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Why do I need an Ad Server? Essential Ad Serving platform features

By Barry O'Sullivan

April 29, 2024

Table of Contents

First, a little refresher: What is Ad Serving?

Have you ever asked yourself 'why do I need an Ad Server to make my online advertising business thrive?', we answer your question in this article. But first, let's get the basics sorted: What is Ad Serving? Ad Serving refers to the tech process that uses software to place online ads on Publisher platforms, like websites, social media, mobile apps, or video streaming platforms. The process happens in milliseconds: When an end user visits a site or an app that has ad zones enabled, the browser sends an ad request to the Publisher’s Ad Server to fill in an ad placement, based on the rules that are defined by Advertisers and Publishers on the Ad Serving platform utilized, including targeting, ad format, bidding, etc. For instance, if a Publisher has a Native ad zone on his Gambling website, the Ad Serving platform that they are using selects a relevant Native ad from an Advertiser campaign that matches the audience’s interests within the Gambling vertical.

Ad Network vs Ad Server: Find the best Ad Serving platform

Before we can answer your question 'Why do I need an Ad Server', we best dive into kinds of Ad Serving platforms for Publishers, Advertisers and Ad Networks. There are different platforms that provide Ad Serving services, including Ad Networks and Ad Servers. Are you an Ad Network, a Publisher, or an Advertiser looking for the best platform to fulfill your advertising efforts? Then you have probably considered at least more than once whether to use an Ad Network or an Ad Server, or another platform type. Picking the platform that best serves your specific advertising needs could be the key to your business’ success. So, to help you choose the right fit, let’s have a look at the definitions of Ad Network vs Ad Server separately:

Ad Network: An Ad Network is a business model that caters to the seamless communication of Publishers and Advertisers. In other words, an Ad Network is a mediator set to optimize and automate the Advertising process, matching the right Advertiser ad with the right Publisher website. Ad Networks provide platform tools for Advertisers and Publishers, a range of ad formats, as well as expert account managers and a customer service team available to help Publishers and Advertisers get the most out of their inventory and Advertising campaigns. 

Ad Server: Ad Servers are the tech that stands behind ad platforms’ software, like Ad Networks, Publisher Ad Servers, Ad Exchanges, and such, ensuring the proper functioning of the Ad Serving process; you can build your own Ad Network with an Ad Server. Potentially the most complete Ad Serving solution, Ad Servers are also online platforms used to serve digital ads alongside content consumed by end users. With an Ad Server, Publishers can create ad zones on their platform and sell them to Advertisers, who will win the ad zone spot upon placing the highest bid. Therefore, the key role of Ad Serving platforms is to provide tools and features that help Publishers monetize their content, and Advertisers to promote and sell their services via the Publisher’s audience, acting as the middlemen, empowering all stakeholders, Ad Networks, Publishers and Advertisers, to make the most of their online advertising ventures. So, if you are looking for the best Publisher Ad Server software, this might be the option for you, or if you  are looking to build your own Ad Network with Ad Serving platform.

If you want more information on how Ad Servers work and are wondering what kind of Ad Server would benefit your business the best, check out our most recent article on ‘how to choose the best Ad Server for my online business. To learn what key features and products should your ideal Ad Server provide, keep on reading.

12 must-have Ad Server features for Ad Networks and Publishers

Continuing on we will run you through EXADS' 12 best Ad Server features for Ad Networks, Publishers and Advertisers. By using a White-Label Ad Server such as EXADS, you will be able to start using the platform right off the bat and customize it to your own company and branding needs, whether you are an Ad Network, a Publisher or an Advertiser. Our solutions are also built for scale, providing our clients with the tools and support necessary to expand their businesses and increase their revenues without platform or tech limitations. We cover the Ad Serving process from beginning to end, across all channels, operating systems, ad formats and devices. 

