Is Your 404 Page A Beginning Journey – Or A Dead End?
Unfortunately, many websites and maybe even yours use plain 404 pages that tell the user only one thing, that what they are looking for is not there.
Rather than end your user’s journey with a stock 404 page, ensure your website design company develops a custom 404 page that will guide visitors around the missing page and back to what they want to see, increasing the chance that you can still convert that user.
User Behavior, Website Design, and 404 Pages
Broken links and missing pages are just a fact of life in website design.
Considering this, website design services recommend adding a custom 404 page to the list of must-haves for any design project, as the alternative can actually damage your website’s performance.
With no custom 404 page or at least a basic page with simple text indicating that a page is missing, users see they can’t get where they wanted to go and then do one of two things: hit the back arrow to go back where they were before or simply close out the site and look elsewhere.
Most tend to leave the site, which directly affects website performance and your ability to convert that user who left rather than waste more time clicking back arrows or try to get back to your homepage.
A Great 404 Page Can Save the Day!
Anytime someone reaches a 404 page on your website, there is a chance you will lose that user making it critical that you take steps to retain and guide them back into the site.
A great 404 page created by a website design company can effectively guide such users back to your homepage or provide them with other options to help them on their journey to conversion rather than send them away from your site.
A custom 404 can even build brand recognition and create a more positive user experience in spite of the missing page.
What Constitutes Great 404 Page Website Design?
An effective 404 page that retains users should include more than just the obvious message that the desired page is missing.
Instead, it should work as a tool to help users get back on track in their journey to find what they need.
To do so, your website design should include a custom 404 page that includes the following helpful elements:
- A Friendly Message – Have a message that meets the tone of your website and tells the user that the page they are looking for cannot be reached.
- A Bit of Humor – In creating that message, humor can go a long way. Jokes, puns, and other messages that make light of the situation are very effective in reducing dead link frustration and instead with increasing brand awareness.
- Consistent Design and Branding – Website design companies should create your 404 page using the same basic design and branding as the rest of the site so there is no question as to which website that 404 page came from.
- A Great Image – Whether it relates to the humorous message or business as a whole, a 404 with a fitting image reduces the harshness of hitting that brick wall. You can also get really creative by including a game or some other interactive function on the 404 to help reduce frustration and increase the likelihood that users will be forgiving and actually seek a way back to the site.
- Navigational Options – Beyond the message and branding, offer users options of where they can go from that page without having to close their browser or hit the back arrow. Include links to the homepage, website categories or links of interest, links to contact and FAQ pages, and others.
- A Way to Track It – Stay alert to broken links and missing pages by adding analytics tracking code to your 404 page and run regular tracking reports to find problems pages so they can be quickly resolved.
How Your Website Have A Custom 404 Page?
A missing page or dead link in your website design may not seem like a big deal; however, it can do a lot more damage than you think.
Prevent customer loss by having your website design service create a fun and functional 404 page for you.
Make your 404 a continuation of the journey to user conversion, not the end of the road!