Our Best Words Blog

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.

http://latelategifts.co.uk/next-day-delivery.

Tips for a good Error 404 page:

  1. Avoid using “Error 404”
  2. Explain in simple and clear language what the problem is
  3. Make your apology short and to the point
  4. Offer one or more alternative links to your corporate website
  5. Avoid redirecting to your homepage (your customers and most search engines don’t like it!)
  6. Use the Error 404 page for additional information or to enforce your brand
  7. Add the main menu of the website and/or a search function ((e.g., Heinz)
  8. Add humor (carefully!)
  9. Make sure the Error 404 page has the same look and feel as your website (it is part of your overall branding!)
  10. Include an email link for feedback

 

It takes all of three seconds for someone to decide if your website is worthy of their time. Three seconds might seem like no time at all, but when it comes to catching someone’s eye or supplying needed information easily, that’s all it takes to decide the fate of your site.

Want to create a successful site? Here’s a few tips to help you along:

1. Keep the flash and bang to a minimum.
While the temptation is there to make text blink and scroll, all it does in the end is annoy your audience. It’s alright to do it here or there, but not in abundance.

2. Use complimentary colors.
Clashing colors will make your audience flinch away from your site, finding it unappealing and quickly moving on to a different site.

3. Keep the scrolling down to a minimum on the homepage.
The more information someone can take from your site from the initial click the better. In general, people are lazy and don’t want to have to scroll forever to find what they are looking for.

4. Easily understood navigation.
Your audience shouldn’t need instructions when trying to find their way around your site. Keep the fonts legible and make the navigation area standout. If it’s too difficult, then they lose interest and move on.

5. Make the point of your site clear.
Who you are and what you are selling/marketing/informing about should be instantly clear to your audience.

6. Make sure grammar and spelling are correct.
Nothing says unprofessional more than displaying a site, in whichever language you choose, riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.

(Image courtesy of XKCD.com)