Key Data About 404 Error Pages

What happens when people encounter 404 errors on your website? Where do people find those 404 errors? How do 404 errors affect your business?

To answer those questions, we compiled several key data points about how 404 errors affect the people visiting your website.

Fact #1: 404's Cost You Visitors & Customers

Most people (about 74%) who reach a 404 error page will leave your website and not return. That means 404's are driving potential customers away from your website. Worse, people who see a 404 error are less likely to return to your website in the future.

Can we afford to lose customers? We didn't think so.

Most People Who Reach A 404 Error Will Leave Your Website
Most People Who Reach A 404 Error Will Leave Your Website

Fact #2: People Find 404's From Lots Of Places

People find 404 errors from a variety of difference sources. A link on your website might be broken or maybe a link on another website is leading visitors to your website's 404 page. Perhaps somebody typed in the URL incorrectly, or maybe somebody tried to use an old bookmark but arrived on a 404 error.

You need to find all the different ways people can reach a 404 error on your website. You will only find every 404 error on your website if you look at every source leading to 404 errors.

Detail Breakout Of External Sources
Source Percent
Direct, Typo, Email, Bookmarks 45.87%
Referral/Other Website & Social Network 30.26%
Broken Link On Your Website 17.58%
Search Engine 6.3%

Fact #3: Popular Crawl Tools Don't Find Every 404 Error

Because people can find 404 errors on your site from so many different sources, you need to check for 404's resulting from places other than your website. In fact, your website only accounts for about 17% of the 404's people encounter.

Popular broken link checkers only crawl through your website to find links that lead to 404's. As a result, those popular crawl tools miss out on 83% of the 404's your visitors encounter.

Crawl tools only find some of the 404s on your site.
Crawl tools only find some of the 404 errors on your site.

Fact #4: Always Monitor Your Site For 404 Activity

The biggest mistake people make is thinking that you can fix 404 errors and stop worrying about the problem. On a busy website, 404 errors will continue to resurface as new pages are added and old pages are removed.

You need to continually monitor the visits to 404 errors on your website. As soon as you fix one spike in 404 activity, begin watching for the next spike to occur.

You'll never completely get rid of 404s on your site.
You'll never completely get rid of 404s on your site.

What To Do About Your 404 Errors

  1. Monitor your website to see how many visitors and customers you are losing due to 404 errors.
  2. Use SpringTrax's free Snapshot Tool to reduce the loss from your 404 pages.
  3. Fix the 404s your visitors encounter as quickly as possible to avoid the loss altogether.

SpringTrax helps you find and fix every 404 error your visitors encounter. Sign up today.

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