Having a website these days is equivalent to having a business card and the corresponding corporate identity for any commercial organization. The following are some of basic points to keep in mind while designing a website for your business for maximum results:
1. Before starting on the work, create a "Purpose" document about the project, clearly spelling out the very purpose of designing the website, its scope, your target visitor's demographic and behavioral profiles, the quality, quantity and segregation of content for the website and last but not the least, key differentiating value propositions for your organization. Just to elaborate and to simplify, this document should be a ready reckoner about what you wish to achieve out of your website and whether it appeals to your target visitors or not.
2. A thing of beauty is a joy forever. No debts on that. However, try to keep a balance between graphical content and textual information on your website. Remember, your target visitors are coming to your website to know more about your company and your products / services since they expect to get this information in a concise and organized manner rather than going through a maze of graphic mumbo jumbo. The more relevant and enticing textual content you write about your products / services, the more people would accept you to be an expert in your field.
3. Put yourself in the shoes of your visitors and think objectively. Have you laid down the various features / specifications of your products / services prominently? Are these pages accessible through the website? Have you been able to answer most of the questions that a prospective visitor may have about your organization?
4. Always make it convenient for people to contact you. Instead of specifying general, organizational email ids' and phone numbers, try to be a little specific by breaking down the contact information according to departments and key personnel within your organization.
5. Do not create 1000 word web pages. In case a page has a large amount of textual content – either break it into sub sections and sub pages or on the same page create sub sections with heading and link those headings on the very top with the help of bookmarks.
6. Try to use high visibility and web optimized images for your products in case you sell materialistic products and try to describe your products in every possible way that a customer would want to know.
7. Avoid using superlatives while creating textual content. Let your customers decide that. Frame your textual content in such a way that it becomes a good selling proposition, is easily understood by your target visitors and possess a touch of modesty.
8. Design your overall website navigational structure / menus in such a way that all your important pages are accessible from all other pages on the websites so that your visitors do not need to go back to the HOME page for details on each section.
These are just a few suggestions. There can be hundreds of things to do. But keep in mind, if you do not like or understand your own website, do not expect your visitors to do the same.