Our team of expert developers has designed and built one of the best fully-fledged Ad Serving platforms, offering everything from robust Ad Network infrastructure to Publisher, Native, Video, Mobile, or Email Ad Servers, as well as self-service solutions for Publishers looking to sell directly to Ad Networks, Ad Exchanges and DSPs. We also offer programmatic RTB integrations for Publishers and Advertisers who want to diversify and grow their advertising revenues. As well as Enhanced Customer Support and Malvertising Protection, high tech useful advertising tools for Publishers and Advertisers such as AdBlock Circumvention, Conversion Tracking, Ad Refresh, Advanced Customizable Analytics and much, much more. When you choose to use an Ad Server such as EXADS’, you are choosing a platform ready to cater to all of your needs from moment 0! 

Continuing on you will find 12 best Ad Server features for Ad Networks and Publishers that you can find when you sign in to EXADS’ Ad Server. So if you are still wondering, why do I need an Ad Server, and what is the best Ad Serving platforms for your advertising business, keep on reading:

Self-Serve Ad Platform with White-Label tech

Are you looking for the best Self-Serve Ad Platform with White-Label tech? Look no further! White-Label Ad Servers are pre-built ad platforms that can be fully customized to your branding needs so that they become an extension of your business. And what makes them especially great is that, because they are pre-made, they come packed with great out of the box ready-made powerful solutions that you can start using from the get-go. EXADS’s White-Label Ad Server will cover all the aspects of your technical infrastructure and will guide you for an easy and quick setup, having your business up and running in less than two weeks. And because you don’t have to spend your resources building an Ad Server from scratch, you can redirect this money and time to grow your client base. With EXADS’ White-Label Ad Server you can customize the platform to your branding needs:

  • Your logo and brand colors will fit seamlessly into your Ad Serving platform.
  • Use your business logo or a sub logo 
  • Add a favicon to make your ad platform easily recognizable 
  • Your brand colors will be included on your ad platform
  • Your own unique domain to reinforce your ownership and brand identity.

Self-Service advertising platform tools

Continuing on, we will tell you about more Self-Serve Ad Platform with White-Label tech tools. Your Ad Server should offer an intuitive UI and a range of editable Self-Service features, allowing Advertisers to set up campaigns and Publishers to set up ad zones quickly and without the help of a tech team. As well as allowing them to monitor their results in real-time to optimize their advertising efforts and increase revenues. EXADS’ Self-Service Ad Server allows clients to create and manage their own accounts, having the autonomy to accomplish their goals. Also allowing them to save costs with efficient and easily scalable technology, streamlining operations and reducing workload. For Publishers:

  • Allow Publishers to manage their own inventory
  • Publishers can add their own sites and zones and select their settings for each
  • They can easily manage their payments and monitor performance

For Advertisers:

  • Advertisers of all sizes can easily sign up and create their accounts
  • An intuitive interface allows them to create, manage and fund their campaigns
  • Access to conversion tracking, automatic optimizations and real-time analytics

Advanced and Customizable Statistics

Advanced Statistics are hands down essential Ad Server features for Ad Networks, Publishers and Advertisers alike. So, if you are still wondering 'why do I need an Ad Server with excellent tech tools?', continue reading. An excellent Ad Serving platform should allow you to monitor and measure your KPIs in real time. EXADS’ platform allows you to carry out intelligent data analysis with over 50 Metrics and 25 Dimensions at your disposal, which you can access from our Customizable Dashboards. You can add multiple filters to see exactly the data you need, and then save time by saving your filter sets on reports to access them at a later date. Because Analytics are real-time, you can monitor your campaigns and quickly implement optimizations to always be on top of the game, and then easily export your data in CSV format for your own records. Customizable Dashboards:

  • Create up to 50 customized dashboards to suit your requirements
  • Move and expand widgets to see more of the data that matters to you
  • Use this feature as an Admin, a Publisher or an Advertiser

