Setting up URL or Custom Channels to Segment Inventory & Compare Performance

Ad Optimization
February 11, 2021 | by Kean Graham
Setting up URL or Custom Channels to Segment Inventory & Compare Performance

Segmenting inventory is the process of setting up custom channels so you can explicitly see how certain sections of your site or group of ad units perform versus another. It allows you to group relevant portions of the inventory so you can later easily run the reports and take action as necessary. It’s extremely useful because it allows easier visualization of the areas you need to work on.

This feature is only available on a mapped Google Ad Manager account.

URL Channels

Step 1: Log into Google Ad Manager

Step 2: Setup URLs

a) Inventory > URLs

b) Click New URL

c) Enter a URL or path

URL example

d) Select Inventory type

e) Select Brand type

Branded – advertisers and buyers will see the full URL (e.g.

Semi-transparent – buyers will only see the root domain (e.g.

f) Click Save

To change the branding or status for an existing URL, tick it and select from the options as highlighted in the screenshot below:


Step 3: Setup Channels

a) Go to Inventory > Ad Exchange rules > Channels

b) Select the inventory type that applies to your site

select inventory type

c) Click New Channel

-Give your new channel a name that clearly describes it (e.g. Football URLs)

-Specify the section of your inventory that should be part of this channel

-Under Inventory URL, select the URL/s by clicking on the ✓

inventory URL

-Set up targeting for the rest of the parameters as needed. REMEMBER, what you target is where the rule applies to. Not selecting anything, means it will target everything. For example, if you didn’t target any ad units, it will target ALL ad units.

-Click Save

d) Create more channels as necessary

Segment Inventory with Custom Channels

Custom Channels allow you to segment your traffic and review performance. With this strategy, you can compare how a certain group of ad units is performing versus the other, or how above the fold ads do against below the fold counterparts.

You have many options with Custom Channels unlike built-in reports because it’s something you can create and customize yourself and you are then able to quickly identify which part of the inventory needs attention.

Here are some examples:

Step 1: Countries

a) Tier 1 countries vs Rest of the world

b) US vs Rest of the world

c) Top 5 countries

Step 2: Inventory size

a) Large sizes vs Small sizes

b) Vertical sizes vs Horizontal sizes

Step 3: Device Category

a) Desktop + Tablet vs Mobile

b) Desktop vs Mobile

c) Desktop vs Tablet vs Mobile

Step 4: Site section

a) This applies if you have a separate set of ad units in different categories of the site or use Key-Value Pairs.

b) Homepage ad units vs Content ad units

News vs Sports

Step 5: Ad placement

a) Above the fold ad units vs Below the fold ad units

b) Mid-content units vs Sidebar units

Running Reports

Now that you have segmented your inventory with Custom Channels, it is crucial that you monitor your reports and take action when necessary.

Step 1: Go to Reports

Step 2: Click New Report

Step 3: Select Ad Exchange Historical for the Report Type

Step 4: Set the date range

Step 5: Set up a Filter if needed to isolate the data


Step 6: Select Channels for the Dimension

channels for dimensions

Step 7: Select the Metrics

Step 8: Run

Pay attention to any abnormal spikes or drops, sections with low viewability, or any outliers compared to other aspects in your reporting. Use this data to optimize your site’s performance.

Want to learn more in-depth ad optimization strategies through step by step over the should videos that teach you how to master your ad inventory? Enroll in PubGuru University today!

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