An ad server is, simply put, a platform that serves ads. But as you can imagine, whether it is in-house or managed by your agency, the full truth is a bit more complex than that…
What Does an Ad Server Do and Why Should I Care?
An ad server is a server that is being used to manage advertising that is displayed on a website or a number of sites. Most websites and blogs display advertisement on their web pages. Some do so to cover the hosting costs, others to support their lifestyle or as the sole income source.
Ad server can be the most useful and easiest way to handle all advertising campaigns. An ad server can display the publisher’s media kit to interested advertisers and take advertising orders from the new advertisers. Ad sales can be simplified so that website owners can focus on more important tasks such as writing more articles, engaging with readers, creating new products and promoting their website to more people.
If you look at most websites you will notice that ads are usually displayed without an ad server in the background. All the webmaster has to do is copy and paste ad tags that are supplied by the advertising company on the website or pages the ads should be displayed on. Ad tags are scripts more or less that connect to the company’s server on page load to retrieve a suitable ad.
Benefits of an ad server for your online business
Publishers use ad servers to maximize their ad revenue by serving the highest paying ads that are available. Ad servers make it easy for publishers to add new advertisers to their ad stack and monitor how well each advertiser is doing.
Benefit of an ad server are its ad management capabilities. It is for instance nearly impossible to sell part of the inventory directly to advertisers as it would be very difficult to control the ads on the website.
It becomes more difficult if geographic parameters are taken into consideration. Say one advertiser is only offering banner ads for US visitors, one for UK visitors and one offers to display ads for all visitors. Most webmasters chain the ads then to direct all visitors from the US advertiser to the UK and the to the one that is serving all.
This means that the page loading time for visitors that are not coming from the US or UK increases. If you assume that each advertiser has the same loading time, it increases by a factor of 3 for users if you use three redirects in total.
How does a Ad Server works?
To learn a little bit more about what’s best for your ad strategy, contact Ebound Services today.