AdOps 101: 5 Things Publishers Should Know

by: TeamLYM, on Nov 24, 2014 in Publisher Tips & Tricks

The ever-changing landscape of the digital world does not make life easy for online publishers. We know that new technology solutions and products are popping up daily, and it can be difficult to prioritize. A key component to staying on top of things is being clear on your Ad Management — and in turn, your Ad Operations setup.

What is Ad Operations, you ask? Ad Operations, commonly known as “Ad Ops,” refers to the processes and systems that support the sale and delivery of different aspects of online advertising such as selling, serving, targeting and reporting on the performance of online ads. The primary function of Ad Ops is to fulfill the order of sale (also called an “ad campaign” or “media ad buy”) purchased directly by or on behalf of an advertiser — in turn, generating revenue. Ad Ops is also called upon to manage unsold or remnant inventory, optimizing remnant partners for maximum revenue.(1)

Here we provide 5 ways to ensure you are getting the most out of your setup, compliments of the LYM Ad Ops team:

1. Find the right solution: Identify your long-term and short-term advertising needs, and educate yourself about your ad server and its functions. A good ad server has the capability to maximize revenue based on market demand for the non-reserved (remnant) stream while providing the controls to minimize direct sale channel conflicts.  A few commonly used servers include:

a. Double Click for Publishers (DFP) – created by Google, and currently the#1 ad serving platform in the industry. Google provides direct links to various Ad Ops tools to analyze inventory, audience targeting and streamline processes. On the remnant front, DFP integrates directly with AdX. Their other remnant partners compete with AdX in real time, therefore providing maximum revenue.

b. AdTech – an integrated ad management platform providing solutions for display, video, mobile. Publishers can utilize MARKETPLACE as a yield optimization solution that allows maximizing their digital advertising revenue for the non-reserved stream while providing the controls to minimize direct sale channel conflicts.

c. OpenX – helps publishers to manage and sell across desktop, mobile, video, and email, allowing advertisers to reach large, targeted audiences, at scale.

d. Broadstreet Ads – a new revenue generation platform that caters specifically to local, digital news publishers. Has a strong following by hyperlocal sites. This platform features editable ads for advertisers, a feature that may be useful for small businesses that are regularly changing their messaging and promotions.

2. Yield optimization and organization: Broadly, this is working with all of the different revenue resources you have i.e., your in-house direct sales, non-reserved  (remnant), ad exchanges, RTB and mobile, to generate best results and maximum returns. This is trial and error because not all inventory is the same. Segment your inventory test by putting different partners in different sections, sizes, and page positions. The general consensus on how many third party demand partners is ranges around 3-6. Another important note is when optimizing, your eCPM could drop while you are ramping fill and vice versa…the best approach is to be methodical, pick a test period of 3-4 weeks, and do the analysis.

3. Reporting metrics: To ensure your numbers closely match the reporting numbers of your demand partners, you need to confirm what servers you are using, what time zone you report from and that you use similar reporting approaches. Are you reporting from the client side or the server side? Website scripts run in one of two places – the client side, also called the front-end, or the server side, also called the back-end. The client of a website refers to the web browser that is viewing it. Website scripts run in one of two places – the client side, also called the front-end, or the server side, also called the back-end. The client of a website refers to the web browser that is viewing it. The server of a website is, of course, the server that hosts it.(2) If you use a different reporting mechanism, you will need to address this issue up front and agree upon what is acceptable in your reporting comparisons and how to treat discrepancies. We highlighted this topic in an earlier post titled: Not all ad impressions are created equal.

4. Manage your website page and layout:When publishers apply to new third party demand partners, sites are being reviewed for type of content, page layout, audience size and general IAB compliance. Sites can be declined due to excessive ad spaces, lack of original content (aggregators) and links redirecting to different sites. Most advertisers and third party providers prefer a maximum of 3-5 ads per page and a clean website that has an uncluttered view.Be mindful of ad viewability, i.e. make your inventory more valuable to an advertiser by confirming that at least 50% of the ad is visible to the user in order to be counted as an impression.

5. Troubleshooting methods: Sometimes an ad appears on your site that is in conflict with one of your direct advertisers – or its quality isn’t to your standards. In order to assist your partners in removing the ad swiftly from your site, learn how to identify ads and their source on your site. Here are a few free tools we recommend to pinpoint where an ad comes from and what information is needed to have it blocked promptly:

a. Firebug with Firefox – download Firebug at

b. Inspect Element with Chrome – built into the Chrome browser, right-click in and around the ad in question to use this feature to highlight the source embedded in code

c. Google Publisher Toolbar — If using DFP, download here

We hope you find these tips helpful. For some Ad Ops humor, check out What Happens in Ad Ops.




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