A 404 page is displayed whenever someone tries to visit a webpage that no longer exists. Being presented with a 404 page can be a frustrating experience, which is why doing everything within your power to minimise the disruption to your visitor’s user experience is so important.
Generic 404 pages are impersonal and rarely contain any useful information regarding exactly what has gone wrong, which often prompts users to leave and look for the information they are seeking elsewhere. As the examples in this article illustrate, customising your 404 pages provides you with an ideal opportunity to engage with your audience, provide a bit more context, and advise them what to do next.
Get Creative with your Custom 404 Pages
Your custom 404 page can:
-Help your audience locate the information they are looking for by linking to some of your most popular pages. Failing to do this will force them to click back to your homepage and attempt to resume their search from here. That’s if, of course, they haven’t already left.
-Ease user frustrations by using welcoming, friendly and apologetic language. No one wants to be presented with a vague error message, and an amiable 404 page can work wonders in restoring trust and good will.
-Leverage new links. Although tricky to achieve, an amusing and/or unique 404 page can prompt visitors to want to share it with their friends across social media. Working with a professional team can help you to craft an ideal 404 page for your business, and if you are keen to connect with a website design company Gloucester is home to a range of professional agencies, such as the one that can be found at www.net9design.com.
Tips for Customising your 404 Pages
Keeping your 404 messaging as light-hearted as possible will assuage any potential irritation your visitors might feel. Remember, your goal here is to retain as many visitors as possible by encouraging them to continue engaging with your website.
Integrating a search box in a prominent location on the page will enable your visitors to enter their original search query and be directed straight to the information they were originally expecting to find.
Avoid blaming your visitors for using an incorrect link. Always take responsibility for the error and clearly explain what has gone wrong and how you plan to fix it.