Marketing Efforts and Error Pages

There are several ways that companies can turn their error pages into marketing efforts.

Between utilizing a search bar and a navigational menu, or showing a fun side of the business, companies can take advantage of a negative situation and turn it into a positive one.

Search Bar

One great feature that companies can include on their error page is a search bar that’s also prominently featured on that page.

Since the website visitor was already looking for something that they didn’t find, providing them with a search bar encourages them to do a quick search that’s going to send them toward the right location.

This way instead of potential customers leaving the website because they didn’t find what they were looking for on their last quick, they will continue their journey.

Navigation Bar

Aside from including a search bar on the error page, it’s all smart to include a navigation menu on the error page.

This way, similar to the last suggestion, website visitors can still continue browsing the website without having to go back one page.


There are some businesses that like to include a fun apology on their error page on their websites.

Although these aren’t important to have from the perspective of usability, they can actually go quite a long way to calm down website visitors that might end up getting frustrated because they didn’t find what they were looking for.


Error pages can help companies improve their search engine optimization efforts. To do that instead of simply showing a brief apology for the error that a website visitor has encountered, companies can actually add a few of their most popular keywords with relevant links for those keywords.

This way they can add more value to a page that might be broken, simply by turning it into some element that can help website visitors on their journey of searching to find information.


Another great way that companies can put a positive spin on a negative experience when website visitors end up on an error page is to add some sort of interaction to that page.

Several brands have already started pursuing this option by creating mini-games that customers can play for a few minutes and have fun with, as well as providing them with other website content through links.

By letting the potential customers have some fun despite encountering a negative situation, companies can lessen the negative impact that comes with potential customers landing on an error page.

As Co-CEO at 5W Public RelationsDara Busch oversees 5W’s Consumer Practice, which includes Travel & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Non-Profits, Home & Housewares, Health & Wellness, Mom & Baby, Beauty & Grooming, and Consumer Packaged Goods.