Clicking on a broken link is normally irritating, but if your web visitors happen to find themselves in the wrong place, funny or well-designed (not boring) 404 error pages can be an opportunity to seem more personal, and thoughtful. Why not turn your mistakes into offering an opportunity?
Other things a 404 page (Your most important overlooked website page) can do for you/ your users:
A well designed 404 page increases your conversion rate. People are actually MORE likely to read the copy on this page (to figure out what’s going on). Most people don’t expect a “call to action” on a 404 page, so it’s likely they will participate in whatever it is you are asking them to do.
A 404 page boosts your search-ability. Google downgrades your site in their SEO algorithm (if users bounce off site from web pages not being designed/ working correctly).
Some items to include in your 404 page:
• the same cohesive look, layout & navigation as the rest of your website
• let visitors know “the page you are looking for can’t be found” Use clever friendly language
• apologize for coming to the page
• consider adding links to popular posts/ or articles you want to drive traffic to
• a search bar (or pointing out the search form field)
• a way for users to report the broken link to a webmaster/ explain how they landed there
• capture users emails
• call to action, or an opt-in
Great examples of 404 pages: