Keep text minimal and to the point. Your main or primary message should on the first screen. It should not be without scrolling down the page or navigating though you web site.
Use "attention getting" headlines.
Offer something of value on the web site. Ex. A database, calendar, product FAQ, tech support, news letter subscription, etc.
Don't use italicized words.
Change font face to Arial, Helvetica for easier reading. Keep the font size large enough for easy reading.
Use different colors on headline text for emphasis.
Use indented lists where appropriate for easy reading
Place redundant navigational buttons or links at the top and bottom of page for easy navigation.
Place your name, address, phone number, fax number, and e-mail link on every page
Make website designing easy to request additional company/product information.
Don't include your own picture regardless how pretty you feel you are.
Minimize use of graphic files. Colored tables are an excellent way to add color without graphic file overhead.
If it's not important, don't put it on your web page.
Don't throw up "under construction" signs all over your site just because you can't wait for completion. That's a good way to irritate everyone. Consider creating an "under discussion" section instead and invite your current customers to tell you what they really want to see.
Change page frequently.
Don't use Entrance or Doorway pages to your web site. You have only one opportunity to get your viewers attention. With Entrance pages, you've wasted your first opportunity to get your message across
Do check out your competition. What key words would you use to search for your company's products/services? Use them in the search engines to locate your competitors. Then visit ALL of those sites. They might have thought of things you wouldn't. Only at that point should you ask yourself what you can offer that your competition didn't.
Target your market. Who buys your products/services? Research - don't guess. The results may surprise you. Then match the "look" of your site with your target audience.
Content should be your main thrust. Plan, plan and replan it. Successful sites don't give you just the brochure. They give you the brochure, the sales letter, FAQS, tips on usage, letters from satisfied customers, etc.
If you have a product for sale, do't tell the user where they can buy it. Sell it online! Our clients with shopping carts don't seem to have a problem getting credit card numbers, but if you are uncomfortable with it, furnish an 800 phone number to take the credit card information.
Give visitors a reason to return to your site. Change it frequently. A photo of your president and history of the company does not make visitors want to return. In fact, its the best way to lose a lot of potential customers.