Make sure all the important information is visible when a visitor first arrives at the home page. A good number of people will not scroll down to find the important information.
As well as column based layouts, there’s another idea the web has borrowed from the newspaper industry: the fold.
When broadsheet newspapers are laid out for sale, they’re folded down the middle and only the top half can be seen. The bit that’s on show is said to be “above the fold”.