The 404 error is one of the most common HTTP status codes a user may encounter while browsing a website. There are several reasons why the server may return this error to visitors. Maybe because the visitor is requesting a resource that never existed on the site, the page was deleted, or there was an error pasting the URL into the browser.
In many cases, you choose to redirect pages to the correct URL to eliminate the number of 404 errors on the page. Although it is a great way to improve the usability of the site in general. However, this is an error that can appear in some cases over which you don’t already have any control, for example if the user is looking for a resource that simply doesn’t exist on the site. In these cases it is good to consider some options to optimize and exploit the 404 page error. In this article we list some alternatives.
Add related links to the first search
Although this is a standard page on many websites, it is not pleasant for visitors to encounter this error while browsing. For this reason, we are looking for a way to minimize the damage and publish a message and image that is consistent with the brand and that makes the user forget the error just encountered. An effective way to improve the user experience is to customize this page to display links to the user’s search. Whether the user typed the wrong word in the search bar or simply the keyword got no results. In this case, placing links to this word can be a great help for your users and prevent them from leaving the page in disgust.
In order to implement this method, you need to have some code experience or at least ask the app developers for help in integrating this functionality into the website. This increases the possibility of conversion and prolongs the user’s visit. As a result, the bounce rate decreases, a good indicator that your site provides a good user experience.
Add Important Navigation Links
While it’s common to place a nifty message, photo, and button to return to the home page, you can go a step further and place other useful links, such as: B. main menu sections of your website. In this way, the visitor saves a few seconds of navigation, since he avoids going to the home page and looking for the section or page that interests him the most.
It is important to identify the most popular or useful pages for your users. While it makes sense to place the main menu sections, in some situations it may be more efficient to select the submenu sections that are more frequently visited or popular. In this way, you provide an alternative to users, and when you have looked at the most popular links or sections of your site, there is a high probability that the user will not leave the page, after realizing that the resource does not exist.
Place a list of links to popular or recent entries
This is a beneficial strategy if your site is a blog or you have an affiliate blog space. It is a question of selecting the most popular articles, either since the creation of the blog, or those which have been part of a monthly ranking. If they are relevant topics, they may be part of the list of recommended links for your 404 error page.
In this case, it is important to carefully select the ads that appear on the page. You need to consider the topic, the number of times it has been viewed, shared, and the number of comments it contains. You should also analyze whether the topic in question is still relevant. It is preferable to choose recent or otherwise relevant topics, in order to provide the user with the information they appreciate.
Post links from free resources
If you continually offer free content on your website, 404 page is also a medium in which you can promote this content. Users love free content, there is no question. Maybe they didn’t realize when they entered the homepage that you offer download resources or free content, and on this page they find out about the resources you offer to the community.
As with the list of popular entries, you need to be careful about what content you offer for free, especially if you usually do it continuously and have plenty of resources to choose from.
The 404 error page is a common HTTP status code. Eventually, some visitors to your site will appear, and in some situations this is unavoidable. What you can do is remove links, optimize the search bar, and take advantage of the opportunity this type of error presents to improve your visitors’ user experience. Remember that it is not necessary to use only one technique at a time, you can combine some of them. For example, offering free resources and including articles might be the perfect fit for your blog if you usually share resource.