Any SEO company would vouch for the profitable prospects of a 404 error page. However, the common belief is that visitors vacate the page as soon as they see the error message never to return later. An error page 404 denotes that the page a user is searching for doesn’t exist. There can be different reasons for its absence starting with transfer or movement to another address and a mistake while typing the address to server unavailability and several other reasons. But, instead of scaring away the visitors, such a page can be utilized for more productive purposes.
Let us see how an effective and profitable 404 error page can be created or designed:
- Be transparent with your visitors. Instead of confusing them, it is always better to inform them that the page searched by them does not actually exist. You can do this with the help of a simple message “page not found”.
- There should be a link to your site’s homepage in the error page. Also, the logo on each of the pages should be linked to the home page since it is user tendency to click on the logo intuitively. If that cannot be done, at least a highlighted link ought to be placed.
- The 404 page should be designed in accordance with the structure of your main site so that it is easier for your target audience to understand this is the same website they were searching for and they have not bumped into any other.
- Pay special significance to the search field. Your visitors should be able to locate a highly-desired and popular page by entering the articles’ titles.
- Engage the attention of your users by providing them with a list of some popular publications. Some interesting readings and materials should be visible on the top which can not only attract viewers’ attention but also retain them for some time.
- Equip your site with guides, sheets and FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions. If the structure of your site is complicated and the 404 error page is shown by Google Analytics for most pages of your site, you have to give a serious thought to creating a help page.
- Your visitors should never be overloaded with links. It is one mistake that is committed very often. A number of links is placed on the 404 error page with the intention of making your visitors click one or the other. However, such a practice is strongly disapproved by a SEO company specially indian seo company . They believe that 10-15 important links are more than enough.
- Advertising should not be placed on the concerned page. After all, your ultimate aim is to help your visitors locate your site and not earn some extra bucks from them.
- Avoid redirections. Many webmasters redirect it to the home page which is not recommended at all. Rather, it is a better idea to inform your visitors about the absence of the page in the concerned address.
- Ask help from your users. If you are frequently faced with 404 error and are unable to identify them at the right time, seek help from your visitors.