1. Introduction
  2. Create your Ad Unit
  3. Create your Ad Placement (Optional)
  4. Notes

Setting up DFP SB


Alright, so you're ready to get started using DFP SB. The first step is setting up DFP SB. This is basically defining the real estate you want DFP SB to be able to deliver on. Let's take for example "My First Webpage". I've made a very simple one that you can see below.

As you can see, a very simple site. A title and some text. But let's say I want to add a leaderboard (728 pixel width x 90 pixel height; 728x90) between the title "Ingraye.com" and the words "First Paragraph".

So, I now know that I want a leaderboard ad right there. But DFP SB doesn't know it yet! So we have to tell it that there is some prime real estate with a size of 728x90 that I want to deliver ads to. If we don't tell DFP SB, then it won't know about. It's just like how a telemarketer can't call you if they don't know your phone number. So let's tell DFP SB.

Log in

First thing first, let's log in. The URL to login to DFP SB is http://www.google.com/dfp which should get you to this page.

I'm going to assume you already have an account so click the link at the bottom to login and enter in your username and password.

If you do not have an account yet, you can sign up for one if you have a verified Adsense account. If you don't have an Adsense account, you can sign up for one at http://www.google.com/adsense/.

If you have access to multiple accounts, when you log in, you'll see a drop down menu with the accounts you can access

Select the account you want and log in. If you only have access to one account, it should bring you straight in your account's Order's tab. If you already have Orders created, it should list it here. If you are using a limited user account (eg, Salesperson) then the Orders that you can view may be limited.

We want to define our Inventory so let's move over there by clicking on the Inventory tab.

Create your Ad Unit

The Inventory tab is basically used to set up your website. The default page it opens into when you click on the Inventory tab is the Ad Units page. Once you become familar with DFP SB, you can do some pretty fancy stuff.

On the left hand side, you will see a new menu. Let's quickly go over them.

Ad Units (previously Ad Slots in Google Ad Manager): Ad Units are the actual real estate on your website.

Ad Placements: Ad Placements point to Ad Units. This means that if you have multiple Ad Units, you can have a single Ad Placement point to them all or to a specific group. This saves quite a bit of time if you set them up correctly. Your Line Items (to be discussed in Step 3) can point to either specific Ad Unit(s) or to Ad Placement(s).

Network Settings: DFP SB integrates Google Adsense into their Ad Units. This setting allows you to set a default value on whether Ad Units are automatically checked off to enable Adsense and to modify the look and feel of them.

Custom Targeting: DFP SB has a very flexible targeting system that let's you deliver ads to a specific spectrum of users as well as let you define your own targeting system.

Generate tags: We'll be using this in Step 2. DFP SB, like Google Analytics and Google Adsense, can generate the HTML you use to set it up on your page.


We first need to set up an Ad Unit. So click on the New Ad Unit button and select what kind of Ad Unit you would like to create.

Most of the fields are pretty self-explanatory but we'll go over them anyway.

Name: The Name of the Ad Unit.

You should probably set up a formatting system for naming the Ad Units. I prefer to name Ad Units with "[Website]-[Size]" format. Google has a Naming Tips guide you can read here.

Description: A short description of the Ad Unit.

Size: The size of the Ad Unit.

You can choose some of the more common sizes or even set a custom size.

Target Window: Select what window the ad loads when someone clicks.

Your options are basically:
"_top" means open in the current page.
"_blank" opens in a new window.

Placements: You can assign your Ad Unit to a Placement now or later.

Adsense Settings: You can override the Adsense settings for this Ad Unit or use the default.

Most fields have a which you can roll over to get more information about the field.

Let's fill in all the fields like so:

You'll notice that we don't have an Ad Placement selected yet. In the future, after you have set up your Ad Units and Ad Placements, you will be able to select them when you create the Ad Unit or Ad Placement. For now though, there's nothing to select. So once you save your new Ad Unit, it'll now show up in your Ad Units list.

Create your Ad Placement (Optional)

Creating the Ad Unit means you created the "real estate" for where your Ads will show up. You can have your Line Items target those Ad Units specifically. But DFP provides you with a bit more flexibility (and possibly more complexity) by allowing you to create Ad Placements. Ad Placements point to one or more Ad Units. Ad Placements allow you to "group" Ad Units together which in turn allows you to quickly target a group or update a group of Ad Units that your Line Items may be targeting.

To create your Ad Placement, we'll need to go to the Ad Placements section. In the left hand menu of the Inventory tab, click on Ad Placements.

Click the "New Placement" button we'll create a new Placement.

Like before, most fields are pretty self-exaplanatory but I'll give a quick overview.

Name: Name of the Ad Placement.

Like the Ad Unit, you should give Ad Placement relevant names to their purpose.

Description: A short description of the Ad Unit.

Assigned Inventory: This is the Ad Units that the Ad Placement targets. You should see a list of all the Ad Units you created with the option of filtering them based on size.

Google Adwords: This option let's Google Adwords customers specifically target your Ad Placement.

Copy Adsense Targeting: If you use Channels in your Adsense account, you can have it copy the channel settings for Adsense from your Adsense account.

Let's fill in the fields.


At this point, we're pretty much done creating our Ad Units and Ad Placements. For "My First Website", we only have the Leaderboard ad. But if you have multiple ads, you can create more Ad Units and Ad Placements as needed. Ad Units and Ad Placements do not have any inherent properties other than the ones listed. In other words, you use the same Ad Unit across all your website(s) if you wish. But please note that you cannot reuse the same Ad Unit on the same page.


There are some small things that I've come across that I felt I should list here.

  1. Ad Units can only be declared and used once on a page. If you have multiple Leaderboard Ads on your page, you cannot reuse the same Ad Unit on the page (you can reuse the same Ad Unit on multiple pages, just not on the same page). Each individual Ad on a page must correspond to an actual Ad Unit. This is why I refer to Ad Units as "real estate". You can't have the same house at different addresses. The houses may be similar but they are not the same.

  2. Ad Placements do make things easier if you want to manage lots of Ad Units. Many people will come across the dilemma of either using lots of Ad Units or using Custom Criteria (more advanced). If you plan to use lots of Ad Units, I'd highly suggest using Ad Placements. The reason is that if you have to edit a Line Item to add a new Ad Unit to it, you have to modify each individual Line Item. If you did it via Ad Placement, you would only need ot update the Ad Placement.


Let's go to the next step and tag your pages!

Comments, suggestions or problems with this guide? Tell me about it!

  1. Setting up DFP
  2. Tagging your Website
  3. Creating your Ads