A 404 page shows on a user's screen when they reach a page that doesn't exist on the website. This can happen when they reach a page that was deleted, clicking a broken link, or typing the wrong URL.
More than likely you've encountered a few humerous 404 pages in your web surfing days, but did you know a good 404 page is much more than just a placeholder?
SEO best practices suggest your site's 404 page should be a custom page to help visitors find the info they are looking for.
According to Google's Webmaster Tools help section, the page should:
- Advise visitors that the page they were searching for isn't found.
- Look the same as the rest of the site, and include a link to the home page.
- Include a search box to allow the visitor to narrow their search for the page they're looking for.
- Show a list of recommended pages or posts.
Check with your hosting provider for recommendations on how to display the 404 page properly.