Effective websites should include the following:
1. Your website needs to focus on a specific niche.
2. You need to do keyword research and although Google no longer gives weight to Meta keywords some of the other major search engines still do.
3. Your website should have the main keyword used throughout and each page should be written around 5-10 keywords that are tightly focused on that particular page's topic.
4. Content is still King. Well written, focused content is crucial.
5. Meta titles need to include your keywords.
6. Organization of content should include headings and subtitles to make it easy for readers to scan the pages. Be sure to include your keywords in these headings as well.
7. Most people on the web are looking for information. If you don't give them anything of value or entertain them, they will be gone, probably for good.
8. Use keywords in links whereever possible.
9. Include a call to action and, if possible, provide a Free tríal. You have to build trust before you can make a sale.
10. Check your website in various browsers (FireFox, Internet Explorer, etc.) to make sure it displays equally well in all.
11. Your personality is what attracts people to you so why would you create a generic website with all of the excitement of a flat glass of pop. Keep the content fresh so it has Fizz!
12. Most importantly, have realistic expectations of what you want to achieve with your website. With all the hype about overnight successes on the internet it's difficult to put your results into perspective. If you expect instant success and it isn't happening, it's easy to become demoralized and quit before you reach your goal.