When you receive the dreaded 404 error, it can hurt your online ranking. Imagine how frustrating it would be for your visitors if they clicked on a link and got a 404 Page Not Found error when on your website.
There are two types of links on your website: internal links and external links. The links within your website are under your control, and they point to other pages on your site. When conducting an update or making any changes to your website, you should always check your internal links. It is possible that external links will lead to other sites, but you can remove them if they fail.
But now the question is what way can 404 pages actually affect your eCommerce store? We’ll cover that for sure, as well as how you can track 404 pages.
What is a 404 Error?
Because 404 errors are common, you do not need to panic if you get one. Once in a while, you might encounter 404 errors and face problems. But when do 404 errors occur? The user gets a 404 error when attempting to visit a specific page of a website that does not exist.
Usually, when you browse a website to display something, the website cannot locate the page to display, so it gives you an error instead. As it is natural for any website to have a 404 error page, this is possible and okay.
The 404 error is nothing more than an indication to users that they are at the wrong location. Nevertheless, finding 404 errors is not as easy as it used to be in the early days. There are several reasons for this.
Most of the time, users are automatically redirected to 404 pages. The chances of you getting to an unpublished or different page are high if a website is planning to delete the page you are looking for. Many websites have their own 404 pages and that’s what’s best for users to find the page they’re looking for. In some cases, these pages are user-friendly, making it difficult to determine if they are 404s or not.
404 Errors for Websites Are Good or Bad?
So, for a while, consider your visitors are visiting your website and finding the page they are looking for is no longer available. Is that a good thing? If your visitors encounter a 404 error page, chances are high that they consider it to be a frustration or pain.
A visitor will most likely leave a page if they see an error 404; they will most likely go to another website. In the vast majority of cases, visitors do not return to your website for the things they were looking for.
There may be exceptions to this rule, such as loyal customers who know you’re not doing it on purpose, but in the majority of cases, expect them to depart and never return. The visitors who click away due to an error are nothing but lost profits for your company.
The Causes of 404 Errors
There are many causes of 404 errors, but we will review a few of the most common ones here. There are a variety of reasons why a link may be considered broken, but broken links are generally the cause of the 404 error.
- Neglecting to update internal links after renaming or moving a webpage
- A permanent deletion or relocation has taken place on this page
- Link addresses were not changed, only the address of the page
- URL is positioned incorrectly
- Navigating through the site is difficult
How Can You Fix 404 Errors?
When you receive a 404 error when accessing a specific webpage, it may not be obvious what went wrong. As a result, we came up with the best solution. Let’s begin!
If you are experiencing a 404 error, you should start by double-checking the URL. You likely made a typo error and forgot to type the specific letter of the URL.
You can also refresh the page you searched for and see whether the page you are looking for is 404 or not. Your next best option is to Google it again and sees if you can find it.
Users can access the site using a variety of devices like mobile phones, tablets, and computers. There is a possibility that the error you get on your mobile phone may not appear on your computer. You can check for different devices to determine what the problem is.
Lastly, you should make contact with the website owner in order to acknowledge the error 404. This is because if they are unaware of what happens with their site, their reputation will be ruined or their image will be ruined.
Why Your eCommerce Website Should Track 404 Pages?
As you now know what 404 is, causes, and solutions, it’s time to see why you should track your eCommerce website for 404 pages.
1. Monitor specific pages
The first reason you should track your website’s 404 page is that you want to closely monitor important pages. It is important to monitor your website because if you do not, chances are high that Google will find problems in indexing, which will result in no ranking or crawling.
2. 404 Pages can be of good use
It is obvious that visitors, and even you, do not like to see the error 404 page. This is because error pages can be frustrating or painful to your customers, and that can discourage them from returning to your site in the future. If you create a custom 404 page, there’s a good chance they will return because they can see that your site has been unusable for a while.
3. 404 is better than 301
404 errors are not a big deal since they serve as an indication to visitors that they are at the wrong place. However, 301s indicate that content has moved to a new location.
There is no need to change the URL since it will be beneficial to rankings, branding, and campaigning. Make sure you redirect your visitors to 301 if you ever change the URL because it will help them find the right place. As a result, if you want your inbound traffic to remain steady, you should opt for the link for the old URL.
In the event that you receive 404 errors on a site that you manage, check to make sure no pages were accidentally deleted and that all links and buttons are pointing to the right URLs. We have attempted to cover everything you need to know about 404 errors here.
Do you need help checking 404 errors on your eCommerce website? M-Connect Media can help. We have an in-house team of eCommerce experts and Magento Certified Developers who can help you check 404 and make sure your website is ready to use. Contact us for more information.