After reviewing thousands of web sites over past couple of years for my Exceptional Sites Award, I have come to conclusion that many business web sites are missing boat.
For example; I've been working on some offline promotions and was searching for a simple targeted mailing list. I searched through about twenty sites and not one of those sites were, what I would consider, professional. Their standard blue links were enlarged to about a size 16 font, busy backgrounds, flashing images and very unorganized.
Did I purchase a mailing list from any of those sites? Absolutely not. Why? The way I see it, if those companies don't take pride in their web sites, chances are, they won't take pride in their products either. Large linked text and flashing graphics won't make sales.
Your web site is a direct reflection of you and your business. The appearance of your site is most important factor in determining your sites value. In other words, if your site doesn't look professional or pleasing to eyes at first glance, its perceived value and value of your products and services will be low.
On other hand, you may have a great web site, well designed and a quality product or service, but if it takes too long to load, value will still be perceived as low. Why? Because your potential customer won't wait. Ultimately costing you business.
Another consideration of great importance is your content. Not just links, but content with value. When someone is surfing net and they visit your web site, they're visiting for a reason. Your site has something they want. Whether it is your product, service or information, that's why they're there. If they don't find what they're looking for, they move on to next site and so on. If you want your visitors to stay at your site, provide quality content they're looking for in a nicely organized fashion. Give them a reason to want to explore your site and to continue to visit your site in future.