Google has long prided itself on innovative design that captures the imagination of its users while staying fresh, clean, and useful. Although Google's aesthetic is based on its own unique style, the fundamentals of Google's design are applicable to any website.
While content generation is important on websites, an oft overlooked issue is that of usability. A site can have great content that is valuable to its visitors, but if it is difficult to find this content, it will rarely be seen. And if visitors cannot find the content, it is unlikely that bloggers will come across it either which will prevent them or other websites from linking to it. This will keep your PageRank low, and reduce traffic to your website.
There are thousands of web firms in this country all trying to tell you why they are better than the next. The truth of the matter is, First impressions are everything in the world of websites. When putting together your presence on the web, you are going to want an identity which includes your logo, your content, and things that are specific to your business. You are in business because there is a particular niche that you are filling, not because you are the same as every other business out there. Using free templates is a good way to fall through the cracks and show your customers that you are no different than the next company.