Have you lost visitors due to 404 “page not found” errors? Maybe you’ve updated a product datafeed or changed your permalink structure and now visitors aren’t seeing what they came to your site for. So, how do you keep and convert those visitors?

If your website has a store presence with a shopping cart, I suggest offering a coupon code for a discount.  Host Gator is a great example of this implementation:

Host Gator offers web hosting for only a penny when visitors use the conveniently named coupon code: 404PAGE for easy tracking. What I found interesting though was that they not only offer this deal to their site specific 404 visitors, but also on the 404 pages of their paying web-host customers that don’t have a custom 404 page of their own set up. I’m surprised they haven’t differentiated the two by either the code itself or their analytics tracking within the url.

So what if your website doesn’t have a shopping cart? You can still convert visitors by offering a “freebie” of some sort.  Offer a free e-book for subscribing to your newsletter or a chance to win a great prize by liking you on Facebook.  Visitors love getting something for nothing.  And you’ll love getting new subscribers and fans for free!

If the above are not options for you, you could at least add some humor to your 404 page to make your visitors smile.  Tell them the page they are trying to view got abducted by space invaders.  They are more likely to remember a site with a funny 404 page than a boring one.

BONUS: Setup a web hosting account with HostGator and use coupon code “BLOGGINGTIPS25” to save 25% on your web hosting package!

What’s on your 404 page?