Your corporate website will sometimes show an Error 404 page to your website visitors. There are several reasons why this occurs:
- The URL written in the Address Bar may have incorrectly been written.
- The link to the page may be broken.
- The page may have been moved to another site.
From a marketing aspect, the Error 404 page offers an opportunity to engage the visitor. Having a good Error 404 page may even be as important as having great web content!
It provides an opportunity to communicate with page visitors and direct them back to your website. It is therefore a chance to re-engage them.
Many organizations realize this and have created some outstanding Error 404 pages – often using humor.
An example of such an Error 404 page is the one of the UK company “late late gifts”. It fits their brand perfectly.
Tips for a good Error 404 page:
- Avoid using “Error 404”
- Explain in simple and clear language what the problem is
- Make your apology short and to the point
- Offer one or more alternative links to your corporate website
- Avoid redirecting to your homepage (your customers and most search engines don’t like it!)
- Use the Error 404 page for additional information or to enforce your brand
- Add the main menu of the website and/or a search function ((e.g., Heinz)
- Add humor (carefully!)
- Make sure the Error 404 page has the same look and feel as your website (it is part of your overall branding!)
- Include an email link for feedback