How to setup Google DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP)

I was recently tasked with configuring and integrating Google DoubleClick For Publishers (DFP) into a content based website. Usually as aweb developer this type of thing is little more than cutting and pasting some code snippets into the master layout and forgetting about it. Inthis case, there was no prior configuration of the account so I needed to start from scratch to get the website to the point of serving testbanner content. Having previously worked with Google AdSense, I was surprised by the complexity of DFP.

First off, what is Google Double-Click for publishers? 

Prior to this I understood double-click to be a banner ad networksuch as Google AdSense where you basically define your ad slots and thebanner network takes care of which filling your site with adverts. Thatassumption was totally incorrect. DFP is in fact a much moresophisticated layer in between your website and the banner networks, but the key difference is that you can operate it entirely without a banner network which means managing the the actual advertisers and the bannercontent yourself.

Google DFP Terminology

If your not a professional marketer, DFP can appear quiteoverwhelming at first, this is largely to all the unfamiliar terminology used. I’m going to explain the core terminology and concepts ofDFP. DFP is split into two key sections, inventory and orders;
Inventory – this relates to individual ad space locations which has been defined on the website(s) Orders – this relates to the actual advertising content which has been configured to display within your inventory.


Ad Units
An ad unit represents a physical slot within the website. Every adunit requires a unique code snippet to be pasted into the website. 
This allows you to group ad-units together, which allows ad content(orders) to be placed on a set placement. An example of this would be to group all ad units which are leader-boards and above the fold acrossyour site.  

Custom Targeting

This section allows for an extra dimension to be added when placing orders.


Orders – This represents an advertiser’s order, it’s like the contract for the financial commitment. An order specifies theadvertiser (this includes the option to mark it as a house/internalorder). You specify the spend and the duration of the order. An orderconsists of one or more line items.

Line Items – One or more line items belong to anorder. A line item can contain multiple creatives and multiple inventory (ad unit) sizes.  I consider a line item to relate to an advertiser’scampaign. A campaign may consist of multiple ad types and sizes, withvarying taglines, however they are all related. 

Creatives – These are the actual ad content – theimages/video etc supplied by the advertiser, or in the case of a 3rdparty banner network, its where you store their cut & paste bannercode.

So where do I start Google DFP?

The approach with I took was to start by listing all the uniquetemplates on the website’s design, for example – Home page template,Product details template, Product listing template. For each template Iidentified each instance of an ad and the ad size (MRec, Leader-boardetc) which appear in the design and wrote them down. If there is two adslots of the same size in the one template you should list them both. Inow have a list of multiple ad units per template.

Now I’m readyto define my inventory in DFP. I now create an ad unit for each of theitems on my list naming them [template-name]_[adunitsize]. Each ad unitwill require a unique block of HTML to be pasted into the website in the location where that ad unit is to be displayed.

At this point your inventory is now active, so you will notice emptywhite boxes being served to the page from DFP. From a development pointof view, you’ve integrated DFP.
Now to get ad content displaying on your website by creating andorder. Once you have created an order you can add multiple line items. A line item can be either be content which you upload and defineyourself, or link to a 3rd party content network such as AdSense orAdMob.

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