What exactly is a 404 page? Does it even matter in digital strategy? In your digital marketing strategy and your ongoing effort to get the right traffic at the right time to visit your website, things will not always go as planned.
The key is to capitalize on mistakes when they occur, even if your strategy is perfect.
On occasion, people may not be able to find exactly what they’re looking for on your website for reasons beyond your control. That will likely result in them landing on your 404 page.
What is the 404 page?
The 404 page is the most common error page that visitors will encounter on your website. This message is basically telling them that they’ve reached a dead end. People can get to this point in two main ways:
- Through Their Error: When they type something incorrectly in the browser and end up on a page that doesn’t exist.
- Through your Error: The user attempted to access a page that no longer exists by clicking a link to a deleted page.
Whether someone landed on your 404 page due to a mistake you made or a mistake they made themselves, the 404 page is still an opportunity page and a chance to convert in various ways.
Visit your website and then enter something meaningless into your browser’s address bar to find your own 404 page.
For example, type www.yourwebsite.com/zzz.
That will take you to your 404 page.
However, even though it is only an error page since it is probably the most common error page that people will see, it makes sense that you would optimize it and allow the user to find what they want, or even better: what you want them to find (that’s where the opportunity lies).
How to take advantage of the 404 error page?
A map (or directions) would probably be the most valuable thing you could have at that point in time if you were lost or if you took the wrong turn and ended up at a dead-end.
Consider your 404 page as a map or set of directions for someone who is lost.
The best way to build a 404 page is to give the user many options to select from (or where you want them to go).
A technical error message is a very unpleasant thing to see because it is not helpful. At this stage, you have the opportunity to direct the participants where to go (which is a great opportunity because you’re able to direct them).
For example, you can:
- Provide a link to your latest or best deals.
- Provide a link for them to learn more about your comprehensive buying or selling processes.
- Provide a form for them to contact you or ask you a question.
- Include the link to your most recent or most popular blog posts for visitors to read.
- Add anything that keeps your visitors hooked.
In the end, you have to take your digital strategy into consideration in all its aspects and fine-tune it accordingly.
The 404 pages are still an opportunity; to make them a valuable part of your digital strategy, you should give a lot of options to anyone who is lost or has reached a dead end on your site.