Once you have your internet presence the first thing you have your visitors see when they visit your site is your web site design. If it is simple, good and professional conversions from the visitor to a customer is easy. If you happen to have bad design choice the conversion rate is most often a variable depending on your overall site design. This is a step you should not skip at any case. To have a good web design nowadays you do not need to be a web designer yourself, you can hire one or you can steal some ideas (do not try to steal the code or images because this can lead to legal troubles) from the competing sites in your market segment.
Copying the Competition
A word of advice, this is a gray area – meaning you are practically on the edge of stealing, you are stealing the ideas but not the copyrighted work itself. To be on the safe side, always mix from various sources and make all the images you copy your own by mangling, changing colors and shapes. Fonts and overall site design are easy to differ by just rearranging things on your side. DO NOT COPY TEXTS. This is where your site gets punished for stealing by Google and possible legal troubles ahead from the competitor itself. Never go over 20% of similarity between your copied page and the original. To assess this percentage is easy, divide your browser screen in quarters, then each quarter in quarters again – then give a block a score if it is similar to the other page and do not give a score if it is not. Finally add the result together and if you have more than 5 blocks with score you are in trouble.
Finally, you can spend less time and be completely on the safe side hiring a good designer. Nowadays web site design is mostly done via templates and manual design work is seldom. If you have money to burn take a manual route but be prepared to shell out hundreds and even thousands of dollars to have your site design. On the other hand for few hundred bucks you can still hire a good designer who will make your site shine nevertheless and be on the web present in a good and professional manner increasing your visitor conversions to customers as you go.