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The perfect 404 page

 

You either clicked on a non-existing link on our website or you are reading our manual for a perfect error page. If the first of this applies we are very sorry and recommend you to search for the required page in our navigation bar.

But if the second is applicable we are happy to explain you why error pages are so vital for websites.

Reasons for 404 error pages

Sooner or later every website will be changed and therefore some links are changed too. Those links are not (immediately) updated by search engines nor by external websites. By clicking on one of the old links users will be directed to the mentioned 404 error page. By the way – you are on our own 404 error page.

Avoiding error pages

To keep your visitors you should have an extra eye on avoiding error pages. The easiest method is to adjust your own sitemap after all kinds of changes changes. Sitemaps are your blueprints of your website that are directly submitted to search engines such as Google and Bing. If your sitemap gets an update this information is spread amongst those search engines. The most effective way is to redirect your dead links to the new page. To do this you have to know where to find your dead links and this is mostly known to those that have a greater knowledge about the whole topic.

Thanks to our SEO Software in for Websites based on WordPress you can easily utilize the method of redirecting dead links within a few clicks even as an amateur.

Improve error pages – lead the way

We barely recommend such an extensive website as your error page because a user is generally looking for different content. But in this particular case it makes sense for us because we would like to demonstrate how an unimposing website can reveal potential.

However we recommend you to create pleasant, clear and diverting error pages by focusing on the following elements:

  • (easy) navigation with all important sections
  • (easy) Keyword search, ideally with auto-completion or with automatic search function (also known as Ajax-Search)
  • nice, pleasant and possibly matching picture for that site
  • headline clearly stating that the user is not on the correct website
  • you can give recommendations for the most important sections
  • your can place your contact details and contact forms just in case the user has questions

Develop creative error pages

We have already outlined why our 404 error page is slightly different and is used as a manual. But there are far more ways for the use of an error page. For instance you can utilize it to send your (potential) clients a treat for finding the error or set up a chat that addresses the visitor individually.

Generally speaking you have thousands of possibilities to be creative and we advise you to eliminate the negative touch about the error page and be surprising with something unforeseeable or even witty. We have made a collection of samples on pinterest.

If you miss particular information – please don’t hesitate to share your interesting ideas with us.