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  #1  
Old 07-16-2013, 09:09 AM
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Thumbs down Custom 404 Error Page: Can it impact the success of your site?



Let's talk about the 404 error page that is displayed when someone follows an invalid link...

How much time have you invested into this page?

Do you just have a basic 404 page that leaves the visitor wondering where to go next?

Does your page offer a search bar or further navigation to help the visitor find what they were looking for?

How does this relate to the success of a site? Does it matter?

Would getting creative with a custom 404 help keep people on the site?

Check out creative 404s.
http://www.wix.com/blog/2012/09/20-creative-404-pages/
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2013, 10:37 AM
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I do have a custom page and I do think them them very important.

Mine probably isn't done right as I don't think I am sending the 404 code with it. It is designed to be friendly and helpful to the visitor. They are the person I care the most about.
 
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:13 PM
snakeair snakeair is offline
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I don't have a custom 404 page created yet as the default one with my theme is just horrible and isn't eye catching or has links to other pages/resources on my blog.

For now since I am using cloudflare, I am using there 404 error page that is pretty good but the page does not look like my blog nor have same theme colors.

My page looks like the example on this page: https://www.cloudflare.com/apps/smarterrors

I do think it's important to have a custom 404 page that makes the visitors find something else to click on your website. A bad page can tend to scare off the visitor as they didn't find what they was after in the first place and your 404 page didn't help either or was to plain.
 
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:33 PM
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I also don't think of custom 404 pages..

404 error pages are by accident.. you didn't want to have it.... but in some cases.. pages are not found, deleted etc.. so you should try to redirect them to relevant page.
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 09:35 AM
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If you are serious about improving the success of your site, educating yourself plays a big role in the process. Interacting in topics like this one can make a difference for you.

Take time to look at this topic, follow the link, and post your comments here so we can discuss it.
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:43 PM
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I always use custom 404 pages - by default just text and a search form encouraging them to keep looking (or report if they're absolutely sure the page should be there). A step up is automatically finding relevant pages based on the URL or referrer, but it's usually not warranted to spend the extra time to do that on the sites I work with.

In addition to that I recommend everyone to sort out 404 hits from the logs and find URLs that should be redirected or pages that should be created.

I think it can have quite an impact - I don't have any hard data on this but I imagine the bounce rate is much greater for a standard 404 page than a custom one.

Oh, and as we've seen with some sites really witty error pages can actually go viral and get you brand awareness and traffic.
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemrod View Post
I always use custom 404 pages - by default just text and a search form encouraging them to keep looking (or report if they're absolutely sure the page should be there). A step up is automatically finding relevant pages based on the URL or referrer, but it's usually not warranted to spend the extra time to do that on the sites I work with.

In addition to that I recommend everyone to sort out 404 hits from the logs and find URLs that should be redirected or pages that should be created.

I think it can have quite an impact - I don't have any hard data on this but I imagine the bounce rate is much greater for a standard 404 page than a custom one.

Oh, and as we've seen with some sites really witty error pages can actually go viral and get you brand awareness and traffic.
[bolding is mine]

This is something that somehow I simply stopped (on some of my own sites) doing along the way and I know better than that. Thank you for the reminder.

When I come across an error page that is creative enough to make me smile it somehow personalizes the site for me, making me far more likely to hang around and check out more stuff.
 
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket View Post


Let's talk about the 404 error page that is displayed when someone follows an invalid link...

How much time have you invested into this page?
Quite a bit of time actually.

Quote:

Do you just have a basic 404 page that leaves the visitor wondering where to go next?

Does your page offer a search bar or further navigation to help the visitor find what they were looking for?

How does this relate to the success of a site? Does it matter?

Would getting creative with a custom 404 help keep people on the site?

Check out creative 404s.
http://www.wix.com/blog/2012/09/20-creative-404-pages/
Quite a bit of time actually.
For instance our Host Drive and Mia web sites both have custom 404's that are designed to deliver either a possible outcome and a list of other links within the website that they may be looking for.

My scripts actually email me to let me know when this happens so we can track down were/how a bad link may be coming in and from where so we can correct it.

Both of these links will show you what I mean:

http://www.hostdrive.com/fff
http://www.mia.net/fff

Looks a heck of a lot better than "PAGE NOT FOUND"...

Notice the tracking information provided on the hostdrive page.. That is sent to us.

We also placed our TOLL FREE order line on that error page to make sure we don't miss a sale, just because someone may have arrived at a bad link.


Last edited by Mia; 07-17-2013 at 01:05 PM.
 
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2013, 04:26 PM
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404 Pages are VERY IMPORTANT.

We actually have developed software for 404 page monitoring and tracking so that the client website can be adjusted to compensate for missing pages.

If your 404 page is "MISSING PAGE" style, and basic you are doing it wrong. You need to provide suggestions to the user. If it's a content site provide your top 5 articles in 1 column and your top 5 most recent in another.

The whole goal of the 404 should be to keep the user on your site, and clicking through more pages of content.
 
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2013, 11:19 PM
brucethomsan brucethomsan is offline
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i have a 404 error page and i give some link. through the link visitor can move on my site.
Like i have social media marketing agency and i am provide some social media. if any visitor going on 404 error page there is list of service with link visitor can back easily on my service page
 
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  #11  
Old 07-19-2013, 09:21 AM
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For those of you who are looking for more information on this topic, I found an article that touches on some of the things discussed in this thread.

http://www.webimax.com/blog/seo/page...ach-404-errors
 
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  #12  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:15 PM
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2013, 02:22 PM
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Hahahaha! I love it!
 
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  #14  
Old 07-19-2013, 03:40 PM
Dan Williamson Dan Williamson is offline
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This to me all boils down to usability again. I use custom error pages which are like mini sitemaps, with all of the general places to go linked to and a nice message to explain why they have arrived at that destination.

There's an interesting article about the benefits of custom 404s from an SEO/Marketing perspective here.
 
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  #15  
Old 07-21-2013, 01:13 PM
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Well, yes and no. Yes, I recognize the importance of a 404, both as a way of not losing a conversion or just frustrating a user. It's also a great opportunity to make users more receptive and accepting of your brand... some of the imaginative 404s posted are good examples of how an innovative page can strengthen the connection with users.

And so, because much like the cobbler with his children running around barefoot, I tend to do this on my clients' sites, but not on my own. Having recently redesigned my Top Shelf site to make it responsive, I really have no excuse...
 
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemrod View Post
I always use custom 404 pages - by default just text and a search form encouraging them to keep looking (or report if they're absolutely sure the page should be there). A step up is automatically finding relevant pages based on the URL or referrer, but it's usually not warranted to spend the extra time to do that on the sites I work with.
I agree, for me custom 404 error pages are a useability necessity for every website. People can type one character wrong in the address bar, or get to your site via an old or broken link (the person linking to you may have gotten your URL slightly wrong). Providing them access to the most popular pages on your site via the 404 turns a bouncer into a user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nemrod
In addition to that I recommend everyone to sort out 404 hits from the logs and find URLs that should be redirected or pages that should be created.
This is spot on.

I did this when I re-developed my site. All the page URLs changed from query strings to re-written URLs. Having a site with literally millions of backlinks, this meant that the most popular pages, needed to have 301 redirects created. This was important firstly, so that people are directed to the right place, and secondly, so that search engines recognise the new page as being the new version of the old page.
 
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  #17  
Old 07-25-2013, 11:26 AM
gura gura is offline
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That was the question I was looking for. Some of my friends have custom pages, for example : this item cant be found on our website, but insetad try those items and all other items are listed below. Taking into account the success those guys have right now on SERP, I think it doesn't affect at all
 
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2013, 03:34 PM
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I was just on a webinar where they were talking about optimizing a 404 page, but use it to actually capture an opt-in, so you don't lose the visitor completely. They were saying that they were getting a high number of opt-ins from this customized 404 pages they would've never had.

Here's the link to the blog post about 404 pages and how their software customizes this. I am a big fan of this software for squeeze pages, sign-up forms, webinar registrations, etc. Real easy to use if you are not a techy.

I don't have enough posts in this forum to post the link, so do a google search

on 'how to create a 404 landing page on lead pages'
 
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2013, 04:50 PM
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Is this the right link?
http://blog.leadpages.net/404-landin...e-bounce-rate/
 
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2013, 05:44 PM
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Yes it is. Thank you sir.
 
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