Fast Methods of Using Your 404 Error Page to Increase Website Professionalism
What is your first reaction when you click on a link and you land on the terrible 404 error page – file not found. Most people hit the back button and give up using the broken link. Now imagine you are the website owner and the person clicked the link from a different website. That is traffic you will never have the opportunity to sell to. On a popular website that could me hundreds or thousands of possible lost sales and leads.
The 404 error page has become some common that the average Internet user does not even question why they landed on this page. Use this to your advantage. Direct the visitor to where you want them to go.
The savvy website designer will exploit this weakness, by creating a custom 404 error page. The possibilities are endless. Send the visitor to your default homepage. Send the visitor to a site map so they can choose where to go. Send the visitor to a sales page. Send the visitor to a bonus promotion that is only available to them. If you are building an opt list, try offering a free gift in exchange for filling out your auto responder form. As you can see, the choices really are endless.
I do try to let the visitor know that this is an error page, but make it fit into the theme of the website. This way the visitor knows that they did not end up on the page they intended, but it keeps them on your site and not backtracking. Above all else, you do not want to lose those sales leads.
Create those 404 error pages and increase the professionalism of your website.