404 Pages. We’ve all seen them. And generally we all get a little frustrated when we come across one because it means that the link we clicked to find out more about something lead to a dead end and we can no longer learn the answers we were seeking. The result? A poor customer experience.
The 404 experience, especially if it happens multiple times on the one site, can greatly impact the visitor’s perception of the business in question and reduce the likelihood that the visitor will become a customer.
On the plus side, 404 pages offer a great space to add a glimpse of your company vibe and to help your website visitor. I know for me, I’ve come across some very clever 404 error pages in my time and they have been memorable. They made me smile. And, they redirected my 404 disappointment into positive feelings. Some of them even inspired me share them on social media – now that is a great win for any company.
So what can you put on your 404 page to improve your customer’s experience?
A Search Bar.
Including a search bar is very important. A search bar offers the visitor a direct avenue to try and find what they are looking for straight away.
Finding a 404 page can be discouraging and frustrating, so it’s your job as the website owner to turn that website visitor’s frown upside down. Make light of the situation with a joke or a funny picture. Make it memorable.
Add some creative flair with your brand colours, fonts and imagery. Aesthetically pleasing design is always a welcomed treat for website visitors and it reinforces your brand.
Offer your website visitor the opportunity to contact you directly to get the information they are looking for.
Display a small selection of recent or similar posts from your website that may be helpful to your website visitor. This also increases your internal cross-linking, reduces your bounce rate, encourages further exploration of your website and provides additional value to the visitor.
The 404 page offers a great space to include links to follow you on social media or to opt-in to your mailing list. This opportunity allows a visitor to stay connected with your business longer than just their one visit.
In conjunction with the above additions, the 404 page can allow you space to promote your key offer. You could even make clever use of this space by using an ad something like: “We’re sorry you couldn’t find what you were looking for, to make it up to you, use this code XXXXX to receive 20% your next order”. This encourages exploration of your products and services, increases conversion of visitors to customers, and may result in visitors sharing this discount with their friends resulting in additional customers.
I’d love to know how you are delighting your customers on your website 404 Error Page. Reply in the comments and let me know.
Other ideas for your 404 Error Page