Rethink Your Error Page…We Did [Best Practices Guide]

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Purpose of the Error Page

On any website it is critical to have an error page where visitors are informed if certain content that you linked to or they found offsite no longer exists. This is important for visitors to understand and provides clear signals to search engines to remove this URL if it was previously indexed.

It is equally important that your website is setup correctly and provide the proper status code on the error page. The page needs to show the status code of 404 for search engines to understand the content is no longer available to be requested. Search engines aim to avoid sending users to broken pages, making a proper error page setup essential.

404 Error. Page Not Found.

[PRO TIP] Performing monthly website maintenance can keep broken links at a minimum. There are free tools that identify if your website has any broken links and where they exist like brokenlinkcheck.com.

Full Site Map and Search Function

We recently had a discussion about the way we build error pages for our new sites. Our Internet Marketing and Web Development team suggested adding a small snippet of script that would have a search bar, recommend alternatives and make suggestions to the link you are trying to access in addition to a list of the full sitemap.

Text used on 404 error page

What are your favorite error page examples? Please note, this page is a guide, not an actual error page itself.

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