Google Webmaster Tools Allow a Quick Fix for 404 Errors

Google Webmaster Tools Allow a Quick Fix for 404 Errors

When one of your website visitors clicks on a broken link, they encounter a 404 error page. Normally, this frustrates users but a little creativity can have your visitors admiring your brand instead of being annoyed. Your goal should be to turn your visitor's annoying experience into one that makes them smile.

Conventional wisdom says to let visitors know you’re sorry and provide a solution by helping them find what they need. with helpful links. You can also give your visitor the option of reporting the problem. If you have a large website, this can help you track down errors. Use Google Webmaster Tools to track errors on your website before visitors report them. Never imply the visitor made a mistake and point out their error or make them feel like they ran into a brick wall. People mistype URLs all the time.

The Belgium-based NotFound project gives publishers the opportunity to show a missing child's image on your 404 page along with information about whom to call if you have seen the child. While the project only covers missing children in European countries, it should similar spark ideas for webmasters worldwide. There are already more than 600 participating websites donating space on their 404 error pages.

Error pages offer the opportunity to reinforce your brand. Developers often find humor helps dispel visitors frustration from the over-the-top reaction of Pixar's Sadness to the 80s style fitness class from a UK gym. It makes a notoriously boring page fun.

As a designer, making bespoke 404 pages will increase your worth in the eyes of clients. Tell clients that creative 404 error pages help keep visitors on the site reinforces their brand. Naturally, you should set up 301 redirects and keep visitors from reaching a 404 error page to maintain your link equity. For more information click here

Google Webmaster Tools 404 Errors