Looks do matter...
Looks do matter - but perhaps not as important as you think...
The 'look' of a website is not really that important!
Once people have looked at a website for a few minutes they will quickly discard their first impression (based on looks) and move immediately to asking - is this website giving me the information I need? - and can I find it quickly?
Information is what people want and they need it delivered fast and simple.
So what are we on about with style?
Simple - ensure the style of your website makes it easy to read. Avoid things like black backgrounds with white text (inverse text is harder to read). Avoid ALL CAPS and italics as these are harder to read on screen. Chunk data so that it easily scan read.
Ensure your home page states 'what you do' and 'who you do it for'. Avoid your industry's terms - make sure 'what you do' is understood by those you are marketing to, those 'who you do it for'.