This can be considered a two part process: Recommended Practices when designing and building the site then Ongoing Monitoring and Updating after a site goes live. For the first part experience and good advice should help you get to a plausible starting point for the initial launch, then the results of monitoring what is and what is not working will suggest what changes are needed.
You need to optimize the site for different and sometime conflicting audiences. The site is for your business and so should meet the needs of your customers; remember that is for new customers and existing customers. Your aim should be to allow a new visitor to see what you do and how you can help them within 20 seconds of seeing your homepage. Existing customers should not feel excluded; they should also see something for them in a similar time-frame.
A website also has an invisible critical visitor. The search engine spiders and bots that relentlessly read and catalog your site. They need clear access and guidance on what to catalog and they cannot “read” videos, images or Flash. All our sites are optimized for the Search Engines and we will give you all the help needed to build an effective website.