What is an ad server?

ad formats 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 ad serving 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 adserver for advertiser 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 adserver for agency to track the performance of their client’s ads.

Ad networks, acting as the middleman between publishers and advertisers, use an ad server for network 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.

November 17, 2014


  • Benefits of an ad server for your online business
    "Ad serving technology is one of the most important technologies of the online advertising world for several reasons. An ad server places ads on websites by performing three important related functions: " More
  • Why would a publisher need an ad server?
    "If you are a publisher that operates a content website with articles, games, discussion forums or user-generated content, a lot of your time is going to be devoted to ensuring that you have high quality and fresh content. These types of sites are very much on the radar of advertisers because premium ad placements on quality websites are more likely to convert into actual sales. " More
  • Why does an ad agency need an ad server?
    "You might imagine that an ad agency would spend the majority of their time working with advertisers looking for a suitable platform for their marketing campaigns. For the most part, that is exactly what they do, but many agencies are using own ad server to make their tasks easier. " More