Here are things your 404 page can do – the first two are musts.
- Brand the page. Write the message in the voice you use in all of your communication.
- Include a link to your home page or include your site’s navigation at the top
- Use humor because this is a situation that calls for levity people
- List a couple of reasons they might have landed there: A link broke, we removed the thing you were looking for, the dog ate it.
- Suggest they read one of your best blog posts – with image – then link to it
Here are my favorites from around the web, so you’ll get an idea of the different ways this important and often-neglected page can make a difference for your business:
It’s branded, they have their nav bar at the top, and they own that something went wrong on their end and ask for your patience while they “put things back together.” Then they direct people to their blog, product page, and offer a link to a free demo.
- The Onion
If you don’t know the onion but you love satire and need a good laugh about the current state of world affairs, subscribe to their newsletter. You’ll get a sense of their sarcastic wit from their error page. So well done. And they offer a phone number for customer service on top of linking to their homepage.
- Dave Barton
Is a blogger and writes his like a dating ad. Sometimes just getting the message that you’ve gone somewhere in error works.
Who doesn’t like a cute dog? Sure to soothe savage searchers. What else they do well is the navigation at the top, a link to the home page, and a link to meet “the dogs of Amazon.” Who knew they had dogs but it’s a great engagement tool.