You have your site all set up and ready to go, so now you need to be sure you have your sitemap readily available.
A site map should have a two-fold purpose. The main goal of course is to let the search engines easily define and index your site; a sitemap isn’t necessarily the best way to inform Google about your site, however.
Linking to a page on your new site from a previously indexed page is the fastest way to get indexed, many experts claim. However, you should still make up a sitemap and present it to Google. Once they know you have one, they will crawl it regularly.
Google needs your site map, but whether your customers do or not depends on your type of site and how well you have it set up. If you have done a bang up job of internal linking, you probably won’t see your customers getting lost and needing a map.
In this case you can stick the link to your sitemap down at the bottom of the main page and not worry about it. Usually it will fit just fine next to your Privacy and Disclaimer links.
In other cases you may want to brush up your sitemap and have it slick its hair back and don an usher’s jacket. A sitemap can be handy for confusing, complex sites, and you can utilize your sitemap to cut down on confusion.
In this case you may want to put your sitemap link up near the top of your page – the right or left corner would be an ideal place. You also may wish to consider having a ‘map’ button on each page to assist visitors with navigation.
People are notoriously fickle. If a page loads too slow, if there are too any steps to take, if there are any mistakes at all they are very unforgiving, and could bounce away from your site before you even know they were there.
Contact pages are another important component of any site. You need to let your customers know that you want their experience with you to be a good one. Take a little trouble with it, to ensure that they really feel welcome to contact you. Use color, add a graphic and if you are a lone webmaster with a small friendly site, let them know it. Explain that you might not be able to be available every second, but that you will promptly return any and all calls or emails ASAP.
This is a good place to plug yourself as well. If you include a subscription box for their email address, you can have a box for them to check or uncheck for a free newsletter or alerts, and add to your outlets in that fashion.
Make sure you follow up promptly on any questions or complaints. Don’t let things slide – strike while the iron is hot! Many people live strictly in the here and now, and before you realize it ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can creep up and your chance to make an impression is gone.