SEO 404 error
The 404 error is the most common HTTP error that users often encounter while browsing the web. It is an HTTP standard response code which indicates that client is able to contact the server but the server is not able to find the page requested by the client. Thus, it simply means that the webpage you are trying to reach cannot be found on the server.
404 error usually arises due to a wrong link on your site or if you have removed the requested page. It usually occurs when a redirect to the new URL has not been implemented. If you don't create 404 Error Page, it can affect your SEO. It is required to have 404 error page because it is a common problem. To create a 404 page, you need to redirect all irrelevant requests to a single 404 error page.
You can do few things to make the 404 user-experience better, such as:
- Don't let it display as a 404 error, as it is a technical term that most of the people may not understand. Instead use a simple message such as "Sorry, the page is not available you were looking for" or if possible for your industry, make this message funny.
- The template layout or site navigation of your 404 message should be the same as your website.
- Make sure that your contact information is clearly displayed, you can include a quick contact form.
- Add internal links of your popular pages, such as, the Home Page and Product/Service pages or a list like your sitemap.
- You can also add links to latest or featured posts.
- Use a 301 redirect if the page with 404 error has important links directed to it from external sources, or it has previously received a substantial amount of traffic.
- You can redirect to a new URL or a relevant webpage. Home Page is not the only option to display, think from a user perspective.