A website layout is a pattern (or framework) that defines a website’s structure. It has the role of structuring the information present on a site both for the website’s owner and for users. It provides clear paths for navigation within webpages and puts the most important elements of a website front and center.
To put it short, it’s a critical element that makes a website to be a success...or a failure.
This varies based on the website. For instance, an e-commerce website would have their latest or featured products on their landing page, case in point, Amazon. A new company now entering an industry would have information introducing the company and products/services.
A good layout keeps users on the site because it makes important information easily accessible and intuitive to find. A bad layout frustrates users which then quickly leave the site because they can’t find what they are looking for. For this reason it’s best to take as long as you need to find a good layout, because users won’t give you more than a few seconds of their time.