The Display Network is a collection of websites -- including specific Google websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube -- that show AdWords ads. This network also includes mobile sites and apps. If you've ever seen an AdWords ad on your favorite news site or in your Gmail account, and wondered how it got there, now you know: websites like these are part of the Google Display Network. (Source: AdWords Help)
Bannerflow is whitelisted as a certified external vendor🔗 to serve 3rd-party banners on the Google Display Network (listed under "Nordic Factory Solutions AB"). That means you can use HTML5 banners produced in Bannerflow in your AdWords GDN campaigns. The banners will still be hosted on our servers and only the banner tags needs to be submitted – you never download material on your hard drive, fiddle with zip-files or republish material when a minor design adjustment is needed. Real-time updated HTML5 banners in the GDN, that’s the Bannerflow way!
Before we start
There are a few things to consider before moving forward with the GDN.
Make sure your AdWords account is eligible for 3PAS ad serving
The workflow when publishing 3rd party banner tags (such as Bannerflow’s) to the GDN differs depending on your AdWords account status. Depending on your AdWords account, there may be minimum campaign budget requirements due to the manual implementation process it requires the AdWords 3PAS team to review, approve and add external banner tags into their system.
Your account status is somewhat based on the amount of traffic it generates but the best way to find out is to approach your Google contact or account manager and ask. If you find you are not eligible for 3rd party serving, you can always download the static fallback images 🔗 and upload them manually to your AdWords account.
Also, feel free to contact us if any questions might come up during the process.
Target URLs are managed in Bannerflow
When using 3rd party banner tags in the GDN, all target URLs/landing pages needs to be managed by the 3d party – in this case by Bannerflow. As a Bannerflow user you of course have full control over your target URLs and landing pages inside the platform (read more how to set target URLs here 🔗 ) and this applies when publishing to the GDN as well. We have built support for setting your target URLs in the publishing view when selecting “Google Display Network” in the networks drop down (see screenshot below):
👉 Please note that this step is optional – setting your target URL in your text versions/translations as normal will work perfectly fine.
This topic ties in closely with our next item on the agenda, namely...
Auto-tagging should be disabled
Google recommends disabling Google Analytics Auto-tagging when using 3rd party banners in the GDN. Instead, GA manual tagging should be applied. Google has created a URL builder (found here 🔗 ) which we recommend if you work with multiple UTM parameters and variations. These generated URLs can be used in Bannerflow, wherever target URLs can be set (once again, more info on that topic here 🔗 ).
To disable Auto-tagging, follow these steps:
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the gear icon, and select Account settings.
- Make sure you're on the Preferences tab, and click Edit in the Tracking section.
- Select (enable) or clear (disable) the Destination URL Auto-tagging checkbox.
- Click Save changes.
See the screenshot below:
If you still want to use GA Auto-tagging for none-Bannerflow campaigns it’s recommended to move all your 3rd party banners into a separate AdWords account where GA auto-tagging is disabled.
Confirming your banners to GDN standards
When publishing your banners to the GDN you need to comply with a few design guidelines.
All banners must have a contrasting border
If your banner campaign is using a black or white background, make sure to add a contrasting border to make the banners differentiate from the backgrounds of the websites where they will be displayed. This can simply be done by dragging and dropping out a background or gradient and styling it accordingly to the screenshot below:
Make sure to remove the “in” and “out” transitions of the element and also make it cover the whole length of the timeline. The border doesn’t need to be pitch black (or white) – what’s important is to have a contrasting color that is at least 1px in width.
The maximum animation length is 30 seconds
No banners are allowed to be animated for a longer duration than 30 seconds. The default behaviour in the Bannerflow Banner builder is to animate banners forever. To fix this, change the drop-down in the top right corner in the timeline from “Play forever” to a fixed amount of loops (see the screenshot below).
In the example above the timeline will play three times. This multiplied by its length (9 seconds), results in a total length of 27 seconds. Approved by the GDN!
All code must be hosted by Bannerflow
Publishing the banners
When the design aspects are all taken care of, it’s time to export the banner tags to the GDN. The procedure looks as following:
1. Click the blue Publish button, (if you get the option "Where to publish?" click "Get Banner Tags") and then select your banners. Select “Google Display Network” in the “Choose network” drop down.
2. As mentioned before, it’s possible (but not necessary) in this step to overwrite the target URLs of the banners by selecting “Custom target URL” in the “Target URL” drop down.
3. Make sure “Target window” is set to “New window”.
4. Copy one of the generated Banner Tags in the right column and send it to your AdWords account manager to get it approved.
5. If you have followed this guide all aspects of your banner should be accepted and no additional corrections needs to be done. If you have an assigned Google Account Manager you can use this form where you submit the whole campaign (if your account is unmanaged, proceed to this link.) This is what to fill in:
- What are you aiming to implement? – Ad Tag
- I would like my request to be trafficked right away and have therefore checked my 3PAS tags using the 3PAS validator prior to submitting this request. – Yes (Bannerflow banners will always pass the 3PAS Validator)
- Name of the requester – Your name
- Contact email – Your email
- AdWords customer ID – Your Customer ID
- Do you receive support from a Google dedicated Account Manager? – Yes (+ the email address) if you have a dedicated AM, otherwise No.
- Tag type? – Ad tag
- Ad Status – Live if you want the campaign to go live right after the account manager adds the banners. Paused if not.
- Trafficking/mapping instructions – We recommend filling out the Excel form in the first alternative, "1 attachment". For easy copy-and-paste, use the "Download as .xls" functionality in our tool, located just underneath the banner tags (see screenshot).
- Have you attached any necessary tags or other required documents? – Yes
(Image belongs to step 9. above )
That’s it! Now just wait for your AdWords account manager (or the 3rd party banner team) to process the order and before you know it you’ll be running animated, real-time updated, feeded advanced HTML5 formats from Bannerflow in AdWords GDN!
👉 Please note: The clickthrough testing being done by Google Adwords should be confirmed via AdSense testing so that the proper clickstrings (clickmacros) are replaced at the time of impression/click.