Most websites are designed and built based on one or moreindividual's personal opinions and preferences.
This is a good way to get started. In fact it is probably the only way to get started!
However you should see the launch of your website as just the start of a program of continual improvement. Once you get visitors coming to your site you can start to base tweaks and changes on real data. Your web stats package, such as Google Analytics, will provide some of the information you need, but it has its limitations.
To really succeed online you need to be able to TEST what works and what doesn't. You need to remove, as much as possible, personal opinion and subjective sentiment from the improvement process.
Google's new Website Optimizer service enables you to test every aspect of your website.
You can test two Home Pages against each other to see which one keeps most visitors engaged.
Or you can get right down to the detail of testing individual elements within a page. For example does a green or red 'Buy Now' button produce better results.
In these three videos, Google describes what their Website Optimizer service can do for you. Don't be put off by the jargon. It is simple and very effective.
Google Website Tour Optimizer
A/B Experiments with Google Website Optimizer
Multivariate Experiments with Google Website Optimizer
You can easily implement the Google Website Optimizer application if you are using the SubHub platform to run your website.
If you are not testing your website and continually improving it, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Doing this stuff is not hard, but it is important. So just do it and enjoy watching your income grow!
URL for Google Website Optimizer - www.google.com/websiteoptimizer