As part of your real estate digital strategy, and your ongoing goal to get the right traffic, at the right time, to visit your website, everything won’t always go the way you expect it to.
Even the best strategy will have room for error, but the key is to know how to capitalize on that error when it happens.
Sometimes, for reasons beyond your control, people just won’t be able to find exactly what they’re looking for on your website. And if that happens, in all likelihood, they’ll end up on your 404 page.
But what exactly is a 404 page? And why do they even matter as part of your digital strategy?
A 404 page is the most common error page that someone will see on your website. Essentially, it tells them that they’ve hit a dead end. In most cases, there are 2 main ways that someone can get there:
- Through Their Error: If they mistyped something in the browser and went to a page that never existed in the first place.
- Through your Error: If they tried to access a page that no longer exists by clicking a link to a page that is deleted.
Whether someone got to your 404 page by you making a mistake or by them making a mistake themselves, your 404 page is still an opportunity page and a chance for someone to convert in multiple different ways.
To find your own 404 page, just go to your website, and then type something nonsensical into your browser afterwards. For example, www.yourwebsite.com/ffff. This will bring you to your 404 page.
But even though it’s just an error page, being the most common error page that someone is going to see, it make sense to try to optimize it and give the user as many options as possible to find what they’re looking for, or even better: find what you want them to find (that’s where the opportunity comes in).
★ Want to learn more about writing high-quality content and content strategy in general? Have a look at these posts:
- Writing Successful Real Estate Content that Converts
- Optimizing Your Content for Humans (And Not Just for Search Engines)
- How to Plan Content that Attracts and Engages
If you were lost, or took a wrong turn and arrived at a dead end, the thing that you’d probably find most useful at that point in time is a map (or some sort of directions).
Think of your 404 page that way: it’s a map or set of directions for someone that’s lost.
When you build out your 404 page, the best place to start is by giving the user a lot of options as to where they may want to go next (or as mentioned, where you want them to go).
No one wants to see a technical error message simply because it’s not helpful. Instead, you should provide some options as to where to go (which at this stage, is an opportunity because you’re able to direct them where you want).
For example, you could:
- Offer them a link to see your latest or best properties for sale.
- Offer them a link to learn more about your comprehensive buying or selling process.
- Embed a form for them to connect with you or ask you a question.
- Embed your latest or most popular blog posts for them to read.
- Or a thousand other things…
★ Want to learn more about conversions and leads? Have a look at these posts:
- Why The Forms On Your Real Estate Website Don’t Get Conversions
- Why You Should Drop Your Real Estate Marketing Funnel (And What to Do Instead)
- What To Do If You Have a Real Estate Lead Generation Problem
At the end of the day, to see success in your digital strategy, you have to look at, and fine tune, all aspects of it.
Your 404 page is still an opportunity; and to make your 404 page useful as part of your digital strategy, you should provide a lot of options to someone that’s lost or has hit a dead end on your website.
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