Whenever Amplify Interactive engages in an SEO project with a client, we always express the need for a custom 404 error page. Without having some sort of custom 404 error page present on your site, someone who stumbles upon an error gets to see that “dead end” of a page, often instilling some sort of loss in consumer confidence for the site.
Lisa Barone over at Search Engine Guide has an informative write-up on why having a custom 404 error page is a good idea for any site. Some of the hightlights of the article include:
– Your custom 404 error page should “meld” with the rest of your site (i.e. same format, structure, etc.)
– Five of the most important elements for your custom 404 error page:
“An apology for the error (even if it user error), a prominent search box, a link to your site map, a link to your home page & links to the other main areas of your site”