Monetization Tools & Tech

6 Common DFP Pitfalls to Watch Out For

sovrnmarketing // October 21, 2016

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By now, you’re probably aware of the benefits of using DFP, Google’s ad server for publishers. DFP offers more flexibility, can help with latency and allows you to manage all of your advertising from one place.

But it’s no secret that DFP is difficult to set up, especially for digital advertising newbies.

Here are common pitfalls that befall DFP beginners, and tips for steering clear of them yourself.

1. Not picking a consistent naming convention.

Pick a naming convention for your creatives from the start and consistently use it. With consistent nomenclature, your DFP setup will scale well when you add new advertisers or new team members.

It’s important to include as much information as possible in your creative name. We recommend at minimum including the ad partner, position on the page, and geo you are targeted, i.e. “sovrn_topleader_US”.

Following this rule, a good naming convention would be as follows, “adpartner_position_geo”, and a poor naming convention would be “300×250”.

It’s also a good idea to include the zone ID you are targeting in the name of the creative. That way you can ensure that you are connecting the right zone with the right creative in DFP.

2. Forgetting to choose a start date.

Did you know that when setting a start date in DFP, DFP defaults to midnight of the next day? If you want your ads to start serving immediately, make sure to set the start date for an hour or so from now.

3. Pausing a Direct line item type incorrectly.

When you are pausing a standard or sponsorship line item type for Direct inventory, you need to additionally select ‘more actions’ and release the inventory the line item has reserved.  Without releasing the allotted line item inventory, DFP is holding onto those impressions as ‘reserved’, which ultimately means you lose money by not letting advertisers bid on those held impressions.

4. Enabling AdSense to compete with all line items.

Checking the “Enable AdSense” feature in the Inventory settings page is not the same as having AdSense as the last exchange in your stack. If you enable this feature, it allows DFP to call on the Adsense network demand to compete for all remnant inventory in your network. This may not be the best way to monetize your remnant inventory.

However, we do recommend publishers use AdSense in their DFP setup. As AdSense is a maxfill solution, it’s the perfect ad partner to use at or closest to the bottom of a multi-tiered stack. This will ensure all the ad requests directed to your site will earn you revenue.

5. Forgetting to uncheck ‘Serve into SafeFrame’.

In the ‘Creatives’ settings page, DFP automatically checks “serve in SafeFrame”. Uncheck that! The SafeFrame delivers the ad in an iFrame that is insulated from rest of page.

In some respects ‘Serve into SafeFrame’ is a good thing because it means the ad cannot affect page elements outside of the iFrame. The problem? Many ads may not work because they need to expand out of the size of the original container. Additionally, there may be discrepancies in reporting due to the unpredictable behavior of the ad call-to-page routing in the SafeFrame process.

6. Not making the most of price priority.

We recommend using price priority for all standard line items that are not guaranteed delivery. This will ensure that everything else competes with that line item, getting you the best price for your inventory.

But what exactly is price priority? Price priority is a remnant line item type that is used to deliver the highest paying line item to fill your site’s unsold inventory. Price priority will beat out line items by increments as small as a penny. This may seem like a small amount, but it adds up over time.

Check out the DFP Help Center learn more about price priority.

Resources for getting started with DFP:
Google Publisher University
*Complete tutorial for DFP
DFP Youtube Page
*Note that some of the YouTube links may not speak to all of the current features of the most recent releases of the DFP platform.

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