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What is an ad server?

In short, an ad server, or adserver, is a software solution that helps publishers, advertisers, ad agencies, and ad networks, manage their advertising campaigns. The software will use its ad tag to display the programmed online advertisements on the selected websites and will track their performance. Such tracking data includes: impressions, clicks, conversions, and their derivatives. Its embedded tools are used to monitor campaigns in an effort to maximize advertising revenue.

Website owners, also known as publishers, that want to monetize their website, may use an ad server to manage their ad inventory and ad space. A well developed ad manager, or admanager, will have a user-friendly interface allowing publishers to quickly load and edit their campaigns, add any necessary delivery parameters and targeting criteria to them, and create reports that can be shared with their advertisers.

Advertisers use an ad server to track the performance of their ads across multiple websites. This way, they can have more in depth understanding on the effectiveness of their ads and also know in what locations they are performing better. In the same way, ad agencies use an ad server to track the performance of their client’s ads.

Ad networks, acting as the middleman between publishers and advertisers, use an ad server to manage campaigns of their advertisers, distribute those ads on the website of their publishers, provide ad performance reporting for all parties involved, and report the payout for their publishers and the expense of their advertisers.

When looking for an ad server, make sure it at least contains the following features:

  • Multiple ad formats including video, text, display, mobile ads and more
  • Flexible ad targeting including geographical location, language, time, frequency capping and more
  • Smart ad optimization algorithms so that you can get the highest ROI
  • A detailed ad reporting system with customizable reports and real-time capability

Also, it is very important that the ad server provides knowledgeable and prompt customer service, a reliable and secure platform, and of course fast loading time for all of your ads.

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