Any semi-regular internet user will have come across what is known as a 404 error page at some point or another. These appear as a result of the websites server being unable to retrieve the requested information, usually due to someone clicking a dead or broken link.
While they have been around for a while, many websites have started to take advantage of these pages. They are a result of something go wrong, but businesses have realised that they’re an opportunity to build a greater relationship with their customers.
One of the most important things to do with a 404 page is to ensure that you’re not driving traffic away to another site. A plain 404 page is of no help, but it’s very easy to turn the broken link into something much more helpful.
Adding links to your homepage, other popular articles and including a search bar will provide your customer with a means by which to go forward and find what they need, rather than forcing them to go back or leave the site altogether.
Having a laugh
A great way to reach customers online is to make them laugh. Using humour on a 404 page doesn’t just amuse the customer but helps to build a relationship that may not be possible on other pages showing products, services or other serious information.
A funny picture, acknowledgment of the error in a light hearted manner and even friendly teasing can result in a really successful 404 page. Along with building a relationship, it will also provide comfort to those internet users who may become confused by a 404 page.
Stay on brand
Your businesses voice is unique and, while you will undoubtedly present it throughout the rest of the website, it’s important to remember that voice in the development of a 404 page. Staying on brand will reaffirm the voice and keep things flowing.