How many times have you put in the wrong information in the address bar for a blog and been forwarded to their standard 404 page? It happens too often. However, what happens too often is you get one of those default 404 pages that serve no purpose whatsoever.
What some of us don’t remember is the 404 Page may actually be one of the first things one of our new visitors may see. For that reason alone, we should make it useful and attractive at the same time.
Here are some things you can do to make your 404 error page more useful for both your readers and you.
Give them a search option
Give your visitors the option to actually search your site for what they might be looking for. All you need to do is add a simple search feature for this. And put it at the top of your 404 page.
Give them a way to contact you
If they can’t find what they are looking for, give them a way to contact you to ask for help. Why not start building a relationship with your visitors now? You may just turn them into regular readers and someday a new client or customer if you do.
Give them some useful links to go to
One thing we do on our 404 Page is to give our visitors links to a popular series we are doing. We also give them some useful blogging tips. Get them going in the right direction and visiting your blog post right from the 404 page.
Don’t overlook this great opportunity to give a good first impression to your visitors. And keep in mind, some of your visitors are going to land on your 404 error page. Even if you think it never happens. If any of you have a customized 404 error page, please share a link to it. By sharing our ideas, we can all make our own 404′s that much better.
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