Are you using your 404 page as a lead generator? Every website, no matter the design, will have the occasional lost visitor thanks to copy & paste errors or “fat finger syndrome.” If you’re using Wordpress, your theme will most likely give a message stating the page couldn’t be found and suggesting the user try refining their search. But why stop at the bare minimum? Why not help guide the user further down your sales funnel?

That’s where a plugin like 404page can help. Simply set up a page dedicated to act as the 404 page, install the plugin, and follow the instructions to set the page as the official 404 page. Technically you could have it redirect to your homepage or a sales page, but it’s best for user experience to let the visitor know something has occurred different from their expectation.

So what should be on the 404 page? Some people use funny images or a clever quote, and that’s perfectly acceptable. Whatever you want to stand out. But make sure you’re using the opportunity to suggest or direct the visitor to the primary goal of your website. Is the primary goal sales? Direct visitors to check out your latest product (with a link, of course). Want opt-ins for your newsletter? What a great time to mention the benefits of signing up!

It won’t boost your sales a hundredfold, but five or ten minutes of your time might help convert a few lost visitors to sales over the course of your site’s lifetime. And it shows your lost visitors that you go a step beyond simply using the defaults life hands you.

All St. John’s Media websites come with 404page by default, pointed to a 404 page with content based on conversations with the customer during the design phase. Contact me for more information or questions on 404 pages or SJM.