404 Error Messages

404 Error MessagesOK, I plead guilty. 404 Error Messages are one area I have neglected (up to now) on my sites and many clients. That is about to change. And it should change for you, too.

No doubt you’ve searched a website or clicked on a link to one, and been faced with a PAGE NOT FOUND message (404 error). Often, a dead link or missing page occurs because a page has been renamed, so it has moved. Other times, it simply has been deleted.

On The Wedding Marketing Blog, I use several different statistical programs to analyze the traffic and activity. I’m very please with the overall volume of activity, but I thought the level 404 Errors was a problem.

Your hosting company usually includes a generic 404 page. What needs to be done (if you haven’t already done it) is to customize the 404 page, with some kind of site map, at least to the major gateways within your site or blog.

One of the blogs I visit regularly, Smashing Magazine, posted a great collection of 404 page examples. They are well-crafted and often utilize humor.

Bottom line: If a 404 page is customized and well designed, it is more likely that a prospect will continue on your site than move on to find a solution, elsewhere. At the risk of stating the obvious, THAT is important for every wedding marketer.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority