If you have a website for your business, whether it’s a blog or an online shop, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of investing in a good 404 page. It could mean the difference between lost visitors and those who stay on your site and improve your conversion rates and your Google ranking.

What is a 404 page?

You’ve come across these when browsing websites. It’s a page that websites show you when you’ve clicked a link that sends you to a page that doesn’t exist. Many websites have awesome 404 pages that look great, keep the brand language and design in mind, and help bring the visitor back to a live part of the website.

Why is a 404 page important?

If your site doesn’t have a 404 page, and someone clicks a broken link or tries to reach a page that doesn’t exist, they get an error message in their browser. In most cases, visitors will simply forget about the website they’re trying to access and move on. If you have a 404 page on your website, then the visitor will see that page and can easily be redirected to the homepage, a landing page, or anywhere else on the site.

How do you create an awesome 404 page?

First, remember what the goal of your 404 page is: to redirect the visitor to the right part of the website. You want to make sure that when a person reaches the 404 page they understand that there’s a mistake and that you’re there to help them find what they’re looking for.

Like any page, there are two things to keep in mind: the design and the content.

The Design

The design of your 404 page should fit with the rest of your website and your brand. That means that the colors, logo, and font should be in line with your brand language.

It is also important to keep the page as uncluttered as possible. In most cases, it is nearly empty, with an image or solid background, a title, and one or two lines of text.

Remember to keep it light and fun, but not too detached from your brand’s image. If you have a very serious brand, don’t use funny images, but if you have a young and fun brand, it could be very productive to use text and images that will make the visitor smile or even laugh.

Remember that you want the user to realize two things as soon as they land on the page: Firstly, that this is not the page they want, and, secondly, how they can get to the page that best meets their needs.

The Content

The first thing you need to think about is the title. The 404 title is usually something very simple that automatically conveys an error without actually saying that word. Examples are “Oops!”, “Something went wrong!” or “Not found”.

The text you choose should be in line with the language you use on your website, in your marketing material, and in your social media activity. Once you have your title, you need to explain what happened. Here are a few examples of one liners to add under the title:

  • The page you’re looking for doesn’t exist anymore.
  • We’re sorry, but we can’t find the page you’re looking for.
  • We looked everywhere, but couldn’t find that page!

Now’s the time to add a link to redirect them to the right page. A relevant landing page or your homepage are always good, safe options.

Take the time to create a great 404 page – it’s worth it! Most of the best website builder platforms include everything you need to do just that – so take a look at our site builder reviews and start building your website today!

Karen Hayoun
Karen is a copywriter and social media strategist with extensive experience working with small businesses and corporations, both B2B and B2C. With her expertise in online marketing and knowledge of website creation, there’s no better person to turn to if you want to craft an incredible website that gets noticed.
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