One of the things I often have to do when I take over a website is convince the owners that their current site is turning people away. There is a nice article about this at inforworld.com called “What users hate most about Web sites” that expresses what I have been trying to say for some time. I wrote about some of this a while back.
When most people get on the web they are looking for information. Most people that come to a companies website are looking how to contact them. If you sell something they are looking for your product and the price. People do not like to read. I used to have a business on ebay and I would put stuff in huge red 28 point letters that gave the shipping information. I constantly got email when people were surprised about the way I did shipping. I read over at www.digg.com a lot and it is very common for people to digg an item or makes a comment on an item just from reading the items title. You need to get them what they want as fast as possible. Don’t get me wrong some people do read every word on your site but they are a very small minority. Put the text furthor down the page. The first seen part of your page or fold as some put it should be clean with few choices.