Anyone with a basic understanding of the internet will be aware of error 404 pages; when a client sends a request to a websites server which is then received, but if the information cannot be retrieved, a 404 page will appear.
These pages are usually a result of someone attempting to access the site via a broken or dead link. They are very common and can often drive customers away from sites. However, by creating a specific 404 page, customers are much more likely to stay.
Know your audience
Any good business knows its audience. Through the 404 page, you have a chance to engage with that audience in a way you are probably unable to throughout the rest of the website. Without a product to promote, your business is free to simply connect with the audience.
The manner in which you choose to connect should be decided by the target audience. What one audience member may find acceptable, others may find confusing, meaning businesses should think carefully before creating their page.
Ensuring you always stay on-brand is one of the most important elements to remember. As long as the content stays on brand and uses the companies best known voice, you are unlikely to go wrong with the page.
The most important thing to remember is to try and be helpful to your audience. The inconvenience of a 404 error may be enough to send some away, but many will remain should you give them the option of a search bar and other helpful links from the rest of the site.
Here are some examples of good 404 pages: