Welcome back our 17th part of Digital Marketers Week series where we learn today on how to turn a 404 error on your webpage into a complete sale.

A 404 Error is a page that is served up on a website when a visitor lands on a page that doesn’t exist. This either happens when they type in the wrong address, or the page they were looking for was deleted by the website owners. Perhaps it was temporary page – like an offer, or an article. Maybe it was a link to an image that was erased after it lost its charm. Regardless of the reason, the 404 is there to alert the visitor that while your website is still up and running, the page they are searching for is not.

Follow these five steps to get on your way to creating custom 404 error pages that make your customer feel like you’re there for them.

Five 404 Error Page Design Tips that Keep Visitors On-Site and turns them into a sale:

  1. Keep It Branded and On-Brand

Keeping your 404 page branded means your 404 error page should make it clear that the visitor is still on your website. This can mean keeping your custom 404 error page within the template of your website – complete with standard top and footer navigation – or, simply making sure to include a logo if you build a custom 404 page outside your standard template.

  1. Turn it into a search box

On-site search is a popular method that people still use to discover content. And it works the same for a 404 error page.  One of the most popular ways to ensure that 404-page traffic won’t leave your site is giving them the option to search on your site. For example, check out how GitHub keeps users on your site by helping them search.

  1. Turn it into a lead magnet

You need to use a lead magnet at some point to capture email addresses. Turning your 404 error pages into lead magnets is a surefire way to capture emails and turn those visitors into easy sales. For example, check out this 404 error page from Jumping Jackrabbit:

It’s creative, funny and intriguing. But the best part is their call to action: “Download image as wallpaper.” They attempt to capture user interest and add value, even on a 404 page. It’s a great way to get more emails and land more sales.

  1. Provide more than one jumping off point

When you look at your site’s analytics, which pages are visited the most? Whether it be your about, services or contact pages, these should be included as an additional jumping off point for visitors to explore your site.

Other examples of jumping off points include a call-to-action to check out a downloadable freebie, a link to your work portfolio, or a simple redirect to your homepage – the possibilities are beautifully endless.

  1. Offer coupons as exit intent

One of the best ways to take advantage of 404 error pages is by using them to offer incentives as a way to keep users around. If you haven’t heard of exit intent, it’s the idea of offering a coupon or discount to customers who are about to leave your site. Here is a good example of exit intent from Electric Family.

These popups work by detecting the user’s behavior and offering the coupon just before they leave.

Your website needs to sell!

When you’re designing your company website, you need to make sure that not a single part of your page is dead, or has dead links. Always give your visitors a link for them to visit next. Include call to actions, offers, specials, and links to other services that they may be interested in. – Oh, they’re clicking away from the page? Give them an offer they can’t refuse.

Your 404 pages are not that much different than your homepage or a sales page – after all, a 404 is a homepage of its own to a lost visitor. Give them a reason to click on your links and help them find the way back to what they’re looking for. A good 404 page can make a visitor smile as he’s going out the door. A great 404 page can get the visitor to turn around and explore your site some more.