Whether it's from a typo in the URL or a broken link from another page, eventually someone is going to land on the 404 error page of your website. It might not be at the top of your list, but here's why you should prioritize this web design task.
404 Error Page Affects Business
Your website design is your brand's first impression on the internet, so you want to put your best foot forward. When a user lands on a 404 error page, their first thought will be to leave your website entirely and visit your competitors instead. You can avoid that by giving them a well-designed page that leads them back in the right direction. This is called Conversion Rate Optimization and it's important for your business and your customers.
1. Give Them Something to Do
The user came to your site looking for something specific. If they don't find it, you can guide them back to where they want to go by keeping the page functional. Give them a link back to the homepage to try searching for something else. Or, give them a search bar to type in exactly what they're looking for. Link a few of your most popular pages on the website since that will most likely cover it. All these tools keep customers engaged with your site and prevent them from leaving.
2. Convey a Simple Message
The 404 error page that you design will apply to a variety of URLs so you can't be sure exactly what someone was looking for when they arrive at the error. For this reason, it's best to keep the page's copy clear and concise. A simple "Sorry, we're not sure what you're looking for" might be all that you need. Then, provide a helpful tool, like the ones mentioned above, to try and get them where they were looking to go. Although content is king, your 404 error page is not the place for a long story.
3. Use a Little Humor
You've likely heard the advice to make fun of yourself before someone else gets the chance to. As long as it fits with your branding strategy, feel free to use a little humor on your page. Tell a joke in the copy, add a popular gif to the page, or encourage website visitors to contact you about the mistake. This inspires them to keep exploring your website and makes your brand more relatable, even in the face of an error.
Web Design Company You Can Trust
These are just a few idea for designing a 404 error page that keeps readers engaged with your site. For more great ideas or help designing your own page, get in touch with L7 Creative. Our San Diego website design team has years of experience to build the best webpage for your business goals and success.