404 error page as a way to escape the Internet user
Each of us probably has encountered an error page more than once while browsing websites on the Internet:
Confusion at first - what is it? Where am I? What is this error? Have you been wondering what your reaction was then?
The vast majority have probably closed the browser window, believing that this is a place they should not go to. It's not what I'm looking for.
A question arises in this situation - are we able to do something about it? Is the internet user scared of the sight of "404 not found" - a typical error page information, is it not our potential customer or reader? After all, can we afford to lose it for such seemingly trivial reasons, and can we somehow remedy it?
The answer to this kind of problem is the error page that we will focus on in today's article.
Error page - what is it?
For an Internet user, an error page is simply a website to which he came from an incorrect link placed on the web or from an incorrectly entered url address in the browser window. This is a subpage of the website that may not exist anymore and - if the internet user who opens it does not find the appropriate incentive to stay on the website and go to another subpage - it may be the first and last visit to this place.
Do I need an error page?
Due to the fact that standard error pages that can be found on the Internet do not look attractive, many potential Internet users close the page. From the point of view of the owner of the online store, this turns out to be a considerable risk, because it actually involves the loss of an opportunity for a given user to make a purchase. Therefore, the mere fact of such consequences shows how important it can be to have a well-crafted error page. From the perspective of users who may feel confused, seeing the error information, and from the perspective of search engine algorithms, it makes sense to have an error page. Therefore, it is worth developing an interesting alternative for those who find such a place on our website, from which I will have the opportunity to enter our website anyway and possibly take advantage of the offer. This place on the website can also be used to encourage and attract the attention of Internet users, not allowing them to escape so easily. The main idea behind the error page is to keep the Internet user lost on the website thanks to non-standard and usability, so it is worth taking care of this element at home.
Error page for the biggest ones
As it turns out, the biggest players on the market do not always surprise with innovation in every aspect. An example may be the error pages of the largest websites on the domestic and foreign market.
For example, the error page of the largest search engine, which is not a very rich page, but it cannot be denied that it exists and fulfills its role.
A few other examples of the largest portals in our country are as follows. Wirtualna Polska gives you the opportunity, apart from going to the home page, to use the search engine and find the content you are looking for on the website.
Onet.pl does the same. Information about the lack of a given page along with redirects to the home page, to the e-mail or other significant places on the portal.
A question arises here, should all error pages be only informative? Did they intrigue you and encourage you to search further within individual websites in the form above? Maybe it is worth using them somehow more interestingly and intriguing the Internet user, so that he would like to stay on the big one in a given place?
Error page - what should it be?
At the very beginning, the thought that it should not discourage you in the first place. However, in order for the user to feel that he is within a given website, it should be consistent with the layout of the website he came to. If a user visiting an error page by chance knows our site, he or she will undoubtedly know that he is in the right place, and the links on it will help him find another place before deciding to close it.
Undoubtedly, apart from the navigation on the error page, the content on it is significant. Clear information in an appropriately selected language, along with well-thought-out navigation, can become a pass to keep an internet user on the website.
We are unlikely to provide a complete recipe for the perfect error page. However, we will show you some interesting examples that might inspire you.
Error page - examples, inspiration and ideas
By browsing websites and their error pages, one conclusion can be drawn. They are primarily intended to inform and not deter a lost internet user. Because isn't it more pleasant to find, for example, a graphic message informing that something has gone wrong, instead of scary information - an error, problem, 404 not found, etc.?
Below are some examples that really caught my attention. Maybe yours too - I encourage you to review and evaluate what an error page on your site might look like.
Helion didn't miss the opportunity and used the site very creatively, giving an added bonus to those who accidentally found their way to their error page.
Cenabiznesu.pl, a business website, clearly presented the missed target.
The play of colors and graphics can also give interesting effects - you can forget why you ended up in this place.
The content itself may be intriguing.
It is worth taking the opportunity to persuade them to behave in a certain way also on the error page.
It turns out that clicking on a broken link by an internet user does not always mean one thing - closing the page and the user fleeing the site.
As the examples above show, a well-designed error page can prevent this from happening. Therefore, it is worth trying to take care of this element of our website. This can be done by entertaining, intriguing or involving Internet users, in any case remember that the error page does not necessarily have to be scary and scary information that will alienate and scare almost everyone. Maybe it is thanks to the well-thought-out concept of the page with information about the error that it will be possible to stop anyone who found their way to the website, even in a place that would seem to be no longer available on the web.