7 Common Google Ad Manager Mistakes To Avoid

Updated on: December 13, 2023
Google Ad Manager can be very effective in helping you serve ads on the website and grow your ad business. However, like anything else in the advertising industry, there are a lot of mistakes that publishers make when it comes to setting up ads and optimizing the ad campaigns. Here are 7 common issues to watch out for.

Since you’re here, we believe you’re into display ads and have probably set-up Google Ad Manager. The ad server offers a bunch of benefits to publishers in terms of ad management, optimization, delivery, and more.

However, keeping on top of all the new features in Google Ad Manager and identifying potential problems with your account can be a full-time job. If not done properly, it can cause discrepancies and worse, loss of revenue.

We’ve created a checklist of common errors and issues (most common google ad manager mistakes) so that you can quickly diagnose and fix the problem and get back to focusing on more important things for your business and increase ad revenue.

So, let’s start with the most common google ad manager mistakes to avoid for better revenue.

Mistake #1: Undermining the Importance of ‘Price Priority’

In Google Ad Manager, there are various types of priorities that define how line items will deliver the ad creatives on a webpage. For non-guaranteed line items, you can select any priority order such as Network, Bulk, House, or Price Priority. However, it is recommended to set the ‘Price Priority’ for such line items. Setting up Price Priority will beat all the non-guaranteed line items (including AdSense and Ad Exchange) even by cents and enables you to get the best possible eCPMs for the ad impressions.

Mistake #2: Pausing Direct Line items Incorrectly

In Google Ad Manager, when you set up a direct campaign, the ad server reserves a portion of the ad inventories for the specific buyers. Said that, when you pause a Standard or Sponsorship line item, you need to release the ad inventories so other advertisers can bid on that segment. If you don’t release the ad inventories, buyers wouldn’t know you’ve remnant ad inventories and would not be able to come forward and bid for the same. Hence, loss of ad revenue for you.

Mistake #3: Serving the Ads inside ‘Safeframe’

By default, Google Ad Manager serves ads inside Safeframe in order to deliver ads in an insulated environment. SafeFrame was designed to help publishers protect their ad content from third-party elements on the webpages and deliver a better user experience. But they limit ads’ capabilities, inhibit the implementation of rich media ads and expandable ads.

Therefore, if you’ve set up responsive, rich-media, or expandable ad units on your webpages, do not forget to disable the ‘Serve in Safeframe’ feature in Ad Manager for the specific slots. Not only can you minimize the chances of errors, but it will also enable your advertisers to measure the ad performance* and identify the true value of your inventories.

*Related Read: What is a Safeframe and how to use it in Google Ad Manager?

Mistake #4: Setting up the Default ‘Start date’

Did you know Google Ad Manager sets the ‘Start date’ of any ad campaign to the ‘Midnight of the next day’? If not, then keep it in your mind while setting up a new campaign in your account. Because there might be instances where you want to serve the ads immediately. In such a case, ensure to set the time accordingly on the server.

Mistake #5: Inconsistent Ad Creative Nomenclature

Picking a name for the ad creative seems to be the easiest job to be done. However, when you scale in the future, having a consistent name of ad creatives becomes crucial. For this reason, you should give an appropriate name to the ad creatives and include as much as information is possible.

It is recommended to at least add information related to the name of the ad partner, targeted geo, ad unit position, or ad size. Here are a few examples of how we name ad creatives for our publishers – ATD_MediumRectangle_US or ATD_300x250_US.

Mistake #6: Enabling Google AdSense at Ad Network level

There’s no doubt that Google AdSense is one of the most preferred options for backfill. But have you noticed that you can set-up AdSense on three different levels i.e. Network level, Ad unit level, and Line item level? If not, then we suggest you check now.

While AdSense at the ‘Network’ level enables the AdSense advertisers to buy all the ad inventories within the network, at the ‘Ad unit’ level, only selected ad units will be eligible for AdSense buyers. Ideally, we recommend the publishers to call the AdSense to backfill specific ad units instead of calling it for all the remnant ad inventories.

Mistake #7: Data Collection and Ad Targeting by Default

Google Ad Manager tags by default collect and passes information to Google about the user data such as visitor’s session, time spent, the keyword they searched, posts engaged, etc. So, you need to be aware of this and ensure that you’re not violating the privacy law in the future. To comply with GDPR, you need to collect explicit consent from the European users.

Note: If you’re serving web interstitial ads via Ad Manager, it is recommended not to send an ad request for this format without obtaining the user’s consent because Google allows only one interstitial ad to a user in an hour. And to identify the users, it uses local storage. Hence, ensure that you’re not violating the EU law unknowingly.

What’s Next?

The interface of Google Ad Manager has changed over the years, and it’s obvious to see how hundreds of little things can go wrong when creating and maintaining ad campaigns. These are the most common google DFP mistakes you can come across in Ad Manager, but there are also a few things in Google Publisher Tags (GPT) you should look out for. Furthermore, it is advisable to test the setup beforehand and ensure it is error-free.

Still, struggling with errors in Ad Manager? Check out our AdOps Quick Fix where we answer all the queries related to the ad server, Google AdX, header bidding, digital ad operations, and more.

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