There are a lot of weird myths floating around the web design world at the minute and people are suffering because of it. Any professional designer will know the truth because they have a lot of experience, but most people who decide to throw up a website and start a business don't have a clue what they should be doing.
Maybe people are still preaching tactics from 5 years ago because they don't know any better. If you're not having great success it could be something to do with your design. I know that sounds crazy, but it's most definitely possible. Take a look at some of those horrible design myths you should forget about before they screw you over.
Nobody scrolls down anymore
This is something you should definitely be aware of because too many people are still stuffing things above the fold when it's not needed. When the internet was relatively new everyone would click from website to website without stopping to take a breath. Now that we're more experienced it's much more likely we will scroll down. Putting things above the fold still works, but you will definitely see success if something is below the fold too.
People will look for something
Nobody is going to spend a long time searching around your site looking for a sales page. They definitely won't attempt to find your opt-in box when you can't make it easy on them. I don't know why most people screw up their site's navigation because it's not easy to do. Just make sure all the important pages are within one or two clicks away from anywhere on the site. You should also stop labeling things with smart-ass names because nobody will know what page it's sending them to.
Design isn't important
Content is not king. Repeat that to yourself a hundred times and you might start to believe it. We all know content is very important, but design is important too. Some people will tell you design is more important. I'm not sure I would bother arguing over which one comes out at number one. You just need to make sure you always have a great design. You don't have to spend 10K on a professional designer at the moment, but don't go the cheap route and use a free theme.
Learn what your readers want
There is no way in the world you will ever know what someone wants no matter how much you know them. You don't even know what your husband or wife wants when they land on a website. The only way you will ever know what someone wants is by testing it. If you perform A/B split tests you will be able to tweak your design in order to improve your conversion rate. Please test everything because guesswork will give you inferior results.
Everyone loves sexy features
I can't believe some websites still play music when you land on them. This is probably the best example of why sexy features suck, but there are a lot more. The main reason people decide to include these features is because they're not thinking straight. A website shouldn't be there to impress anyone. It should be there to make you more money, so stop being fancy and from now on you should try to keep everything as simple as possible.
Do you see where you're going wrong?
I hope you learned a lot today because it means you were doing things wrong. That is a good thing because once you make some changes to your site you will see an improvement right away. Go away and correct your mistakes then watch your profits improve overnight.