Turning the Negative 404 Page into a Positive One

We all make mistakes from time to time. Some bigger than others – just ask Nigella Lawson or anybody that owns a Justin Bieber album. A smaller problem we’ve all faced at some point is the 404 page.

They appear when you type in a URL (web address) that doesn’t exist and you’re quite often directed to a cold, plain and ultimately disappointing page that doesn’t provide you with the information you need and makes you feel, well…quite stupid.

Many firms are wising up to this, and any company worth its weight in gold will come up with a helpful, and often amusing page, to keep the potential customer engaged.

Pages with character

Some of the best pages will use famous actors or cartoon characters, as well as a link re-directing them to the company’s homepage. Homer Simpson, Chuck Norris and even Marty McFly of Back to the Future fame have all appeared on some of the better pages on the web.

Other great 404 pages that have been well received feature iconic slogans or phrases, and even classic footage from film or media. Of course, whilst you can’t guarantee your customer will have a sense of humour, it distracts the user from that fleeting moment of disappointment and shows you are still interested in their custom.

If you have a website and are considering your own 404 page, have a think about your client base and what might work for them. Is there something clever that ties in nicely with your product or service? They say the customer is always right, which as well all know, isn’t always the case. If you can get it right when they get it wrong however, you may just have a customer for life.

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