When it comes to creative website copywriting, it’s always the heavyweights that get the attention:
Home page copy. About page copy. Sales page copy. Product description copy.
And, sure, it’s vital that this web copy is killer. Without it, your website will truly struggle to woo your dream customers.
But … are you missing an awesome opportunity to make a memorable impression on your audience by harnessing the power of your innocuous 404 error page too?
Hint: The correct answer is, “Heck yep!”
What is a 404 error page?
The ultimate digital, “Whoops-a-daisy” your 404 error page appears when somebody clicks on a broken link.
A normal (cough – boring – cough) 404 error page says something like:
This page cannot be found
Which forces you, the visitor, to click ‘back’ and go somewhere else or, if you’re like most people, simply close the site and go do something else instead.
Why your 404 error page is important
Mistakes happen. Even (or especially) on websites. Which means broken links are inevitable.
(I’ve been hunting down the source of one of my broken links for months. So if you’ve found it or know a way to find it – please drop me a comment and let me know where it’s coming from so I can fix it and reclaim my sanity.)
Unfortunately, most visitors don’t care that you’ve made a mistake. They have no patience for stuff-ups. All they know is that you ruined their online adventure and, yawn, now they’re bored and wanna go somewhere else.
(Taking their wallets with them.)
BUT. What if I told you that you could use one of your digital mistakes to gently guide your audience on the right path with you?
What a great 404 error page looks like
A great 404 error page not only tells people that you stuffed up somewhere along the line and whoops, sorry, now that page isn’t unavailable, it also tells your audience what to do next.
Not sure what I mean?
‘Scuse me while I toot my own horn, but this custom 404 error page is awesome for three reasons:
- The custom graphics (kindly created by Emma Troy Design) make the page engaging, entertaining and memorable.
- The personality-packed copy makes the site feel more human and friendly.
- There are two super clear call-to-actions that tell lost visitors where to go next.
Which means I don’t lose visitors if I fumble a link.
Instead, I show them how to find their way home or, for the more adventurous, where to get some glittering treasure.
My passion for this type of micro copy is why I include custom 404 error page copywriting in my Atlantis website copywriting package for FREE.
‘Cos it’s the little details that show you truly care about your customers.
Want to explore my creative website copywriting?
Official creator and word nerd at Wild Spirit Co. I’m a former journalist and communications manager turned word-wrangler for hire. These days, I fist bump with clever entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses searching for words that woo and copy that converts. I have nine years of experience tucked into the waistband of my yoga tights (which I do everything but yoga in) and am the go-to girl for personality-packed communications that blend strategy with storytelling.