Error pages - how to put them to good use!

One of the scariest parts about owning a site is the 404 page, or the error page.

You get this when you click on a link from another site or social media only to land on this miscellaneous page. The link is broken.

Although dreaded, it’s also very common. Depending on what you’ve launched, if you’ve changed the location of a page (i.e. switched around the hierarchy), or simply took something down while you work on it – the link will end in this page.

Although common, you DON’T have to leave the 404 error page as a lost cause! Optimize it!

Here’s how:

Use what you have!

Scour your site and see what sort of awesomeness is there. Think about what you commonly put out. Is it cooking tips? Recipes? Or do you mostly post about events your food truck will be attending?

Have an idea of the most common links and goals your user would have. Now simply add a list of these on the 404 page. Psst >> A designer can help you make this look attractive! Now, your potential leads can still get something similar to what they originally clicked on – such as your events page or a free PDF full of recipes.

Create something to give away!

I mentioned this in the tip above – but it’s worth saying it again! Create a mini, value packed freebie that ties into what you do. Give it as an email opt-in. Now you have their email and they got a free item. Win-win.

Whatever your freebie is, make sure it can live for at least 6 months on your site and still be relevant. You don’t want to place an invite to a live webinar when the date is in the past. A 404 page isn’t updated regularly so keep it evergreen.

Let Them Search

So your lead didn’t find what they were looking for. Very. Frustrating. Give them the option to search for it. They’ll pop in the right keywords and get what they were looking for.

The worse sites are ones that don’t have any sort of 404 page and the browser uses its default. Don’t do that! Connect with your user in some way. If you have an e-commerce site, perhaps showing the current best-sellers would work. Are you a dentist? Show your contact information and business hours.

Make sure you understand the goal your user has for generally being on your site and help them get the info they were originally looking for.

Need help with your 404 page? Don’t even know if you have one? Get a FREE 30 minute consult by clicking here!


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