When someone spends the time designing and putting up their first wordpress site, it is normal to get extremely stoked and put a million widgets and plugins on your site. When someone visits your site, songs are blaring at them, it pours their coffee, and you have popups everywhere telling them your site is fantastic.
However, when a user sees this crap, first thing they do is try to stop their pc from crashing and then get the hell out of there. This, just like shipping your labor out to Bangladesh, is a waste of time, money, and energy.
The site needs to be focused and serve a purpose for the visitor in every page. The attention span of a web user is in seconds. According to recent data and the introduction of the smartphone, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish.
The menu needs to be very simple, easy to read, and easily navigable with not having to search for information.
The layout needs to be consistent and easy to use with clear navigation on every website page.
There doesn't need to be huge pictures and super long pages of content. Having shorter pages of content minimizes lots of scrolling and looking for content they need which can frustrate a user.
Having shorter articles but the appropriate anchors to attain the content they desire in your site; is a good strategy to keep them engaged. Some people argue that the page needs to have a million words to keep people on the page for a long time or the longer the content the better.
This only holds true if the content is engaging, good quality, and serves a purpose. Otherwise it is a lot of crap to get scrolled through to find any information. The main focus is to keep the visitor engaged and happy so they will want to go to other pages on your site.
Relevant and appropriate pictures are one of the best things you can have on your site. However, really large images and lots of them can cause extremely long load times. Which can cause google to penalize you and the user will get irritated as well. Think easy to load, easy to read, and easily navigated throughout the site to get the information they desire.