Understand what a 404 Error is and why it occurs
A 404 Error occurs when web browsers cannot access web pages, resulting in an interruption to the user experience. These errors are mainly caused by invalid web page addresses or web pages that might have been removed or updated.
While the causes range from mistyping a web page address to expired web links, a 404 Error keeps users from their destination page. Understanding the cause of these errors helps to both improve the user experience and make sure web pages can be easily accessed once they are online.
Ensure that your website has an easy-to-find 404 page
Having an effective 404 page on your website can be incredibly useful, and shows that you have taken the time to make sure visitors have the best possible experience when they navigate your site.
A good 404 page should not only inform visitors that they have reached a dead-end on the website but should also provide them with several options to continue navigating in order to get back to browsing your website.
Linking users back to the homepage or popular pages, or giving them a search bar can make sure they don’t feel lost and frustrated when visiting your website. With a few simple steps and tweaks, you can ensure that your 404 page stands out from the rest and makes anyone who comes across it feel informed and well taken care of.
Make sure the content on your 404 page is helpful and informative
It’s important to give online real estate shoppers a good user experience, and that includes providing helpful information on your 404 page. The 404 page is the online equivalent of a customer being directed to a store aisle labelled ‘Miscellaneous’;
it’s not where visitors expect or want to be. Your 404 page should not just serve as an afterthought or else visitors will quickly become frustrated and might leave your website altogether.
Instead, make sure the content on the 404 page is informative and helps online shoppers to find what they are looking for. This might include making suggestions of nearby areas to look for real estate, giving related search terms, or highlighting popular pages that might hold what they are seeking. By providing them with meaningful content, you can ensure that online real estate shoppers have an enjoyable experience even when their desired page may not be available.
Monitor for broken links or mistyped URLs to avoid errors in the first place
Even the most web-savvy webmaster can forget to leash in their online house-keeping. But, with careful maintenance and diligent monitoring for broken links or mistyped URLs, webmasters can ensure their web pages are up to date and not delivering errors. It’s all too easy to glance over these minor details that can create huge issues, but a careful webmaster will make sure they check in every so often to get rid of any broken links or mistypes before they have a chance to become a problem.
Utilize tools such as Google Search Console to identify any existing issues with your website’s user experience related to 404 Errors
Using web tools such as Google Search Console can be a useful way to identify and rectify any existing issues with the user experience of your website. One such issue could be 404 Errors, which indicate that the web page the user has tried to access has either been removed or never existed in the first place.
Undetected 404 Errors can lead to reduced website traffic and frustrated users, so regularly checking them through web tools will help ensure you’re maintaining an optimum online presence.