404 Errors & Internet Marketing: The Death of Web Pages
A 404 error is simply what’s displayed when someone tries to go to a particular webpage that doesn’t or no longer exist. This error will display regardless of whether an existing page was deleted, moved or the page never existed in the first place. While many may not think this is a big issue.
If you’re an Omaha business owner, this type of error means a potential or current customer may get discouraged or frustrated while visiting your website. The end-result could be the clicking the back button and selecting your competitor instead.
If you think about your own experiences searching on the web, you may recall hitting 404 pages once or multiple times. You can probably think of a few different actions you’ve taken after seeing this message. In some cases, you may hit the back button and try a different link. In most cases, if you got a 404 after typing in the web address, you more than likely will attempt to type in the website URL once more thinking it was a spelling error on your part. If you arrived at a 404 page through a search engine result, you’d probably go back to the results and then head to a different site.
What is a 404 Error in the Eyes of a Visitor?
Even if someone doesn’t fully understand what this term means, he or she know it wasn’t what he or she were looking for. As we demonstrated above, it’s fairly common for this error message to cause the loss of a visitor. At Big Red SEO, we know how much competition there is for Omaha businesses to get quality visitors. Since a targeted visitor has a high likelihood of becoming a lead or customer, the last thing a business would want is to lose this end user from a technical mistake that can be avoided.
The Best Strategies for Dealing with 404 Errors
The first step is to use a 301 redirect whenever you delete an existing page. If you’re wondering about what is a 301 redirect, it’s a technical instruction that allows you to forward one URL to another. In terms of how to make a 301 redirect, it can either be done through a WordPress plugin or by adding code to your site’s .htaccess file.
Another solution in dealing with a potential 404 error is to create a custom 404 page. By creating a page that has useful information and helpful links, visitors won’t feel stranded if they hit it. Finally, the other key to minimizing any negative impact of what is a 404 error is to monitor your website’s analytics data. If you ever notice a spike in people reaching 404 pages, it means you need to review your site’s architecture carefully for any new problems.
Work with Big Red SEO to Optimize Your Site and Increase Traffic
At Big Red SEO, we know that getting visitors to an Omaha business site is just part of the equation. In order for those visitors to have a business impact, it’s important for as many of them as possible to become leads or customers. That reality is why we have years of expertise in optimizing business websites. If you’re ready for your site to have a direct impact on your business, call us today at (402) 522-6468 to talk more about how we can help.