Statistics say that a very high percentage of users who have landed on an Error 404 page will never return to it, but all is not lost! You can counteract this effect and get more conversions by customizing the 404 pages, although there are many more reasons to do it, and we’ll tell you about them here!
Error 404 is a real annoyance to anyone, of that there is no doubt! Although many ignore or forget it in their SEO techniques and optimization of user usability, it has the power to elevate Web positioning and improve rankings within Web search engines, when it is seen as an opportunity to gain trust with your website on users, potential customers, and improve the user experience; something highly valued by Google these days.
The generic 404 Error, the one that comes by default from the Web server or the CMS such as WordPress, indicating only “Page not found”, must remain in the past. Now, it is time to consider it one more page that can leave you great assets, such as improving your conversion rate and maintaining the trust of your frequent customers.
There are many reasons why experts advise people to customize the 404-error page, and here we will tell you all! Well, SEO consultants witness to how many of their clients have been able to improve their SEO and gain authority just by ‘making a few fixes’ to their Error 404 page.
So, if you require professionals to help you, contact them as soon as possible so that they will take care of creating a 404 page for you. Fabulous, useful and up to the standard of what web page users are looking for.
What is Error 404 and why does it occur?
Error 404 is a message that appears when a user tries to locate a page that no longer exists or has been moved, or when trying to access a misspelled URL (Web address).
The main cause for Error 404 pages to appear is broken links.
Many do not understand that they should take care of your 404 pages, like any other on their website. But we will show you by illustration. Imagine the scenario of someone who goes to a store that they frequented and finds that it no longer exists, either due to partial closure, change of brand or transfer.
What is the most logical? That the client gets, at least, a message with a brief explanation and the new address of the store, so that he can reach it.
Here are two clear options: the first is that when the customer finds the message on the door of the establishment, follow the route that they have drawn for them and go to the new address that they indicate.
The second possibility is that they do not leave any note, so the client will look for another nearby provider to supply their need, given that they only found a closed and empty store, which translates into disappointment and bad user experience. Do you think this customer will return to find the same empty store again? No!
Do you understand the magnitude of this matter? A generic 404 page only adds customers to your competitors, that’s why you have to start customizing it as soon as possible.
Error 404 can be expensive!
Although it sounds a little alarmist, Error 404 can be expensive! Just like in the example above, many customers who find the closed doors of their frequent store, or a store they already trust, will be discouraged when crashing into an Error 404 page.
This can make you lose money, by lowering your conversion rate and because many of the users do not tolerate 404 errors, and they will immediately run to your closest competition. Yes, customer loyalty is a variable and ephemeral factor, in which it is convenient for you to work.
According to statistics, more than 70% of customers who encounter an Error 404 will never buy from that website again!
Continuing with the statistics, these report that only 23% of users will have the determination to make a second attempt to locate the desired page, in the face of an Error 404.
This is highly dangerous, especially when it comes to frequent customers, from an audience that already trusts you and values your brand because if they are not satisfied with the performance of your website, they will be part of your new list of ‘lost customers’.
By the way, as our intention is to persuade you to start improving your 404 websites quickly, we leave you with some discouraging last figures: getting a new client will cost you 5 times more than maintaining a regular client, and more than 70% of the clients that run into a 404 error, they will not buy from your website again.
Numbers don’t lie! And you don’t have to be the ‘numbers magician’ to know that this requires immediate SEO intervention. And no, it is not enough to leave a funny image, or statements like ‘the page cannot be found’, ‘we apologize’.
Here, you have to understand what the user wants and leave him a solution. You have to customize Error 404 and make it look like a help platform for the user, rather than a failure platform that you have not been able to attend to.
Reasons to customize Error 404 page
That phrase of ‘seeing the positive side of things’ falls like a ring when it comes to dealing with page 404 because, with some cunning and imagination, you can get many benefits, such as improving in the rankings of Web search engines such as Google, increase traffic and maintain customer confidence and portfolio.
Below we explain in more detail why you need to customize the Error 404 page.
Boost your brand
If the typical and outdated 404 page detracts from your brand, a custom 404 Error page has the potential to boost it.
With enough intuition, prediction, and creativity you can make the famous ‘page not found’ a pleasant and useful experience for your customers.
It shows a clear path for the user to access a solution, leave them content related to what they are supposed to be looking for and do it all in a fun way so that the page does not look heavy or boring. What we are saying is that you consider the user experience (UX) also on your 404 pages.