Tips and tools to monitor ad delivery

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 | 2:43 PM

Here's our second post on the brand new Google Ad Manager blog where we'll be sharing news, tips, and resources from the Ad Manager team.

We know that one of the most common industry-wide problems publishers face when managing their ad operations is trying to figure out why a particular ad isn't showing. If that sounds familiar, we've highlighted three great resources that Google Ad Manager offers that helps publishers monitor and troubleshoot this problem.

1. Use the Google Ad Manager debug tool

If you've found yourself navigating through your website in efforts to get your ads to show with no success, the Google Ad Manager debug tool is here to help. The Ad Manager debug tool can be used on any webpage you manage that contains Ad Manager tags, and allows you to easily view the real-time decision making process Ad Manager uses to determine which ad to serve. With this information, you'll be well equipped to quickly identify why an ad isn't delivering to a specific ad slot.

For a quick overview on how to use the Ad Manager debug tool, watch the video below in which Ryan Hickman, a Publisher Solutions Specialist on the Google Ad Manager team, walks through a simple three-step process to identify why an ad isn't delivering.

The Ad Manager debug tool also provides additional information about your ad requests such as the time Ad Manager took to generate each ad, and information about missing or incorrect ad tags. This information is displayed in a separate browser window so that the layout of your page isn't affected.

2. View competing line items

One of the most common reasons for an ad not to show is due to competing line items that have a higher priority to deliver. In order to track down what ads are competing, the competing line item report is a good place to start. Located within your Ad Manager account, the report will list line items competing to deliver, as well as line information including: flight dates, line item type, cost settings, delivery information, targeting criteria, and delivery eligibility.

You can access the competing line item report in three different ways – from a line item, ad slot, or placement.

3. Monitor campaign performance

In order to catch delivery issues before they happen, it's important to keep a close eye on your orders and line items. The line item delivery tab on the orders page of your Ad Manager account provides a quick and easy way to do this. Get a quick glance of your entire ad operations, including order readiness, delivery status, and inventory revenue performance. You can easily sort line items by delivery priority as well as show line items that are starting soon. The color coded delivery bars can help you easily identify line item pacing information, including line items that are at risk of over or under delivering.

In addition to the line item delivery tab, your account offers numerous reports that you can run as needed, or schedule to run and have emailed to you on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis – this means you get all the data without even having to sign in to your account!