Do this:

  • Log into your analytics.
  • Drill down until you can see the stats for the 404 page.
  • Realize you’re missing an opportunity to earn more.

It goes without saying that many affiliate marketers (and people that build sites, in general) don’t really take full advantage of their 404 page either because it’s not always at the top of their list, they don’t know what to really do with it, or they simply forget that it’s out there.

But think about this …

  • How often do you find broken links on your site?
  • How often do those links from other sites lead nowhere?

Each time these things happen a visitor is finding a 404 page which means they’re hitting a dead end.

There they are with a big 404 right in their face and not much to do other than back out or click through to your home page (which is disheartening for them since they couldn’t find the information they thought would be there).

Tired of losing commissions because of the 404 page?

Then follow some of these suggestions to maximize this page …

404s & Affiliate Marketing

404 pages are quite common when you begin to mess with the link structure, remove old posts, or somehow bork your link building.

All’s not lost, though.

To keep things quick (so you can start implementing them now) here are my suggestions for maximizing that dreadful 404 page:

  • Best Content – So they’ve landed on the 404 and they’re not finding that page – drats. Instead of letting them back out try enticing them with some of your more popular posts. Consider rewriting the headlines to include a better hook. If they at least click through to one of these you’ll have some retention which at least gets the ball going for conversions.
  • Video – The worst would be a dead page with just 404. A decent option is to still have the look and feel of your website while displaying the 404. Perhaps one of your best option is to have an autoplaying video explaining they’ve found a dead page but to stick around because there’s a lot more to the site. This makes things personal and may be what’s needed to calm their frustration so they give your site a chance.
  • Ebooks – Usually you’d have people opt-in to receive a free ebook but if they’re landing on the 404 page their already turned off by your site. The best you can do is give maximum value. Do so by having a direct download to one of your free ebooks right there on the page.
  • Opt-ins – Use this opportunity to entice visitors to opt-in to your email list. Explain the benefits of what they will find and treat the page as an all-around landing page rather than a 404. You may want to word it a little differently than your other landing pages but the principle is about the same.
  • Live Chat – Try embedding one of the many live chat services on the 404 page so people can get right in touch with you if they still want to move forward. With live chat you can at least talk with them before they leave and dig for the information they want rather than forcing them to find it on their own with a static page.

Once you figure out which of these you want to do just go into the 404 page and make the appropriate edits. If you’re not technical with Web programming than find someone to do it for you else you might be able to find templates on theme marketplaces.

That 404 page gets a change and from then on out it could be a money maker. Not bad for about an hour’s worth of work, right?