Advanced Targeting tools

Another must-have feature when trying to find the best Ad Serving platform, Targeting is key in order to make an impact within the highly competitive online advertising world. You want to find an Ad Server that offers extensive targeting options including Browser, Time Schedule, Device, Location/GEO, Keyword, Mobile Carrier, Operating System, Behavioral, and Contextual targeting. Precision targeting allows you to reach audiences with maximum effectiveness, narrowing your audience targeting through IP Ranges, Keywords, Domains and Time Scheduling for your ads. Here is EXADS’ array of primary targeting options:

  • Target audiences based on their Category, Country, Region, and Language
  • Operating Systems from Console, Mobile and Web
  • Mobile Carrier for when mobile devices are used
  • Device: Console, Desktop, Mobile, CTV, Tablet or Wearable Devices
  • Browser: choose your targeted audiences from 27 options
  • Virtual Reality: target or exclude VR user

Campaign creation options

Looking for the best Ad Server features for Ad Networks and their clients? EXADS’ Ad Serving platform offers a large variety of campaign creation features for Advertisers, as well as for optimization and management. Some key campaign optimization tools include The Bidder, Landing Pages, Blocking Rules, Ad Variations Optimizations, Conversion Tracking, Frequency Capping, Asynchronous Ad Loading, Custom Targeting, and Automatic Image and Video Optimization to deliver high-quality ads. An important Campaign feature is the Campaign Compliance feature, which helps Ad Networks protect their entire network, Publishers and the end users:

  • Approve each campaign before it starts to run on your platform
  • Reject campaigns that don’t meet your standards
  • Ensure the delivery of safe and relevant user experiences to your audiences

AdBlock Recovery Solution

Another reason to why you do need an Ad Server with excellent platform tools is through it you could recover your lost AdBlock revenues. Your Advertising revenues can get impaired by the end user’s usage of Ad Blockers, so it is important to find an Ad Server that puts AdBlock Circumventing tools at your disposal. EXADS offers an efficient and easy-to-use AdBlock Recovery tool to help Advertisers and publishers recover their lost revenues. EXADS’ AdBlock Circumventing Solution enables Publishers to still show ads to end users who have ad-blocking software installed and switched on, instantly recovering lost revenue due to ad blocking. It works on all browsers, platforms, and devices and it is as simple as placing a line of code on their website. We provide four different implementation routes:

  • Ad Block PHP: Standard solution, most popular and easy to implement
  • API: Provides the endpoints to get the ads directly for unsupported languages
  • Proxy: A cross-platform application that handles API requests and caches ads
  • WordPress Plugin: Developed to easily integrate these ad zones into your WordPress site

Malvertising Protection Tech

The best Ad Serving platforms for your advertising business should come prepared to protect you, your clients and the end users against bad quality and potentially dangerous ads. Malvertising presents itself as one of the big enemies of ad safety and positive brand awareness, having the potential to impair advertising revenues as well as your business’ reputation. This is why it is important to find an Ad Serving solution that has tools to avoid Malvertising, lack of ad compliance and bad quality ads. EXADS does checks ad safety and compliance through its AdSecure integration, offering tools such as the Flexible API Callback System, which scans ads real-time, and automatically sends ad violation alert notifications, whilst blocking and removing problematic ads and suspending offending Advertisers. The AdSecure API is easy and quick to integrate into your platform, protecting your end users and your brand against malvertising threats and non-compliant ads, in real-time. With over 40 detections available, we help you ensure that you deliver safe advertising:

  • User Security Violations: Adware, Malware, Scareware, Ransomware, etc.
  • User Experience Violations: Auto-downloads, Back Button Hijack, Landing Page Error, etc.
  • User Advisory Violations: Heavy Ad, Suspicious TLD, Unsafe Content, IAB Standards, etc.

