Do you have a web site that is not producing the business for you that you anticipated? Internet marketing should be an important element of every small business or even home office business budget today. Getting traffic to your site is a very competitive process, and it is much more competitive for some businesses than for others.

For your website to be effective, there are several things that you must think about and deal with during the original design process. 

First, what might your prospects be looking for when you want them to find your business? People search the Internet with phrases that they enter into search engines. Knowing which phrases pertain to your prospects gives you a list of "keywords" around which your site must be built. Finding the keywords that the searcher entered on your page is how the search engine knows that the page is relevant.

Second, you must understand that search engines look for text on your pages. They do not read graphics, so all the attractive graphics that you put on your site are of no help at all to being found by an engine. Internet marketing does not employ graphics in the same role as other marketing. In fact, graphics get in the way and slow down your load time on your site, another critical component of your effectiveness. The Internet is a fast moving world, and users are impatient. They won't wait around to see your beautiful work.

Third, effective marketing depends on focus. If you know what your prospects are looking for, your site should give them exactly that! If you have a lot of product or service to offer, your site must address each item directly and powerfully. This means lots of pages for lots of items.

Fourth, your site must be professional looking and easy to understand. Your prospects will not stand for spelling mistakes, clumsy navigation, or ugly screens.

Fifth, your site must be designed in such a way that, when the search engines find you and offer your site to the prospect as a "result" of a search, you have to rank within the first thirty to fifty returns to have any realistic hope of getting noticed. This is where you are competing with the others in your field, all over the world, to get yourself in front of the prospect. You must understand not only how to get noticed, but how to get ranked! Effective internet marketing depends on both relevance and ranking.

Sixth, you have to be in the business for the long haul. The Internet is a speedy mechanism in many ways, but there are still delays in getting yourself established which you must be aware of and take into account in your marketing strategy. It takes time for many of the lessons that you apply to take effect, and, though there are things you can do to accelerate the process, there is a limit to how fast you can make it happen.

The list of things to consider can go on and on for a long time. The pointers above are very general and only scratch the surface of what you need to do. Being a highly competitive field, this is a business for specialists. Only professionals who are working constantly to stay on top of the daily changes in the environment can truly optimize your site, but following the principles I have outlined can make your site better than it is today.