Have a Shopify site? Your 404 page needs help.

This blog post will walk you through some steps to jazz up your 404 page -- perhaps one of the most neglected pages of your entire site!  Editing the content on your 404 page is a quick way to improve the customer experience on your site.

But first -- what is a 404 page?
A 404 page is the page customers see when a link no longer works.  Typically, this happens when a shop owner deactivates/unpublishes/deletes products.  If a customer had those products saved as favourites, or, if a retargeting ad is displaying them -- clicking the links will take the customer to a 404 page.

Why is jazzing this page up important?
By default, most themes have very plain 404 pages.  Generally, there's nothing on them other than a button to view all products (which is usually a mess of a collection and not very helpful). 

If any page on your site happens to be getting traffic (404 or otherwise), you want it to have content geared towards conversions!

What content should my 404 page have?
Firstly, you want to acknowledge that what you are showing customers, is not what they expected to see.  Something like "Sorry!  That's no longer available."  Or "We can't find what you're looking for." or you can be silly "Oops!  Misplaced that page.  must be where the missing socks go ...".

Once that's taken care of, add content that redirects them to something else lovely.  I'd suggest displaying your Bestsellers collection, along with some product or shop reviews.

Anything I should keep off of the page?
You probably aren't going to remember to edit this page.  So don't add seasonal content, or links to products that will probably go out of stock ... the only thing worse than hitting a 404 page would be hitting one that contains a link that takes you to the same 404 page!  Ugh.  By picking a featured collection, like Bestsellers, your standard procedure to update that collection, will automatically update this page. No extra items on the to-do list!

Also, don't try to tell any stories here.  People landing on this page will have an ultra-short attention span.  Don't try to tell them about your brand or history -- show them the goods.  That is all.

So how do I do it?
I'm so glad you asked!  Here's a Loom video to walk you through it:


Sites Referenced in My Video
Two of my favourite clients! Both with new-and-improved 404 pages now. Prism Boutique and Modern Shibori.

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