jump to navigation

How can you Use “404 Error”, as a Marketing tool? April 17, 2007

Posted by misti in 404 error, amazon, blog, business, Computer, cyber, E-commerce, Email Technology, Google, Internet, marketing, News, Organic SEO, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Industry News, sem, seo, Technology, Windows.

Few months back, I found a 404 error webpage in my own website, while accessing it. Unfortunately, I found my website URL in the search engine result pages, blogs, articles and links backs on other websites. I was unaware about the whole scenario i.e. how did it take place, why my website’s webpage is caught under such 404 error and what are its drawbacks! Well, by doing some of research works, I found 404 Error occurs when your server is unable to find the webpage may be for the reason it’s been deleted, renamed or moved.

The disadvantage of the 404 error page is counted on the fact that the website owner’s business ends down losing all its customers. I was very much bogged down and was panicked by the fear of losing my customers and invariably the sales leads due to 404 error webpage. My website is very new and at this point of time, it’s very obvious that my business will definitely not relax and flourish in the “Bed of roses”. It will get to face hard facts and new challenges from almost every possible area. So, I should look up to meet the challenges that comes in its way and not let myself and my business at any circumstances. Accordingly, I pulled up my socks and was ready to fight to survive

How can you use 404 Error webpage to generate profit ?

Initially, I was a bit panicked of the unusual behavior of my website but later on found that this is not a seriuos issue at all. As a marketing mind, I thought that something must be done to make the 404 error as a handy marketing tool and find new customers by turning the 404 error webpage into a marketing message. While I was on the research for this process, I came across several blogs, articles, books and other offline stuffs. From such invaluable sources, I learnt many things which I am going to summarize it now, to help many others who are the current victims of ‘404 error’. Here are the following:

Unite your Website’s look: Looks, navigation and feel of the websites are very important to attract and keep your website visitors interested. Unite your website’s looks and build a sense of belief in your customers that your website is the right place for them. The design of your 404 error webpage should closely resemble your website’s homepage and just tactfully inform them that 404 error webpage is the wrong place and the page they are intending to find cannot be found. Your approach should not end here. Read further in the coming next steps.

Provide useful information to your customers: You should provide useful links to your customers on the 404 error page itself. Invite your customers, who have landed on 404 error webpage of your website, to click around and your site navigation will guide them where they can go. Provide and help your customers with some useful information, links and resources which they might intend to find. This will really work.

Build a business relationship with your potential customers: You can also try to build up a business relationship with your potential customers. Direct them to your online newsletter source; help them with some kind of business offer to get them listed on your future e-mail leads. You should also recommend some products and services of yours and propose them with some profitable business ideas on your 404 error page.

Use Marketing words in your Marketing Message: It’s very important to use ‘buttery’ words instead of manipulative and harsh words while preparing a marketing message on your 404 error webpage. Do not ever use pressurized words like ‘buy now’, ‘order now’, ‘last chance for this offer’ etc. Encourage your customers to buy your products and services and always give them some time to think about purchasing your products and services. Offer suggestions, recommendations and resources and most importantly, imbibe into your customers’ minds that you value them. That’s the trick.

Entertain your 404 error webpage with lots and lots of information and fun stuffs. Publicize your 404 error page with the user-driven communities like articles, blogs and social networking websites. Do not wait for anything to happen by time. Let you work out the right time for your every business act. Put all your best efforts to recover your lost investments and that to in a profitable manner.

Recommended Books:
Error 404-Not Found – by Various Artists
Listing Closed Due to a Multitude of Community Rules Violators – by Error 404
Error’s Chains – by Frank S.Dobbins
Search Engine Optimization – by Jennifer Grappone
Stop 404 errors? – by Julia Kelly, Curt Simmons

Related links:
Using the customised 404 error page 
How to keep the visitors interested? 
Turn your Error page into revenue destination! 
How to stop 404 errors?



1. Justin L - April 17, 2007

Cool…you’re so right that Error pages offer great opportunities. Every weakness can always and should always be turned into opportunities!

The problem is, many IT depts are not willing to spend the time on converting these Error pages. Perhaps it’s a breakdown in communications here.

As such, they should educated or be shown the VALUE to adding valuable information on Error pages.

Good stuffs!

2. Steve - April 17, 2007

Great info. If you’re not handling a Page Not Found error, at the minimum does it make sense to redirect to the home page?

3. Justin L - April 18, 2007

But redirecting the Error Pages back to home page by default…doesn’t that defies the whole purpose of having Error Pages?

when errors pages are automatically redirected back to the home pages, will the webmaster know if there are any errors on the site?

4. Steve - April 18, 2007

>> But redirecting the Error Pages back to home page by default…doesn’t that defies the whole purpose of having Error Pages?

Error pages are good if handled properly (eg. point user to next best page, suggest a different URL, etc). Most error pages just show the nice 404 that don’t mean much to a user. Depending on the site, it’s sometimes better to suggest the home page as a point of entry as you expect the user will eventually find what he’s looking for from the main page onwards.

>> when errors pages are automatically redirected back to the home pages, will the webmaster know if there are any errors on the site?

The webmaster can set up to receive email notification separate from the redirect.

5. Duncan - April 19, 2007

An excellent idea. your .404 could have a ‘you’ve got here by mistake’ message and then a:

why not:
(1) search this site for what you think you want?
(2) search the web for what you’re after?
(3) buy one of my wonderful products…

nice… and a picture.

6. How can you improve your internal search features? « Profitimo.com - Web Marketing Experts - April 28, 2007

[…] webmaster about such inconvenience? How can you try and use your “Zero result pages” as a great marketing tool? Undoubtedly, the answer is you don’t want to send those users away from your site. Make sure […]

7. Reviews of Wordpress Plugins and Themes | Testing Free WordPress Themes | Wordpress Tutorials and Tips » Blog Archive » Advice for Your Wordpress Blog: Customize Your 404 Page - May 7, 2007

[…] A simple Google search will show you the importance of customizing your 404 page. […]

8. Toolbe Webmaster Seo Search Engine - January 24, 2008

very nice seo method, thx posting this

9. Attisyspeenna - July 13, 2008
10. Theme Playground | Advice for Your Wordpress Blog: Customize Your 404 Page - March 10, 2009

[…] A simple Google search will show you the importance of customizing your 404 page. […]

11. Knotovent - March 20, 2009

Was ist das?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: