Ad Manager Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks

When creating the targeting for a line item, if it’s something that is used often you can save it as a targeting pre-set and use it repeatedly. First select all the targeting, ad units, key values etc. Then click the button ‘save selected critera as a pre-set’ and name it something that reflects the targeting.

It can now be used for any line item just select the targeting in the targeting pre-set field under add targeting in the line item. 

Almost everything in a line item can be edited while the line is in delivering status. Except for the priority type, to change from standard to sponsorship or visa-versa, the line item will need to be paused to make the change. Remember to activate the line again once change has been made.



Here are a couple of useful reports.


Campaign report – This report is one that would be sent to an advertiser to show how their campaign is doing. The impressions, clicks for this report would only reflect those within the date range selected, in the Order and Line item Dimensions you can select lifetime impressions and clicks which will include those metrics for the lifetime of the order or line item.


Go to Reports tab in Ad Manager

Select All queries from the left navigation

Create new query (once you have made the report you can save it and look for it next time under saved queries).

Set the date range

Add new filter > advertiser and search for the advertiser

In Dimensions select > Month and year, Advertiser, Order, Line item, Creative

In the options in Order and Line item additional criteria can be selected like start and end dates, lifetime impressions and clicks etc.

In Metrics check the total impressions, total clicks and optional total CTR.


You can save, schedule the report to run periodically and to be sent via email to clients or yourself.


Campaign pacing – This report would include all your currently running advertisers, their orders and line items. You would use this to make sure everything is on track to reach their goals.


Go to Reports tab in Ad Manager

Select All queries from the left navigation

Create new query (once you have made the report you can save it and look for it next time under saved queries).

Set the date range

In the Dimensions select > Month and year, Advertiser, Order, Line item

In the Line item dimension select these other settings > delivery indicator, delivery pacing, goal quantity, sponsorship goal, lifetime impressions, line item priority.

Under metrics select total impressions.


You can save, schedule the report to run periodically and to be sent via email to clients or yourself.

Forecasting inventory

To check inventory forecast from the left navigation to to inventory>>traffic forecast.

Use the filter to

  • Use ad units for section information.
  • Requested ad size for the different sizes on your pages.

Set the date range using the down arrow next to the dates, type in the start and end dates or use the calendar to highlight range.

You can use this information to see how traffic is trending on your site and sections, and for how much inventory you have to sell, where and when.

Adjustments to line items to help delivery


There are a handful of adjustments that can be made to help a line item reach its delivery goal. It is not recommended to do all of these at the same time because it could cause delivery issues with other line items. Some of the changes may require you to get your advertiser’s approval depending on your insertion order agreement.


  • If the line is targeting a category or few, is it possible to add more categories so it can run on more pages? Or is it possible to change it to run of site?


  • If the line is serving one creative size, is it possible to move impressions to a different size? For example if the 728×90 line item is not going to reach its goal, can some of its impressions be moved to a 300×250 line? (Use the check inventory to see if the other size can manage a higher goal).


  • Can the end date be extended? Ad Manager also has a grace period date that can be added to the line to give it a little more time to reach the goal. Or you can change the end date of the line item. Or if the campaign is set up monthly, can the impressions move to the next month’s flight?


  • What is competing against the ad for the impressions, is it possible to move or change those to free up some inventory. You can check the delivery forecast and contending line items tab in the DFP line item, to find lines that are competing with the same or higher priority.


  • If the line item is set to deliver evenly, change the option to ‘as fast as possible’. This will not guarantee it will reach its goal, but Ad Manager will try to deliver more of the impressions sooner rather than spread evenly over the flight dates. Use this setting carefully because it could cause delivery issues with other line items reaching their goals.

Why a line isn’t delivering


Here are a few reasons why a line might not be delivering.


  • Is the company in Ad Manager in active state?
  • Is the line in a ready state and is the start date and time in the past?
  • Are there any date or time schedules applied differently to the creative of the line?
  • Does the targeting of the line item match what is on the page?
  • Is the right size ad slot on the page?
  • If there are multiple key values targeted, are they using an ‘and’ operator? If so, all the key value pairs have to be in the ad request on the page for line to match the targeting.
  • Is there another campaign that is higher priority or that is behind schedule to meet its impression goal serving to the page instead?To find out, use the check inventory and competing ads button in the line item to check.

Sponsorship or fixed ad troubleshooting


Generally the problem with an ad not delivering where & when it is expected is due to two issues, its priority or its targeting. Here are the steps to follow to identify which it might be.


  1. Is the line in Ad Manager active?
  2. Check that the priority is set to sponsorship
  3. Is the goal set to 100%?
  4. Are their any frequency caps?
  5. Is the line scheduled to any day-parting? (Scheduled to serve only on specific days or time of day)
  6. Is the line item using any exclusion labels?
  7. Is the line targeting the correct targeting criteria of the tag on the page? Does the targeting match the tag? See next steps.
  8. In the line item in Ad Manager check the troubleshooting tab, what does Ad Manager say is the cause?
  9. Try using the ad slot troubleshooting to see more information about what served on the page and why.
  10. Enter URL of the page and see the page load with the Google console. Click on the yellow overlay of the ad slot you are troubleshooting and return back to the Ad Manager troubleshooting page. Or just return back to troubleshooting page and manually expand the slot you are troubleshooting.
  11. The slot you clicked on should show in expanded view and you can see the details of the line item that served. Most often the issue is the competing ad is at the same priority or higher and includes the same targeting as the line you are troubleshooting.
  12. Near the bottom of the troubleshooting page, try simulate the request. This will show what was in the ad request and the targeting of the line item that won. You can also click on the contending line items and that will display all the lines that could have served.


Learn more

Ad Manager line item priorities


Ad Manager has two types of priorities, guaranteed and non-guaranteed.


Guaranteed priorities


Sponsorship – (4) This is the highest priority, it is set to run for 100% or a share of voice (%) of the inventory that is targeted. You can set the line to 50% and Ad Manager will deliver the ad to 50% of the inventory. If there are two line items targeting the same inventory and set to 100% each, Ad Manager will split that inventory between the two. To check that the lines are getting the correct amount of the inventory, you can run a report setting the filter for the inventory that is being targeted and the criteria as the order and line items.


Standard – (6 high, 8 normal, 10 low) This priority is the most common, these line items have a set impression goal that Ad Manager will set pacing to meet the goal by the end date of the line. You can further prioritize the lines within this setting. These lines will serve on available inventory and show as reserved or booked inventory.


Non-guaranteed priorities


Since these priorities can be superseded, they do not appear in contending line items or inventory forecast. The first three are used for your remnant ad networks or exchanges to fill your unsold inventory. House ads are helpful to fill slots when nothing else can serve.


Network – (12) Served based on a defined percentage, this would be used for remnant ad networks that don’t have an impression goal.


Bulk – (12) Served to a impression goal, but because this is non-guaranteed it acts more as an impression cap. Use this for partners who have ordered a maximum number of impressions but aren’t concerned about delivery timelines or guarantees.


Price priority – (12) Served based on price with optimal daily or lifetime delivery caps. Use this to fill unsold inventory with the highest paying line item.


House – (16) This is used for promotional or public service ads and will be the last line that can serve. It’s recommended to have at least one order set up to be able to serve ROS to all slots.

Is the Ad Order active in Ad Manager?
Check that the impression goal has not already been met, or if the end date has passed.

Is the Ad Unit in Ad Manager matching the Advertisement used in WordPress?
An ad unit is targeted for each ad order. If you targeted a specific ad unit, but that ad unit isn’t setup on the page then the ad cannot run on the page. The WordPress advertisement must be added to the page.

Do the Key Value targeting in Ad Manager match what’s being passed from WordPress?
Ad orders are targeted to specific sections or pages using key values, such as url, post id or category. You can check what WordPress is loading on a specific page by viewing the page source, finding the gtx_ads_conf.targetMap, and reviewing the url, post id and category assigned to that specific page. If this doesn’t match what’s in Ad Manager, then the ad cannot run on the page.