Have you ever landed on a 404 page or “page not found’ and had no clue what it was about? Yes, this has happened to many. 404 pages appear when you follow a broken link or type a web address that doesn’t exist. If you own a website or blog, having a broken link creates a really bad experience for your readers. Time is everything now a days. You have a very short time to get someone’s attention. Search engines view it as an indicator of low quality, which in turn is affecting your websites visibility & ranking. But don’t be discouraged, there are ways to make a 404-page beneficial to you.
What is a 404 page?
“A 404 page or not found page is a hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) standard response code in computer network communications, to indicate that the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.”
I know it can be a little confusing, so let’s break the 404-page meaning down just a bit. The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the web address. The URL’s contain the protocol, domain name and path to the website page. So, let’s say your website’s URL is https://Ilovethe90’s.com/blog, and maybe someone slips up and types https://Ilovethe90’s.com/blagggg. Due to the path being the last word, instead of “blog” the user typed “blaggg”. So, when the user is searching this address, the 404 page will appear since the URL does not exist.
Use The 404 Page To Your Benefit
Using the 404 page to your benefit is key. Even though it’s frustrating, there are companies that have turn their 404 page to their benefit. It’s traditionally been an immense source of frustration. But in recent years, creatives have taken up the challenge of designing bespoke 404 pages that use humor, great UX or beautiful design to at least sweeten the pill of finding you’re in the wrong place. Many web designers have turned the 404 page into something creative and brilliant- check out these creative solutions to 404 pages. The 404 page used to be viewed as a website error, and now it’s been repurposed to have a unique impact.
Done well, a 404 page can become a mini-ambassador for the website itself. It might even be shared on Twitter or relevant blogs as an example of the site’s keenness for customer service or unique approach to design. Even if your website has no broken links, it’s a good practice to have a 404 page in place when people mistype a website address. The 404 error pages we present here have achieved all this and more, so look and be inspired to think outside the box with your own. In terms of SEO value, this reduces any “pogo sticking’ from taking place and supplies your site with more SEO juice. Instead of being a detriment to your SEO, 404s can become an asset.
You’re basically turning a negative into a positive—pretty sweet.
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