Programmatic and RTB Support

Wondering, why do I need an Ad Server in order to successfully do Programmatic? Using EXADS you can plug in and manage all your demand and supply partners with minimum effort, from one single interface and access our array of automatic optimization and tracking tools especially tailored for programmatic. With our Demand and Supply OpenRTB and Custom RTB Integrations you will be able to:

  • Be able to use Industry standard integrations and tools 
  • Access a large range of high performing ad formats supported
  • Access an extensive variety of sources to integrate with our custom integrations
  • Easily manage and add all your supply and demand partners from one interface
  • Stay in control of your advertising efforts with advanced targeting and tracking tools

Ad server features for Ad Networks: Video

Video ads have seen exponential growth in online advertising over the past few years. So much so that according to Statista, ad spending in the Video Advertising market is projected to reach US$191.3bn in 2024. So, the best Ad Server for Publishers and Ad Networks will provide you with amazing video tools.  With EXADS’ powerful features for video, you have everything you need to deliver engaging and compelling video ads, with extensive VAST & VPAID Support - For instance, VAST Waterfall ensures that if an ad can’t be run for any reason, the next ad in line will still run. We also offer advanced HTML5 Technology including Fluid Player, EXADS’ free open-source HTML 5 video player, allowing you to serve ads on web apps, CTV, and even livestream video ads. You will also be able to serve multiple ads during a video with VMAP (Video Multiple Ad Playlist):

  • Structure your ad inventory insertion on Publisher video players
  • Control the placement and timing of your ads across multiple partner sites

Admin Features

With our Admin Features, you can manage and monitor your advertising efforts and business all from a single platform through EXADS’ Full Management & Statistics API. You can customize the features available for Advertisers and Publishers, access 24/7 technical support and guidance via Skype, Slack, and email, and manage your platform’s settings, Advertisers and Publishers clients, as well as your team, all within an intuitive UI.

You can also create unlimited role-based self-serve accounts for your Advertisers, Publishers or your internal team. With EXADS' Admin Ad Server features for Ad Networks, you will gain access to third party integrations with leading providers across the world:

  • CRMs: Kayako, Tawk.to, etc.
  • Payment Providers: Paypal, Circle, Kantox, Paxum, Nuvei, BitPay & Shift4
  • Malvertising Protection: AdSecure

Pricing Models

Variety of Pricing Models is also an important criteria to take into account when choosing your ideal Ad Serving platform so that you can choose the pricing model that best suits the objectives of each of your campaigns. EXADS offers a variety of them, including the essential CPM (Cost per Mille model), CPA (Cost per Action), CPV (Cost per View) and CPC (Cost per Click), Smart CPM, Dynamic CPA and Smart Bid, which works as follows:

  • Automatically determine the optimal bid based on the likelihood of an end user to convert
  • It can be used for Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategies
  • Smart Bid is an algorithm that is guaranteed to generate profit for Advertisers

Payment Support

Last but not least, EXADS' Payment Support features are a great way to answer the question 'why do I need an Ad Server'. Our offers a vast array of financial features for Publishers and Advertisers within an intuitive user interface, designed to help Admins stay in full control of all payments made through the platform, manage invoices and generate mass payouts for Publishers, amongst others. All are ready to go, providing full visibility and a seamless experience. Our payments go as follows:

Publisher Payment Features:

  • Paypal, Paxum, WebMoney, Cryptocurrency (Circle, XBO) or Wire Transfer
  • Weekly or monthly payment frequency
  • Set a Minimum Payout requirement

Advertiser Payment Features

  • Credit and debit card payments via Nuvei and Shift4
  • Add funds via PayPal or use a Wire Transfer
  • UnionPay card payments for Advertisers from China
  • Use Cryptocurrency through Circle and XBO

Conclusion: Why do I need an Ad Server?

Are you looking for a robust and fully-stacked Ad Server that is fully adaptable to your business’ needs? When you sign up with EXADS you can start managing and tracking your Advertising efforts efficiently from the get-go with our vast array of Publisher and Advertiser tools and features built for performance. Do you want to learn more about EXADS’ comprehensive suite of features? Get in touch with our team now and discover how to build your perfect Ad Server with EXADS!

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