When it comes to the internet, and more specifically your website, mistakes will happen—either on your end or because of user error. If the error is on your end because of a broken link or removal of a page, then you should update to the proper link or use a 301 redirect to send future visitors to the different, but equally as relevant page.
You can’t guess what someone might type in the address bar though, so if they do make a spelling error, a 404 landing page is okay.
How to Create the Optimal Custom 404 Page
1. Inform the Visitor: The number one priority when creating a custom 404 page is to include content that makes it clear to the visitor what page they are on and how they got there.
2. Stay Consistent with Site Design: When 404 pages are left untouched, they often don’t look anything like the host website. This can cause confusion to the visitors and instantly makes them want to navigate away. When you customize your 404 page to include your normal navigation menu and a search bar, they have alternative options to just abandoning your site.
3. Include Recommended Pages or Blog Posts: If someone knows they made a spelling mistake, then they can just retype their destination into the address bar. If that person is unsure of how they ended up on your 404 page though, you have the opportunity to point them in the direction that you want. Include your most popular blog posts or other pages that have a lower bounce rate.
4. A Potential Lead: While it might not have a high conversion rate, including an e-mail newsletter signup form creates the potential to find new subscribers. If you do include a form, have a little fun by saying something like, “Avoid any more error pages by subscribing to our newsletter, and all of our content will be delivered directly to your inbox in working order.”
Creating a custom 404 page does require a bit of coding knowledge. If this is outside your skill set, contact us today to find out how we can help you.