Optimizing your 404 error page is one of the most overlooked SEO techniques. With an optimized 404 error page you can keep the customers on your page a longer time. And keep them on your website.
Okay grab your cup of coffee – ready?
First what is a 404 error page?
Well there can be several reasons why a visitor might get a 404 error page from you?
- Maybe you have moved a page, that can still be found in the search engines.
- Maybe your visitor have typed in a wrong URL
- Maybe they have clicked on a broken link within your website (you can do something about that right)
So you see – often you can’t ready stop visitors getting a 404 error page. But you can write to the customer on the error page and make them come back to your site. So let me show you what you can do.
How does this error 404 page looks like?
Typical a error 404 looks like this:
Maybe your customers have been searching for something interesting and they have thought they had found it at your website. And now they are just getting a error 404 page. So give them something great. Your customer is frustrated and they will most likely leave your website.
Now how do you optimize your error 404 page?
There are a lot of great content you can give your visitor.
- First of all – you have to let the visitor know that the page can’t be found. That’s the most important content.
- Put a link to your site map. This can sometime help the frustrated customer
- Put a link to you FAQ page
- Why not show the most recent post or the most popular posts.
- Include your search bar. This will allow the visitor to find the page that he or she is missing.
So you can aword dead end with broken links or URLs that is leading nowhere from the search engines, or misspelling from the visitors – but try to keep the potential customer on your page.
So go and fill your error page with great content and great usability 🙂
Ready for some inspiration?
Let me show you some few examples of how you can do great content on your error 404 page – from New York Times, Apple and Dell.
I hope this can make you feel inspired 🙂
Time for another cup of coffee?