Website errors do happen for every brand and business and it’s inevitable too. But what visitors see when they reach an error page is completely up the designer. Will the error page continue to engage the visitor or make them leave immediately? Optimizing a 404 and other error pages has the ability to increase visitor engagement, but it is often overlooked. One-time effort will go a long way in improving the user experience of the website.
SEO And Keyword Ranking Benefits
An error page, particularly 404 page, is a strategic location to add internal links. The homepage, popular content and category pages are all great features to include on the 404 page. These keyword-rich links provide an opportunity to boost keyword rankings for target pages and ultimately drive more traffic. Another important aspect of a 404 page without optimization is the crawl errors encountered by Google auto bots. This will also make sure that your website doesn’t have any soft 404 error too.
Essential Elements Of 404 Page
Every error page can be customized for the particular business and brand, and it would be perfect for the website if the error page is developed from scratch. But basic error page customization will become complete with these practices. For an online store, throw in an offer for a free consultation or trial of your product / service. If the user visited for the content in your website, suggest to check out the blog or to subscribe to RSS feed to keep up with future articles. Or simply add a contact form so people can just ask you about what they were looking for along with social media links.
Designing An Optimized Error Page
In Word Press CMS, every theme has a 404 Template that you can edit, which can be viewed in the appearance > editor section. Other CMS also have this feature of easily editing a template error page. More important aspect of this is to design the page with same look and feel as the rest of website.
Though optimized error pages will greatly improve the user experience, but the better situation is not having any error pages. Also monitor and correct the errors on Google analytics. By creating an alert for 404 traffic, the errors could be remedied at the start itself. Analyze the navigation summary report and time maintenance period every once in a while.
I am the Digital marketing manager of Rarefly and I post blogs related to our services and at times information oriented. Our range of services include Website development, Branding, SEO, SMM and Designing among others. For more detail, please click here.