You Need to Customize Your 404 Error Page


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Picture this. The great post you bookmarked a few days ago has been replaced by a 404 error message.

Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because the 404 error page (“Sorry, the page you requested cannot be found”) is a very common occurrence. It pops up on a visitor’s screen every time they input a bad link or click a non-existent or dead link. More often than not, this prompts the person to leave. And if they don’t already know or trust your website, they will probably never come back.

I don’t believe in letting chance run a business. So, let me say this: Take advantage of the space and customize it!

Not too sure of what I mean? Check out the three examples below.

Krit.it

(Source: Krit)

Airbnb

(Source: Airbnb)

Backcountry

(Source: Backcountry)

What I love about these 404 pages is their creativity and humor. The language is also friendly and inviting. And it is easy to go back to the main page or to find specific information. What a great way to keep visitors interested and hence decrease bounce rates!

Ready to customize your 404 page? Here are some suggestions for effective results:

  • Make sure that the page looks and feels like the rest of your website or blog
  • Include an image or a video (for a great example, click here)
  • Give visitors a way to report the error
  • Include important links (main menu, home page, popular posts, most used pages, etc.) to allow people to easily retrace their steps
  • Add a search box
  • Include calls to action

Most importantly, don’t reinvent the wheel. Use the 404 error page to connect with your visitors in a unique, yet simple way.

Do you have a favorite 404 Error Page? If so, share the link in the comment section below.



Cendrine Marrouat

Social media blogger, curator, author, Social Media Slant

@cendrinemedia

Cendrine Marrouat is a social media blogger, curator, and author living in Canada. She is also the founder of #smslantchat and Social Media Slant, a blog focusing on social media tips, tools, stats, and news for small businesses and solo-preneurs. Cendrine writes for several other blogs, including Paper.li and B2B News Network. Latest book: The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It, and Win (2014)



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