When you find yourself staring at a static cold looking 404 page on a website it can very frustrating. You end up having to find the back button on your browser and you likely never visit that site again. This is because the webmaster didn’t take the time to replace the standard 404 (Page Not Found) page with a customized user experience. The 404 page could be the difference between a brand new client or customer and someone who never uses your services again. The solution is to build a customized 404 page that the site visitor will still recognize as a page on your site. Here are the benefits of making that change.
It’s a pretty simple concept if your 404 page looks like just another page on your website the user will be able to continue shopping or searching your site with ease. Including all of the site navigation on your custom 404 page is a must as the site user will simply click back to a main page of your site and find what they are looking for. If you include a search box on the customer 404 page they can even search to find the latest page.
Your custom 404 page can and should include some information on your top selling services or product. Your 404 should be setup to include these so that 80% of the people who land on it won’t even realize they’ve stumbled onto a 404 page and will click on the item or service they were looking for in the first place. Simply designing the custom page to include clickable pictures of the your most popular items or services will go a long way to ease any confusion your site user is experiencing.
Since they won’t be frustrated at the fact that your site appears to be “broken” the user will not lose confidence in your business. If this is their first time to your website and they have no experience with it before and they get a standard 404 they will immediately believe your company or business to be not refutable or worse out of business. When they see the custom 404 page they will instead continue shopping or browsing as normal as if nothing had occurred
Worst of all would be a 404 in the middle of the sales or service process. The user is ready to take action either to buy from you or fill out your contact form and they encounter a strange 404 page. Any reason you give a potential client to leave your web site and go somewhere else is a mistake. With the Internet there are likely 100 people offering the same services or products as you are.
In the end building a solid custom 404 page with the look and feel of your website will help with bottom line sales and success of your website. Considering the ease at which one is created it would be a smart move to make sure that you have one on your website.