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Why You Need a Custom 404 Page for Your Website

Save Your Web Traffic with a Custom 404 Page

As both consumers and business owners, we can agree that nobody enjoys landing on a 404-error page while browsing a website or clicking on a link. A 404 message alerts visitors that they have reached a non-existent page, meaning the URL requested cannot be found by the server. It’s a frustrating experience that, when handled incorrectly, could deter users from your site and decrease conversion rates. There are, however, ways to keep this fairly common occurrence from turning into a complete fail, and that’s through the use of a custom 404 page.

Let’s dive into why you should consider designing a custom 404 page in order to keep users from having a negative experience!

Maintain Your Overall Brand

Typically, default 404 error pages are bland, and definitely don’t live up to your brand’s image. It’s simple text telling you the page cannot be found, with little direction on what to do next. By designing your own unique 404 page, you can user colors and imagery that reassure users they have not left your site. Utilize your brand’s voice with creative messaging that helps explain the issue or guides visitors in the right direction. This may include a description of the error or a quirky message with something as simple as a link to another active page. Links in these instances are quite important, as they offer users a clear path away from the error.

Here is one example of a custom 404 page we designed for a client of ours in the insurance industry (with text that links back to the homepage):

Improve User Experience & SEO

When a user encounters a poor experience on a website, the chances of them leaving greatly increases. Patience in the era of advanced technology is thin. A traditional 404 error can mislead users into thinking an entire website is down, creating a high bounce rate and decreasing pageviews. With a custom error page, you can assure your visitors that only a specific page is broken, and that they can continue visiting other pages freely. Plus, the visuals will create a sense of professionalism and desire to continue their interaction with your brand.

Not only will the custom page decrease your bounce rate by keeping users on the site, but it will also improve the average time on site as visitors continue jumping from page to page. Paying attention to these metrics helps with SEO and creates a site that Google and your customers can trust. You may even increase sales and conversions by keeping users on your site, or at least leave them with a positive experience that has them coming back again and again!

Get People Talking

Sometimes, the need for creating a custom 404 is as simple as delivering a memorable or funny experience that gets people talking- and, more importantly, sharing. Aside from working directly to improve site traffic, consider the benefits of backlinks. If your imaginative 404 design catches the eye of a blogger or marketer, you could end up referenced in an article or shared on social media with a link back to your site. Backlinks from reputable sources can do wonders for your off-page SEO and help improve your position in the SERPs.

In need of a custom 404 page for your website? No matter the industry, the creatives at Kraus Marketing are here to bring your site the attention it needs! Contact us today to get started.