“Sorry, page not found”. When a visitor lands on a website and sees this annoying message, it will automatically create a negative experience.
Website owners and marketers can make the
most of 404 pages and turn this annoying experience into a pleasing and memorable one. But the question is how?
A 404 page is a landing page that appears when users click on a page that doesn’t work. It is the page your server displays when it can’t find the URL requested by the user.
It might happen when users type a wrong URL, click on a broken link or try to access a page that doesn’t exist. A 404 page, if used creatively, can delight your customers, create a positive brand image and convince users to stick to your website.
Creating a custom 404 page and incorporating important design elements can encourage users to click on the relevant page and stick to your website for a long. You can guide users to find the desired page by incorporating a site search option into the 404 page.
If you are thinking of optimizing your 404 pages and want to keep users on your website. Let’s discover the crucial design elements every 404 page should have to engage more visitors and move through the sales funnel.
1. Clear Navigation
Implementing clear navigation is one of the most important elements you should include to create a custom 404 page. It gives users the freedom to redirect where they want to go.
Providing a full navigation menu is a sensible strategy that enables users to find the desired page they want to go to. You can also redirect users to the home page or contact us page.
By redirecting visitors to other pages or adding a navigation menu to the 404 page will guide potential customers down the sales funnel. Adding a search bar is strongly recommended to help users find the desired page.
2. Use Interesting Images
Adding a funny or creative image to your 404 page will definitely make your website visitors smile. Instead of creating a generic 404 page, adding a creative touch to this landing page will allow visitors to remember your brand.
Using interesting images on a 404-error page can deliver the message you want to convey and turn the frustrating situation into a pleasing one. A professional web design company can better guide you on how to use funny, creative, and interesting visual content to create a positive brand impression on the users.
3. Keep It Minimal
Landing on a non-existent page is already an annoying experience and adding too many links, visual elements or content can make the experience worse.
Adding too much clutter to the 404 page will increase the cognitive load on the annoyed user. Minimizing cognitive load helps web designers to increase the usability of the website.
Try to implement key links, icons, and visual content that matters most for the 404-error page. This strategy will make the overall design of the page minimal, providing users with a pleasing experience.
4. Add a Persuasive CTA
Believe it or not, a CTA has the potential to increase website traffic, conversions and generate more leads. Since the goal of your website is to entice visitors to convert, CTAs act as a powerful tool to convince visitors to take the desired action.
A study conducted by HubSpot suggests that adding an anchor text CTA increased the conversion rate by 121%. Another study by Copy blogger says that a CTA button can create a 45% boost in the click-through rate. Using a catchy CTA can make a 404 page into a selling opportunity for marketers.
When it comes to designing a custom 404 page, try to use an awesome CTA button and intuitive copy that improve the overall experience of the error page.
5. Maintain Your Brand Tone
When designing a 404-error page, it is important to maintain the overall tone of your brand. When users land on the 404 page, it should truly reflect the brand’s vibe and tone.
Make sure the design of your 404 page is consistent with the rest of the web pages. Use the same colors and font choices to match the look and feel of your website. Don’t forget to use the logo, header, and footer to add a more consistent look and represent your brand identity.
It helps visitors understand that this page belongs to your website and they must be redirected to any other page to find the desired product/service. This design strategy strengthens your brand image and reduces their chances of leaving the site.
6. Include a Sitemap Link
The goal of creating a custom 404 page is to offer an awesome user experience. Adding an HTML sitemap is a great strategy to guide visitors where they want to go. Using the sitemap on 404 pages can significantly reduce the bounce rate and keep users stick to your website.
7. Include Exclusive Deals
Whether you are a service-based agency or an eCommerce business, offering a special discount or deal on the 404 page is a smart technique to convince visitors to stick to your website.
They will definitely want to know how to get the discount offer and make their mind to complete the purchase decision.
Are You Ready to Create a Custom 404 Page?
Creating a clever 404 page for your website has become a necessity for websites. A 404-error page gives you a great opportunity to catch the attention of your potential leads and turn them into customers.
From offering a positive user experience to representing your brand’s personality, reducing the bounce rate, and engaging site visitors, designing a custom 404 page can help convert prospects into customers.
Hopefully, these design practices will help you design a custom 404 page that helps you achieve your website’s goals.
Remember, the entire purpose of a landing page is to get your customers to take action, and this is how it happens. Your visitors have to click a button to convert.
Another thing to remember when crafting landing page copy is that visitors dislike reading block text. Large text blocks were the last thing on people’s minds.