The Google Ad Manager Reports You Need to Maximize Revenue

Reading time: 5 minutes

When you want to run successful ad campaigns and maximize your monetization efforts, one of the most important things you can do is track your critical performance[4] metrics. If you’re like most publishers, you’re likely using Google Ad Manager — which comes fully stocked with the reporting tools that will allow you to track and fine-tune your most important metrics.

Google Ad Manager[1] (GAM[2]) also allows you to check and see how many AdSense or Ad Exchange[5] impressions are available directly through the platform. It also means you can see the total number of ad impressions or revenue you’ve received over a certain period as it’s capable of scanning and analyzing all networks and demand partners. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through everything you need to know about the Google Ad Manager Reports that’ll help you maximize your ad revenue.

Read on to learn more.

Google Ad Manager Reporting 101

Google Ad Manager Reporting is what allows you to evaluate the performance of Ad Exchange, AdSense, demand partners, and yield[9] partners to get a first-hand look at actionable insights —i.e., metrics and forecasting[6] — to better improve your ad revenue as well as your yield management[7]

A GAM report usually consists of not only metrics, but dimensions, dates, filter values, and everything else involved in how the ads on your website function. For more clarity, a Dimension can be an attribute of your ad network[8], ad exchange, or ad server while a metric is a number used to measure one of the characteristics of a Dimension — such as the dates, filter values, and so on.

Additionally, there are two specific types of reports that are available via GAM:

  • System-defined reports
  • Custom reports (created from scratch)   

Until you get the hang of generating custom reports, you’ll want to use both types of GAM reporting to get the best insights for your metrics tracking.

Let’s take a closer look at these two types of reporting:

System-Generated Reports

You can find the system-generated reports in the Templates section within the Reporting feature right on the GAM homepage. We should probably mention that there are 12 different types of reports you can generate from here, but for all intents and purposes, we’re just going to cover the most important ones:

  • Currently Running Campaign[10]. These reports present an overview of the ad performance associated with line items delivered the day before. You would use this report when you want to know how many impressions a line item[11] of a group of line items delivered the day before or earned revenue. From here you can also check the number of impressions or clicks of an ad or grouped line item as well as the performance of an ad order[12] or creative[13].
  • Monthly Network Performance. These reports provide you with insights into how Ad Exchange, AdSense, Ad Manager, and all the demand channels are performing daily or within the last 30 days. You would use this report when you want to compare the performances of each platform in terms of impressions and revenue over the previous months or even years.
  • Network Geography. These reports show you the performance of the above-listed platforms within the last month broken down by country. You would use this report when you want to compare the number of impressions garnered by each platform in other countries to see which are contributing the most to your ad revenue.
  • Device and Browser. These show the metrics related to AdSense and Ad Server. They’re broken down by the various targeting[14] criteria for operating systems and browsers. You would use these reports to gain insight into where your highest number of impressions are coming from in terms of browsers and devices.  

The other system-generated reports include the creatives, monthly ad unit[15], billing, downloaded impressions, safari browser, daily network performance, bids by ad unit, and rejection reasons reports. 

Custom reports

Custom reports are created from scratch — by you — by adding custom query parameters to each report. The types of custom reports available in GAM include the following:

  • Historical, which shows the number of clicks, impressions, revenue, etc. through different demand channels
  • Ad Exchange Historical, which allows you to analyze how your main ad exchange account is performing
  • Future Sell-Through, which compares the available ad impressions with the GAM network to check the number of impressions that were served the day before or will be served for up to three months
  • Reach, which provides combined insights of the number of visitors exposed to different categories within your Ad Manager account (but not Ad Exchange or AdSense)
  • Partner Finance, which can give you insight into third-party publishers and how their revenue is split based on impressions, date range, and other characteristics
  • Ad Speed, which displays the network’s ad serving speed within the last 30 days to help you identify any factors contributing to slow or fast ad load speeds
  • Video Content, which provides insights into the amount of video content views for pre-roll video serving
  • User Messages, which enables you to get a better understanding of how users are interacting with your CCPA and GDPR[3] notifications

How to Generate a System-Defined Report in Google Ad Manager

GAM’s system-defined reports are based on system queries that make use of how your advertisers, line items, and other metric characteristics have been performing as well as the amount of revenue generated from them. These queries, in a sense, form “predefined” templates that come with recommended items that are pre-selected, which can save you a lot of time and effort since you don’t have to generate them from scratch.

Here’s how you can access and generate these reports to get started:

  • Click on Reporting > Templates and select a “report type” from the list
  • Select the Date Range associated with the report type
  • Add the appropriate Filters to refine the search and select the required Dimensions and Metrics
  • Now, schedule a time for when you want the report generated automatically, then click Save and Run 

How to Generate a Custom Report in Google Ad Manager

To create a custom report in GAM from scratch, follow these steps:

  • Go to Reporting > Reports > New Report and choose the type of report you wish to create and generate
  • Enter the name and Date Range of your chosen report
  • Now select the specific Dimensions and Metrics, and then schedule a time for the report generation (you can choose up to 10 Dimensions per report. However, the more you choose, the more complex the report will become)
  • Click Save and Run to save your new custom report as a template and to run it  

Google has one of the best reporting dashboards in the ad tech[16] industry, which is why you should absolutely take advantage of it as a publisher[17]. By learning how to generate and read these reports — both system-defined and custom — you’ll garner much better insights as to where you are in terms of monetization progress and how you can improve.

Terms
1. Google Ad Exchange ( Google Ad Manager ) Ad Exchange is often referred to as the premium version of AdSense, and also a Google-owned ad network of sorts. To join Ad Exchange, publishers need to meet specific requirements such as 500 000 minimum monthly traffic, be invited or join through a Google certified partner. Recently Google has rebranded this product, and it is now called Google Ad Manager.
2. Google Ad Manager ( GAM ) Google Ad Manager is a combination of both Google Ad Exchange and DoubleClick For Publishers as a unified platform that provides publishers with ad serving services.
3. General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] ( GDPR ) GDPR which is also known as the General Data Protection Regulation is a set of personal data regulations created for EU citizens. It changes the way businesses stores and collects data from its users from the EU.
4. performance. A form of advertising in which the purchaser pays only when there are measurable results.
5. Ad Exchange. An ecosystem through which advertisers, publishers, and networks meet and do business on a unified platform or system. An ad exchange allows advertisers and publishers to speak the same language in order to exchange data, set prices, and ultimately serve an ad. Popular Ad Exchanges include Google, OpenX, The Rubicon Project and AppNexus.

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