Helpful 404 Page Ideas that ConvertJanuary/30/2018
The 404 can be a extensible tool – not just a proclamation telling your visitors something went wrong, but a message to increase conversion and subscriber growth rate! An easy way to reduce user frustration is by displaying a cute or funny GIF, but what you really want is to turn that visitor into a customer.
There are good reasons for having a 404 page, especially for ecommerce. The more backlinks you have pointing to your site, the more popular it will be. There can also be SEO impact with a 404 page. A well-designed page loaded with helpful links will reduce the bounce rate. The more traffic and products you have, the more common it is for 404 pages will appear. Why, you say? With time, your stock will change, you’ll have one-off promos pages that will be removed and users will still be trying to reach them via those old links. Remember, in the digital world, information is eternal.
Backlinks are definitely good for your site, but old ones can be difficult to get rid of. It’s important to check your site for broken links and minimize the chance of customers being misdirected. While based off W3’s guidelines, the appTransportr extends the identification process allowing developers to quickly fix any 404 events on their client’s stores.
A 404 page is an opportunity to inject some personality into your brand. Embrace it as part of your culture. A good 404 page should always ALWAYS indicate an error has taken place and be consistent with your brand. Here are a few effective types of 404 pages:
1. Make sure to include search
Not the page you’re looking for? Provide a search box with common search suggestions. This element is imperative. Your 404 page must contain the main site navigation as well as a search box. This provides the user an opportunity to look for what they were originally looking for when they clicked that broken link in the first place.
2. Provide an Email Subscription Form
Now, if you use this method, make sure you’re giving the user a good reason to sign up to your newsletter. Be sure to provide a clear call to action and think about including a small incentive for signing up.
3. Ask if they Need Help
Be human, I know this is about conversion – but think positive brand. Either a chatbot with contextual responses based off query or a simple contact form.
4. Make it easy to find you
You can do this one of two ways, either show a link back to the homepage or just bite the bullet and re-direct them automatically. Let them know what’s happening with a quick line of copy so they don’t get confused.
5. Showcase your best stuff
Try showing some popular collections or featured categories the user might be interested in. This works best when you have a wide variety of collections. Showing a bestselling product has even more chances to attract a visitor. Just make sure you’re not linking to a product that’s out of stock ;)
Steve Madden does a good job using clever copy, eye-catching imagery and bestselling items.
6. Make a game of it
Adding a bit of fun like a mini-game to your 404 page is always good, but make sure you also include a way to get back to your products and services.
Modcloth has created a clever 404 page that suggests a random product that you can like or dislike. If you dislike a product, another will be shown. If you like it, you will be taken to that product page. This is a superb example of an engagement funnel.
7. Use Social Media
This can be included in addition to any of the items listed above. Just make sure the accounts you’re using are up and running and have some compelling content. There’s no use in linking to a social media outlet you aren’t using.
8. It's OK to be funny
Yes there has been an error, so include some emotion or feeling to make them chuckle! “There’s nothing here ... Unless you were looking for this error page, in which case: Congrats! You totally found it.”
9. Offer a Coupon Code
While this may be a an option, you're best not to treat this as a permanent solution. You don’t want users getting used to it, especially if you start to see a large number of users applying it to their purchases.
itGirl Shop offers a “secret” coupon code on their 404 page for a small percentage off your cart total.
- Make sure your 404 page is set up properly… and TEST it!
- Fix any broken links
- Check your traffic
- Help visitors find what they need
- Don’t re-direct to out of stock or unavailable products
By thinking outside the box, you can create an opportunity for your visitors to turn a possible loss into a win, and even drive sales! A good 404 page will also help people find the information they're looking for and encouraging them to explore. Take that step to further enhance your user experience and trust.
If you’d like to speak to someone from our team about implementing a creative 404 page, click here and book a chat with one of our account managers.