Posts Tagged ‘404’

We’ve all encountered that page…the annoying standard “The page you are looking for cannot be found…”, but you don’t want your visitors to find those pages on your site do you?

As hard as you might try, if you have a big website or have changed the url structure, or even removed content, can you be sure your visitors are not seeing that annoying, and frankly useless, page?

Why not create a custom 404 page? Style it in the same manner as your website, and quite often having a funny tagline on the page  amuses users, but most importantly, they have remained on your website despite not finding the content they wanted.
Now is your chance to re-engage those users by offering them the content you think they may have been looking for.

There is a second reason to customise your 404 pages – and that is for the friendly spiders that visit your website!
If a spider follow an internal link on your website and comes to a standard 404 page, it will end it’s crawl as there is nowhere for it to continue onto. Having a 404 page that has your site menu and/or links to different content will give the spider somewhere else to go!

Of course, you need to ensure that the page returns a 404 and not 200 status, and you should remember to noindex the page, or block it with your robots.txt file!

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