Ecommerce owners invest a lot of time and attention on their core pages, particularly the homepage and product pages. This strategy makes sense, as these pages are the most popular and convert the best. Surprisingly though, many online store owners overlook conversions by not including their page 404 in their optimization plans.
No matter how neat your URL structure or redirect profile is, customers will still attempt to access pages that aren’t there. This could be by entering the wrong web address, clicking on a broken link or typing in the wrong address. Optimizing your 404 page will help you direct wayward visitors in the right direction and indirectly improve your conversions.
What is a page 404?
A 404 page, also known as a “Not Found” or error page, is displayed when a visitor clicks on the link or enters a URL that points to a page that does not exist or has been moved or removed. A 404 page indicates that the website is active but the page is not.
You’re likely to have encountered a lot of 404 pages if you spend a lot of time surfing the web. This can be frustrating, especially if the default page 404 offers no explanation or means to return to the site you were browsing.
It can be difficult for large websites to avoid 404 pages if there are many pages. Site owners should try to limit the number of pages with 404 errors that they have on their site. They are often viewed as poor quality and a bad user experience.
There are two types of 404 pages
There are two types 404 pages: default and custom. Visitors will be taken to the default error page by their browser if they don’t have a custom page. This page doesn’t allow them to continue on the site. It can lead to lost customers (or visitors) and even lost sales for ecommerce websites. If frustrated visitors are unable to find the path to their desired page they will abandon the site and visit a competitor. This is the default page 404.
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The custom 404 page can be linked to related pages or other products to encourage customers to continue shopping. The custom 404 page will allow you to keep your visitors on your site and not just bounce to another. Here’s an example of a customized 404 page.
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A custom 404 page instead of relying upon the default page is a good practice for any website.
The Key Features of a Custom-404 Page
To ensure a great user experience, there are some key elements that every custom 404 page should contain. Below are some details about each point.
1. It should match the style and tone of your other sites
This page should alert visitors to an error but it should be cohesive with your other websites. This is done by ensuring that the design, tone, as well as the corresponding elements on the page, are consistent with your brand. This will ensure that visitors feel secure that they are not being redirected to a less-secure area of the internet. Instead, they are being taken to a section that is familiar to them.
2. This is clearly stated that it is not the expected content
Customers may not be familiar with 404 pages. It is a good idea to let customers know that the page they are trying to access is not available by using a bold, large heading. It’s clear that visitors are seeing this page because of an error. This is not the case if the page content is completely different to what they were looking for.
3. Describes succinctly the journey of the user to this place
After you have made it clear that the page appears because of an error in their URL, explain to your customers why this might have happened. So that customers don’t have to wonder why they are here, explain that the page is either not available anymore or that they mistyped it. Try to make it humorous to remind your customers that it’s not a big deal to unexpectedly arrive at this page.
4. Your site will direct users to other useful areas
Customers shouldn’t be left behind on this page. Instead, make sure to provide clear calls-to-action which direct customers back to important pages of your website. While most people will send them back directly to your homepage, you might also want to direct them to important pages in key categories that are likely to remain unchanged. This will help you keep shoppers coming back to your online storefront, rather than making them search the internet for alternatives.
5. Keep your site’s search bar and navigation menu intact
Last, make sure that navigation tools found on other pages of your website such as a top navigation menu and search bar are available on this page. This functionality ensures that the customer is still on the same site and gives them access to a multitude of linked pages to quickly browse so they don’t feel tempted to leave. This will help you keep your branding intact on this page.
Although your 404 page might not be your first priority when it comes to web design, it is something you should pay close attention to. An effective 404 page will minimize confusion for your customers and keep them on your site so they can shop again. It also reinforces your branding.
By: Elisabeth Newell
Title: Creating the Best Custom 404 Page for Your Ecommerce Business
Sourced From: www.volusion.com/blog/creating-the-best-custom-404-page-for-your-ecommerce-business/
Published Date: Mon, 23 May 2022 15:05:00 GMT
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