An ad block allows a number of ad banners to be grouped together.
Ad blocks serve a two-fold purpose:
- On the one hand, an ad block can be used to display one or more ad banners on your WordPress website as a single unit. This will allow the ad banner(s) within an ad block to be amended in one place, which will then cause this change to be reflected wherever the ad block is placed. This allows ad placement to be “modularised” and easy to maintain.
- On the other hand, ad banners that are related (e.g. for a specific advertising customer) may be grouped together so that their collective impressions, clicks and click through ratios (CTRs)† may be reported and fed back to the customer.
† Note that report metrics such as individual impression and click events (and thereby CTRs) are tied back to individual ad banners and not to the containing ad blocks. Therefore, taking out ad banners or adding them to an ad block will immediately change the report metrics accordingly.
Ad Blocks list
The ad blocks list page, accessed within the WordPress admin area by clicking the “Ad Blocks” sub-item under the “Ad Manager” menu item, is where all existing ad blocks are displayed, along with overview information on them. Similar to ad banners, this information includes:
- Name of the ad block
- Current status of the ad block
- Shortcode & PHP Code used for placing the ad block within the site
- Performance (Impressions, clicks, CTRs) for the previous 7 days
- Performance for the previous 30 days
- Performance for the previous year
Creating and managing Ad Blocks
The creation and management of ad blocks is designed to be very similar to how you create and manage normal WordPress posts and pages. Once on the list page, you can:
- Create a new ad block by clicking “Add New Ad Block”
- Make changes to an existing ad block by hovering over it and clicking “Edit”
Delete an existing ad block by hovering over it and clicking “Bin”
Ad Block details
Once you start a new ad block or edit an existing one, you will be presented with an edit screen that allows you to set up the block’s details.
The fields you will be presented with are as follows:
The title of the ad block is purely for labelling and does not affect its operation. It is recommended that this is set to a value that is meaningful and will allow the block to be identified at a glance. If you leave this blank, the system will assign a unique name for you based on the block’s internal ID (e.g. “Ad Block 420”).
This setting should be “on” for normal operation. Switching it off allows you to disable an ad block. This is useful if you do not necessarily wish to delete (bin) the block, but wish to temporarily (or indefinitely) stop it from being displayed.
This is a selection list that allows you choose which ad banners to have in your ad block and in what order.
To do this, simply move the relevant ad banner(s) from the “Available” list into the “Selected” list. Once there, they can be moved up or down into the desired order.
Saving the Ad Block
Once you have set up or edited the ad block, the new settings will need to be saved. This can be done by clicking the “Save” button.
Errors with Ad Block settings
If there are errors with an ad banner’s settings that will cause it not to display, this will be indicated once you save it.
This will also be indicated in the ad blocks list page in the specific block’s status column.
Placing Ad Blocks on the site
Ad blocks may be placed anywhere on your WordPress website by three main means: using shortcodes, using widgets or using PHP.
A “shortcode” is a small piece of text that looks like:
When placed in the body of a post or page content, this instructs WordPress to display an ad block (in the above example ad block with unique ID 740) in place of the shortcode.
The shortcode for each ad block may be found in two places: the first is on the ad blocks list page and the other is on the ad block edit page.
The plugin provides a widget for placing ad blocks within sidebars and other widgetised areas. This can be accessed from the WordPress “Widgets” menu sub-item under the main “Appearance” menu item.
To place a specific block on a sidebar, just drag the “Loomisoft Ad Block” item to the relevant sidebar and drop it in place.
When it is in place, select the relevant block from the drop down and click save.
For programmers and developers who want to make changes to the PHP script within their theme files, the plugin provides the function “ls_abm_block”, which can be invoked in the following manner:
<?php echo ls_abm_block( 740 ); ?>
In this example, “740” is the unique ID for the specific ad block.
The PHP code for each ad block may be found in two places: the first is on the ad blocks list page and the other is on the ad block edit page.