline vs. Line items: not just a name change, but line items are now also very versatile. You can serve roadblocks or multiple different ad sizes from 1 line item.

  • BFP vs. Audience segments: change the name, change the game. Google made it even easier to populate Audience segments, and even more so to target them.

  • Spotlight vs. Activity groups: still needs implementation on the advertiser side, obviously, but it is now easier to create multiple steps in conversion tracking. This makes it easier to detect where people exit the process.

  • Tile categories vs. Labeling: we have finally left the carpentry business and now call it by its name. Add labels for advertiser's exclusion, ad exclusion and ad unit frequency capping.

  • Key values vs. Custom criteria: no more remembering and typing complicated keys and values like pn_qrt=m25nl. So no more typing, you can now select from drop down lists.

  • Time based bulk vs. Network: time based bulk and weight based bulk merged into one network.

  • Hard cut off vs. Grace period: giving grace to your advertisers. Somewhat different than the DART functionality. It extends your campaign by x amount of days but will eventually stop, even if the goal hasn't been reached yet.

  • Macros vs. Macros: some may find it easier, others will disagree. But at least Google put the name of the macro into the macro. For example, %c for click tracking is now %%CLICK_URL_UNESC%%. A bit longer, but it makes it easier to detect.

    Tell me some Tips and Tricks I don't know yet

    So what is this blog really about? Giving you some tips & tricks that will help you with your activities in DFP Premium.

  • Impersonate: fantastic new feature from Google! We are genuinely happy with this one. The new DFP allows you to impersonate users in the network that is if you are an administrator. Great feature to assist with troubleshooting.

  • Google Console: another great tool for troubleshooting purposes is the Console. Can be used in combination with the new GPT Tags. It provides you with instant information about the ad units on the page and the campaigns delivering at that very moment. No more digging in code for ad id's and campaign information!

  • Labelling: do you always receive phone calls from advertisers saying they see their ad together with their competitor? Or do you have sponsored content and want to prevent certain ads from showing there? Put a label on it!

  • Teams: did you have sub networks in DART and want to restrict people from seeing data they shouldn't get their noses into? Start using teams and allocate users, advertisers and orders to specific teams.

  • Companies: well hidden and much more than just advertisers. You can find it under the Admin tab and can house all your advertisers, pre-defined ad networks, agencies, and many more. Don't want to serve multiple line items from the same advertisers at once? Check the box while adding/editing a company.

  • Activity groups: measuring conversations is a great way to report on the effectiveness of a campaign. You can make it even more effective by creating multiple steps that track where people left the advertiser site (for example after items have been put in a shopping cart, or before submitting personal data to receive the newsletter).

  • Guaranteed roadblocks: in the old DART system, when serving roadblocks, there was always a difference in impressions served on the master and companion. Google eliminated this discrepancy and introduced the guaranteed roadblocks. This can only be used when you are using the GPT tags in combination with single request enabled and basically means that the entire roadblock + possible other ads will be loaded in the head tag first and then will be displayed in the body tag when the roadblock is guaranteed to show completely. This saves a lot of explanation towards your advertisers. You have to activate this option in the Admin tab.

  • DFP Tags Generator (Beta): DFP has a tag generator implemented in the system. But what's up with all the limitations? Once you have seen the new Beta Tags Generator, you will ask yourself why this is not added to the system. It is much more versatile and gives you great options for page level key value targeting, Out of Page ad units and lots more.

  • Share click/impression goal: no more multiple ad lines and dividing impressions. Put multiple sizes into one line item and give your advertiser the freedom the use multiple ad sizes for their campaign. Keep in mind that you may not want to show them at the same time, so adjust the delivery settings if necessary.

    That's it!

    Hopefully this article increased your confidence in working with DFP Premium. Do you think you have some tricks we don't know about? Join the conversation and post them in the comments below.

    If this article got you interested in using the DFP ad server, you can give us a call at +31 (0)70 300 1950 or send us an email at moc.anqd@ofni to request a free demo.

    Author information

    Daniel Mena, DFP Expert & Campaign manager at DQ&A Media Group.

    Joost Hesselberth, DFP Expert & Campaign manager at DQ&A Media Group.

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