First, what is a 404 page?
Let’s face it, sometimes pages get deleted, renamed or moved elsewhere within the hierarchy of your website, by accident or intentionally. When someone visits your site looking for one of those pages or follows a link that no longer exists, usually they’ll receive a ‘404 Page Error or Not Found error’.
It’s always best practice to avoid broken links, search engines view websites with broken links as being low quality, providing a poor user experience. So, ensuring that your site is clean of broken links can help your search rankings improve.
What should they do?
Even if your site has no broken links, it’s common practice to have an error page designed to keep users on your website. Many websites add a bit of humor to the messages that appear on these error pages, Hootsuite for example treats the error with some fun.
We believe that 404 pages should still provide a friendly Oops! message along with some useful information that can help a visitor find what they’re looking for without leaving. Including links back to your home page, services and/or products, along with a link to your contact page can keep a visitor on your website, even though they arrived at a 404 page. Another good idea is to provide a basic site map along with your other links, to lay out all the pages on your website.
Do you need some help cleaning up and maintaining your website?
Do you have a lot of broken links or missing pages on your website that are serving up 404 errors? Contact us today to learn how we can optimize your pages to make sure visitors and potential customers can still get to the things they want to see without any hassle.