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What Does Filtering Do?
Think about it this way, we all want targeted ads, well advertizers want targeted traffic. Filtering is one way to deliver targeted traffic.
Filtering traffic is nothing unusual, it's what a well designed site navigation system does everyday.
This is nothing more than a closer look at how to benefit from navigation cues. A navigation cue can be as simple as a couple well chosen words used as anchor text for a link.
Filtering your traffic reduces impressions, and in my experience, increases your earnings. That happens because your CTR goes up the more filtered your taffic is.
That happens because you are filtering out the less interested visitors which leaves you with the very interested viewers.
The result of that is that if one of these very interested visitors clicks an ad, the likelyhood of the advertizers converting that visitor to a sale (or whatever the advertizers goal is) increases dramatically.
Advertizers pay more for that kind of traffic, sometimes a lot more.
It almost sounds odd to say, but it more or less works so that less clicks can equal more money.
How to filter traffic.
First determine what subject related to your website you want to focus on. [How to do that is a topic for another thread] Give the topic a page of it's own.
Second, think about all the possible paths folks might follow on your site to get to that page.
HINT: A big bold ... "HOT DEALS ON..." ...type link is NOT the way to make this work.
Links to the target page are critical, but you want their use to be a natural progression for the very interested visitor. Remember, the idea is to end up with only very interested visitors on the target page.
OK, so back to the paths thing.
To make the most of this you need to understand who your visitors are. Even with no other input you can find most of what you need to know about your visitors in your log files. Study your search engine referals carefully to see what WORDS people are using to find your site. [Notice that I said WORDS, not phrases.]
Those WORDS are going to help you design the paths you need to make available to direct, and thus filter, your traffic. They might also help you decide what to focus on.
Once you know what words people use to find your website, stop and think really hard about what words you did not find in your logs, that's very important. These words might be even more important in helping you chose what to focus on if you haven't already decided.
If you really want this to work, you need tp provide more than one path. That's because a good number of people who end up being very interested and thus clicking on an ad, won't even have given a thought to the subject when they landed on your site.
The most interested will take the most direct path, even a very subtle cue will get these folks to click through to your target page. Others will take a less direct path, which gives you a chance to make them aware of their "need" for whatever it is the advertizer is selling.
Some people are going to take the longest path you offer, maybe 4 or more stops along the way, each stop filtering out more of the less interested, but by the time they get to your target page, they are going to be ready or nearly to jump on what your advertizers are offering.
What Happens on the Target Page
Visitors who are "ready" when they get to your target page might well just read the headline, scan the page, and almost immediately click an ad. So make the ads easy to find.
Your target page content is really aimed at the "nearly ready". For these visitors you need to provide at least a modestly compelling reason to click through to an advertizers site. Of course the more compelling your target page is the better the results are likely to be.
How Good is Good?
Well, you probably aren't likely to get a 100% CTR from your target page, or even close to it. But you can end up with very, very pleasant overall results.
In the End
None of this is hard to do, but you do need to think it through carefully to get the maximum benefit from it. You might also want to look carefully around the edges and in the dusty corners of your websites topic for inspiration.
So, I stopped chasing raw quantity of visitors and am far more picky.
That is the real key. While filtering can improve CTR, it's the quality of the source of your visitors that is really going to have the profound impact.
Sometimes people seem to get a little bit lost. 900 visitors that click through 8% + 100 visitors that click through 15% will surely earn you more than the 100 visitors alone.
An important part of CTR is also page and site structure -- if you have a review on solar widgets and a visitor who is interested in purchasing a solar widget, they shouldn't have to click to another page (or even scroll, for that matter) to find a link to what they want.
Filtering in the manner in which ken_b is teaching can direct a visitor to a page where they are more likely to click an ad, and that's a good thing.
Man! And there was me putting all the content on my website on one page! No wonder I wasn't being successful!
I'm sorry, I don't see where the advice is here - I mean, who *doesn't* do what you are suggesting?
who *doesn't* do what you are suggesting
We all have something to learn and everyone is at a different stage of understanding how to be an effective webmaster and Adsense publisher. I'd rather hear and discuss every concept, no matter how complex or basic, than act like there are things "below me."
If this thread is too "beginner," perhaps the more constructive thing to do would be to start a thread about a more "intermediate" or "advanced" adsense topic.
On my informational sites, the visitor "arrives" at the "target" page. They rarely come in on the index page, or even the category pages. They land right smack on the page they were searching for.
So even though I have great navigation, the page they land on has the information they were looking for, but if they need more information they can use the navigation, or my "see also..." or they can click to find more information.
It's hard to imagine a website, where the only entrance to the visitor is the index page. What type of site could this be?