There are a number of website design elements which should be worked into any website in order to maximize its appeal to the target audience. If you have your own website which you are using for marketing purposes, it's important to make sure the following 5 elements are present.
Element 1: Simplicity
Websites should be as simple and clean as possible so that visitors are not overwhelmed or intimidated with information. For the home page, a short introductory piece about your business and possibly some tastefully encorporated photos are perfectly sufficient. You should have a clean navigation bar, either across the top or on the left side of each page, which allows visitors to intuitively find any information they may be looking for.
Element 2: Easy Navigation
Navigation bars should always contain links to the following places: Home, Services/Shop (depending on what your business offers), About and Contact. If your website has more, go ahead and link to it, but avoid cluttering up the navigation bar.
For websites which are very complex, separate items into broader categories and use subheads to organize everything. For example, if your website publishes articles on X, Y and Z, you should only have "Articles" on your navigation bar. When a visitor scrolls over "Articles," "X Articles," "Y Articles" and "Z Articles" could appear as subheads for the visitor to choose from.
Element 3: Personality
Customers should be able to see you as a real person, which will help to capture their interest. Injecting some personality into your website is a great way to do that. You should have an "About Me" page with a short biography that gives some insight into the kind of person you are - hobbies, pets, favorite Jelly Belly flavor, etc. Keep it short and simple, but also allow your customers to see what kind of person you are.
Also, the design of the website itself should be representative of your personality. Do you prefer a sleek and modern look, with shiny silvers and whites and rounded edges? Or, maybe some youthful pops of color to match a fun logo? Your website design can provide insight about you to customers, which helps capture attention and promotes personal branding, too.
Element 4: Consistency
Speaking of personal branding, consistency within your website and other media helps to reinforce your brand. All of your pages should be basically styled the same way, with the same navigation bar and use of color. It's also a good idea to have all your marketing tools match. Your business cards, your blog and other social sites (if you have them), and any advertising banners or buttons which you use online should all have the same basic design and colors. People should always be able to associate your design with your business.
Element 5: Professionalism
In order to build consumer confidence, your website should be professional. All the spelling and grammar must be correct, and there shouldn't be random photos or blocks of text floating around the site. Customers should be able to infer based on website content alone that you are professional and trustworthy.
These 5 elements may be challenging to encorporate in your website, but doing so successfully will help to earn you more business.