We are currently in the midst of one of the biggest UK general elections the UK has seen in some time. In classic British politics style, there have been various viral digs from the top parties, proving that Digital is at the heart of all of their campaigns, of course.

All technical jargon out of the way; let’s celebrate the quick-thinking of whoever is in charge of the Liberal Democrats website and Marketing. They have tactfully changed the party’s 404 page( default error page for those who are wondering what’s going on) after the news that Theresa May would not be showing her face at the TV live debate ahead of the General election.

Despite what your political preference may be, this is an ingenious use of a custom 404 page and cements the need for Digital innovation in an extremely crowded environment…

Liberal Democrats 404 error page

Alongside their quick whited humour and speedy Digital pulse they have also added a vital call to action to aid the user journey. By providing four key next step landing pages whereby the user can continue their process, they are ensuring the user reaches their end goal.

The Power of the 404 Page For Ecommerce 

Businesses who invest in their Digital Marketing channels know that it’s important to drive relevant customers to their website. They know that they need a surge in visitors in order to achieve a return on investment. However, what they are often not so hot on is the need to retain those customers. There’s a common rule in business that states it’s cheaper to hold on to an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new one. This is certainly the case if you are utilising PPC advertising and paying for each new customer who lands on your site. This is why a 404 page is a fundamental element of any website, don’t ignore it!

Let’s face it, sometimes things go wrong. This is especially the case in the world of Digital. Links may break; URL’s may change and not be replaced by 301 Redirects (an SEO nightmare in itself). If this is the case, a bad user experience may take your potential customer to a page that looks something like this:

bad 404 error page

I challenge you to find a web page that is uglier than the one above.  Now imagine a potential customer landing on this, the chances are they are going to run a mile and find a site that has their buying journey nailed. Customers can be cut throat, nobody has time to hang around to find a solution themselves, sadly.

You cannot assume the average customer shopping on your website is tech savvy. When they are faced with a 404 error page with no explanation of what has just happened and no way of getting to where they need and want to be, confusion will set in and abandonment will happen.

Want a 404 page that will work for you and your business without offending your competitors?  Ask yourself these top questions:

 

  • Is it visually appealing – black and white just won’t cut it

 

 

 

  • Does it reflect your branding?

 

 

 

  • Are you linking back to a key landing page where your customer can convert?

 

 

If you’d like us to give you a helping hand with your custom 404 error page – get in touch today