This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but it’s looking like newspaper advertising sales are dropping, and dropping hard.  The fact is that more and more people are turning their advertising online.

The reason for this is because more people are using the web now for almost everything – if you consider it, it makes sense.  If you want to check to see when a movie’s playing, you go online.  If you want to find directions to a new address, you go online.  If you want to find the best place to buy a new set of speakers, you go online.  If you want to check your bank account, you go online.

More and more people are starting to turn towards doing everything online – it makes sense, since you can do a large variety of things in one place.  Since this is where things are going, more companies are starting to turn their marketing budgets to the online world to connect more with people.

It makes me excited to see, mainly since I feel like I have an inside scoop on what’s going on for marketing online (since I spend every day working with it).  I do think it’s going to mean more and more businesses will be turning to put their focus online.  The drop in advertising sales for newspapers means it’s a sign of the times changing, and it’ll be interesting to see where things progress from here.

At a start, Google AdWords looks like an advertising dream.  You put in your keywords, choose what you’re willing to pay per click, and then let the traffic come flooding in.  In reality, most people don’t know what they’re getting into; often not until it’s too late, and a lot of money has been spent.

One of most basic elements of AdWords that you need to be aware of is the different keyword matching options.  To begin, you need to make sure you have your ad groups broken into separate categories (so you can have targeted ads and keywords), but that’s a different topic.  For each ad group, you’ll want to have your keyword matching options carefully selected.

There are four different keywords matching options in Google AdWords: broad match, phrase match, exact match, and negative match.  They can all be used together, but don’t need to all be used.

The broad match is what the “default” option is.  If you enter a basic keyword or keyword phrase, it’s shown in your list as a broad match.  This means any match to any of the words in your keyword phrase will cue that keyword.  Your ad will show.  The search phrase can have the same words in a different order, the same order, or in some cases, even contain completely different words (based on what Google thinks the words are related to).  So if you’ve put in the phrase “buy dog food” (with no quotes), the search phrases “buy dog food”, “dog food buy”, “buy Alpo dog food”, and “where to buy dog food” will all trigger this keyword.

The phrase match is entered by using quotes.  So you put your keywords in with quotes around them, this is known as a phrase match.  It will only be triggered by searches that have that exact phrase in the search, uninterrupted.  If there’s an extra word in the middle, it won’t be cued.  So “buy dog food” will be triggered for the phrases “buy dog food” and “where to buy dog food”, but not “dog food buy” and “buy Alpo dog food”.

The exact match is entered using brackets.  You put your keywords inside brackets to look for exactly that keyword phrase, nothing more, nothing less.  For [buy dog food] in your keywords, only “buy dog food” in the search will trigger it.  “where to buy dog food”, “dog food buy”, and “buy Alpo dog food” will NOT be caught by that keyword.

And a negative match is done in one of two ways.  You can either put in your negative keyword with a negative sign in front of it, or else put it inside your Campaign’s negative keywords group.  Either way, a negative match works the same way as the other three – you can either have broad, phrase, or exact.  Just put a dash in front of them.  So if you entered -“buy dog food” (with quotes), any search with that phrase in it will NOT show your ad.  This is something that should be done often, especially if there are particular words you don’t want your ad showing for.  Common ones people tend to use are “free” and “crack” (the latter especially for software).

This is just a basic tutorial on PPC with Google’s AdWords, but they’re some of the most crucial details in making sure your own pay per click campaign is set up properly.

Google themselves have actually gone on and approved of this.  For anyone sitting on an empty domain, paying the yearly fee and having nothing but dreams of what giant business you’ll build on it can get old.  Google’s gone and offered to help out with parked domains using AdSense.

For anyone who isn’t completely sure what AdSense is, Google AdSense is one of the easiest ways to put advertisements on your site.  You sign up, set up your ad banner specifications, then place the code where you’d like the ads to appear in your site.  You earn money for every click a visitor to your site administers to the ads you’ve placed.

However, it isn’t all perfect – Google gets rather upset if you put AdSense on your site and then click on it many times yourself or have your friends do it.  Repeated clicks from the same source will flag a warning to them, and they can ban you from AdSense.  Permanently.

That, and any time someone clicks an ad, sure you earn money, but you also lose your visitor.  They’ve gone off somewhere else, and you’ve lost that potential client/customer.  Some people are fine with this, thinking that if the person clicked an ad they were leaving anyway – but there are often instances where an ad catches the eye of a visitor who would otherwise have spent more time on your site.  If you don’t want to distract your visitors from your own site content, I’d recommend minimizing your ads, be it through AdSense or otherwise.

However – having a domain that is unused is not going to lose you any visitors to a quality site.  So why not earn money through it?  If you have some domains that you’re not using and want to earn a bit of money from them, you can check out Google’s domain parking AdSense option.  As it IS Google, they’ll walk you through the how’s and to’s of everything, it’s pretty straightforward.