DFP for Small Business 101: Defining Terms and Metrics

DoubleClick For Publishers / Google Ad Manager Ad Optimization
Last updated: August 7, 2020 | by Kean Graham

This post was most recently updated on August 7th, 2020

DFP small business is like the best friend of every publisher, a must-have if you are aiming for more ad networks to run and more bucks to earn every month from your website. It helps you manage your ad networks well, run them all together, and make all the strategies possible to continue to boost the revenue and CPM. If you’ve just started DFP for small business and you’re lost on how to understand the terms and metrics, then here’s a list of important DFP items that will surely make it easier for you to understand your campaigns.

Related Read: The DFP Cheat Sheet: A Beginner’s Guide to DFP Small Business

Common DFP terms


  1. Orders – This is like a folder on your desktop. It is where you separately put all the line items you need from each ad network.
  2. Line Items – These are your ads, inside your line items are your creatives. It is also where you can target your criteria (e.g geography, devices and etc), run dates and delivery control.
  3. Creatives – This is the content that you directly serve to your site. it consists of codes from your ad network.
  4. Inventory – This is where you create your ad units. You can also group your ad units here and have a placement in which you can include 2 or more sizes.
  5. Reports – This is pretty obvious, this is where you get all the reports for your site. From a number of impressions came in for each order to the number of unfilled impressions.
  6. Admin – Where you can see your settings. You also need to edit your display name here.

In creating your first order; line item; and creative, take note of the following:

1. Under the setting option of your new line item, you must indicate the line item type:

  • Sponsorship
  • Standard
  • Network
  • Bulk
  • Price Priority
  • AdExchange
  • House


  • If you are creating a line item for AdExchange, choose ad exchange on the order type
  • If you are creating a line item for other ad networks, choose price priority. This will bid against the highest paying line item and will compete with your other line items such as AdExchange or Adsense.

2. After creating your first line item, you have to approve it. You can just click the approve button on the upper part of the page which will appear right after you are done creating the line item.

3. Always, Always run a report. You can check the yield report to see your unfilled impressions and check the delivery by Orders to see how many impressions came in for your specific orders.

Related Read: DFP Cheat Sheet for Beginners: Trafficking Orders and Line Items

DFP metrics to monitor

Now, after learning about DFP terms, let’s move on with the metrics you need to understand in order to evaluate campaign performance. Source: https://support.google.com/dfp_premium/answer/2756935?hl=en

  • Ad server impressions: Total impressions served by the DoubleClick ad server excluding Ad Exchange and AdSense line items, and AdMob creatives.
  • Ad server clicks: Total clicks served by the DoubleClick ad server.
  • Ad server average eCPM: Average effective cost-per-thousand-impressions earned from the ads delivered by the DoubleClick ad server.
  • Ad server CTR: Percentage of impressions served by the DoubleClick ad server that resulted in users clicking on an ad. The clickthrough rate (CTR) is updated nightly. The ad server CTR is calculated as: (Ad server clicks / Ad server impressions) x 100
  • Ad server CPM and CPC revenue: CPM and CPC revenue earned, calculated in your network’s currency, for the ads delivered by the DoubleClick ad server.
  • Unviewed impressions: Unviewed impressions are also referred to as drop-offs. They are not taken into account for availability forecasts so as to more accurately simulate user behavior. Unviewed impressions are calculated as: Total code served count – Impressions
  • Total requests: Total number of requests received by the DoubleClick ad server, whether or not an ad was returned. Total requests are calculated as: Total code served count + Unfilled impressions

Top DFP strategies

To complement the above lists of DFP terms and metrics, let me leave you with some tips and strategies on how to further grow your revenue:

  1. Custom Targeting – You may think this is just a simple targeting method where you want to show your ads. But this will actually help you earn more. Contact your ad network and ask what are the best performing geos for them and target that through DFP. In those countries, advertisers tend to bid higher in every inventory where their ads appear.

      Related Read: How to Implement Custom Targeting Within DFP

  1. No to Standard Line Item Type – Do not use a Standard type for a line item – unless that ad network performs really well and gives you twice as much CPM. Doing so will result in this ad network monopolizing your impressions. Other line items will not be able to compete with it.
  1. Dynamic Allocation (AdSense vs. AdExchange) – Dynamic allocation is basically allowing your ad networks to compete with each other. Having an Adsense vs. Ad Exchange set up means letting these two big guys compete with each other which gives you higher CPM. Ad Exchange is a premium ad network of Google which pays a whole lot more than AdSense but this set up will make Adsense compete with Ad Exchange – hence, will continue to increase the bidding amount.
  1. Monetization company – for a stress-free way of handling all these, go ahead and check us out at Monetizemore.com, we can definitely help you from setting up Ad Exchange to implementing all possible strategies that might work for your website. One last advice — Don’t wait for another day, contact us for a free consultation now!

Related Reads:

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