I know you hate to see these:
Why do browsers still call this as a 404 page?! Only geeks know what 404 page!
When you visit a site, and you have typed in the wrong folder of a domain, on most occasions 404 pages will show up. If that website haven’t customized it yet, the browser will automatically generate a 404 page like above.
Although it’s really handy to see some warnings like these, it doesn’t make you any money at all! All you have is a lost/unknown visitor that most likely won’t come back.
A lot of sites are talking about how to monetize your traffic, they mumble about ad placement, blah blah blah, but I’m pretty sure some forgot about the error pages! On my everyday surfing activity, I always land to 1 or 2 404 page everyday, that sadly has nothing in it.
Here’s a useful plugin that notifies you through email whenever a person visits a 404 page. Try it for yourself and you’ll see the potential, on the other hand you can just check your awstats in your cpanel and check how many people came by on your 404 page.
How Do You Set It Up?
If you’re on WordPress, professionally designed themes include a 404.php file. Just log-in in your admin panel, add some custom text in the 404 page template and you’re done.
If the theme you are currently on doesn’t have a 404.php file. You can create one and upload it where your current theme is located.
Add these common codes and save it as 404.php:
<?php header(“HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found”); ?>
<?php get_header(); ?>
Custom text goes here
<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<?php get_footer(); ?>
For some websites, you can add this one liner code to your .htaccess file:
ErrorDocument 404 http://www.example.com/404.html
If you like you can also add 401 (which will show up if a person visits an authorized page) and 403 (if a person visits a forbidden page) Just change the domain to where you want the visitor to be redirected if they have typed the wrong extension.
After you have set up the error page, let’s now edit the files where your visitor will go. Here are some ideas to start off:
The easiest perhaps is this, just add the banners, links, etc… of the product you’re promoting and you’re all done.
If you have a product that you are promoting right now, you can sell it to them in a much lower price and make them think that it’s a big steal. You can also sell PLR (Private Label Prodcuts) products in alternative if you haven’t created your own product yet.
As what I said before, capturing emails really matter. It’s a big benefit. You can read the 3 part series here:
If you’re just really lazy to sign-up for an affiliate program, then this might be the last option for you, because I bet you have an AdSense account. Just plaster the page with ads! Though, I do not recommend doing this, you’ll get lower results.
Just for some inspiration, have a look at my own 404 page ;)