The Display Network is a collection of websites – including specific Google websites like Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube – that show Google Ads. This network also includes mobile sites and apps. If you've ever seen a Google Ads 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: Google Ads 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 Google Ads 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 Google Display Network, that’s the Bannerflow way!

Before we start

Make sure your Google Ads account is eligible for 3PAS ad serving

The workflow when publishing 3rd party banner tags (such as Bannerflow’s) to Google Ads differs depending on your Google Ads account status. Depending on your Google Ads account, there may be minimum campaign budget requirements due to the manual implementation process it requires the Google Ads 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 Google Ads account.

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 3rd 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 Google Ads as well.

Confirming your banners to Google Ads standard

When publishing your banners to Google Ads 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. 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 Google Ads!

All code must be hosted by Bannerflow

All code is by default hosted by Bannerflow so this won’t be a problem for the vast majority of our customers, but if you have developed a custom widget, make sure not to link to any external Javascript libraries or images hosted outside of our platform. If you need help setting this up, contact your Customer Success Manager.

Test your ad tags in order to validate them before you publish

By using this Ad Tag Validation page provided by Google, you can test your Third party tag creatives before you upload them and submit your campaign and wait for the approval process. This will allow you to see if your creative file size meets Googles requirements for third party tags and also verify click tracking etc.

Unfortunately this tool cannot yet automatically detect if the uploaded tag complies with their animation and audio policy or not. These requirements are only listed so you will still need to verify manually that your design meets with them.

Publishing the banners

When the design aspects are all taken care of, it’s time to export the banner tags to Google Ads. 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 - Google Ads - BF targetURL” in the “Choose network” drop down.

2. Make sure “Target window” is set to “New window”.

3. Create an Excel template with your banner tags that you will use in step 4 below, by filling out this Excel form. 👉 Please note: Campaign Name, Ad Group Name, Placement Name is information from your Google Ads account. The Banner tags from Bannerflow are added one by one shown in image below.

4. If you have followed this guide all aspects of your banner should be accepted and no additional corrections needs to be done. Use this form where you submit the whole campaign. This is what to fill in:

  1. Contact name – Your name
  2. Contact email – Your email
  3. (Email CC) 
  4. Google Ads Customer ID – Your Customer ID
  5. Tag type – Ad Tag
  6. Do you have a Google Account Manager? 
  7. If Yes - Your Google Account Manager’s email address
  8. If No - n/a
  9. Ad Status – Live if you want the campaign to go live right after the account manager adds the banners. Paused if not.
  10. Trafficking/mapping instructions – We recommend filling out the Excel form (shown in step 3) and choosing the first alternative, "I have one attachment".
  11. Have you attached any necessary tags or other required documents? – Yes

That’s it! Now just wait for your Google Ads 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 Google Display Network!

👉  Please note: The clickthrough testing being done by Google Ads should be confirmed via AdSense testing so that the proper clickstrings (clickmacros) are replaced at the time of impression/click.

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