Not a comprehensive list, but good nonetheless:
Rule #1: Say what you do in GIANT TEXT
This is the most important rule of all. Does your website clearly say what your product or service is? Don’t use alot of jargon and bullshit. Get to the damn point. You should be able to tell what the company does from 25 feet away. See the example below. You can tell what they do even though I shrank the screen to tiny proportions.
Rule #2: Write more betterer with fewer words
There is no excuse for the drivel that passes for content on most B2B websites. It’s filled with nonsense and SEO optimized keywords. Try to empathize with your customer. How much patience do they have to read? What do they want to learn about? How can you remove as much friction from their path as possible.
Zendesk does a nice job of the first and second rule. Their copy is concise and to the point without being terse. Additionally, you can also tell what they do right from the home in giant text.
Rule #3: BIG Call to Action (CTA)
Websites are meant for something. They aren’t there to make you feel good and show your mom. They are supposed to be generating leads and educating prospects. Lead generation is a key moment to measure. When someone is ready to enter the sales cycle, they need an easy and obvious way to do it. This is call the Call-to-Action.
It should be very big and typically is red or orange colored. The color actually matters. When the screen is all blue and white make the CTA the opposite, Orange. It looks like you stabbed the page with a knife and blood is oozing out onto the button. A great website to figure out complimentary colors is http://kuler.adobe.com/.
Rule #4: Dress appropriately cheap/expensive.
Sites that are for discount items should not look too fancy. Sites that are for high-end merchandise should look polished. Don’t mix these up! A site that doesn’t look right will send the wrong message and people will leave.
People are literal. They need to see exactly what they thought they were going to see. At Intuit, the most compelling image was always the BOX.
This is the image that people identified with “What I am looking to buy”. A picture of happy people always came in a distant second. Customers don’t want happy people, they want the box they would get in the store.
In SaaS software, a picture of a laptop or screen with the user interface is the closest most literal match. Make sure to put the obvious, literal thing right there on the home page.
There are more rules, but 4 should be enough to help you out.