Much of how an ad tag prompts a browser to redirect a specific advertisement from an ad server to a web page depends on the components that make an ad tag. Let’s look into an example (refer to a publisher-side ad tag below) to understand what makes an ad tag.
- Host Address of the Ad Server: An ad tag begins with a host address that helps the browser to identify the ad server where an ad is hosted. In the example, ‘http://ad.doubleclick.net/’ is the host address.
- Site Code: A site code helps browsers to distinguish one publisher property from another. For instance, NYTimes.com is a property of the New York Times.
- Zone: Zones help to direct the display of an ad at channel level. This makes ad segmentation at the granular level. For example, it could be a home page or a specific product page.
- Topics and Subtopics: Ads can be further segmented based on topics and sub-topics. For instance, if the zone is a sports page, then the topic and the subtopic could be adventure sports and sky diving respectively.
- Keywords: An ad tag can comprise multiple keywords and are typically used for contextual targeting.
- Other Ad Properties: Ad properties like the tile value, size value, cache-buster enable a client browser to identify the right ad and fetch it for displaying on the publisher’s website.
So far, we have been discussing the benefits of ad tagging in ad serving. An ad tag can also drive ad operations; optimize a website’s as well as business performance.
Benefits of Ad Tagging
- Retrieving Customer Information and Metrics
Ad tags contain necessary information about a user and the ad placement. Considering a general scenario, when a website browser directs an ad tag to an ad server, the latter will pass the ad tag to advertisers, directly requesting ads or bids from multiple advertisers and carrying out an auction to choose the most profitable result for the publisher. This, however, depends on the publisher-advertiser relationship.The ad server may optionally pass the ad tag to a third-party data provider for retrieving information about contextual targeting or user segmenting.
The ad server will then deliver the creative to the browser via an ad tag that includes the creative URL.
From the marketing context, ad tags can help to keep track of the user browsing pattern based on information like the user id, purchased product, transaction revenue, the source from where the customer visited the web page, etc. Advertisers and marketers can use the retrieved data to analyze and decide whether to optimize an ad campaign or put on hold. However, it should be noted that no Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can be collected using the ad tags unless the information has been manually provided by the user in the ad creative or the landing page.
- Proper Layouts for Placing Ads
Tags such as the <iframe> ad tag represent the inline frame within a web page, which allows ads to be appropriately positioned without affecting the page layout. Based on the request initiated by the <iframe> tag, an HTML document with the embedded ad content is returned to the browser by the ad server. The ad will get rendered in the appropriate ad space.
- Measuring Impressions and Clicks
Impressions and clicks are early indicators of how an ad campaign is performing. When an ad is deployed, impressions can track the first interaction that a potential customer with an ad. On the other hand, clicks are used for measuring the number of times an ad is clicked on. Both impression and clicks can help to measure an ad CTR — i.e., by dividing the number of times an ad is shown with the number of times an ad is clicked on.
- Optimizing Page Loading TimeWhen it comes to page load speed, too many ads can kill your site speed SEO? If there are 500 ad tags on a page, this could mean that the browser would make 500 trips to the ad server, resulting in page latency, increased bounce rate, and poor page visibility on the search engine. Balancing the number of ad tags as well as the type of tag you add on your web page is therefore essential. For example, an asynchronous tag enables the browser to load different tags simultaneously along with the content of the page. Working with tags can become pretty overwhelming. Try the Google Manager Tag free tool to eliminate heavy loading of tags on the web page.
Different types of ad tags offer different benefits. It is essential to know what type of ad tag can optimize a web page.