It is probably best not to think about the number of times an internet user has not converted on your site only because they encountered an error, particularly if your site is large and heavily visited. Errors are unavoidable. The Internet, like all technology, cannot escape moments of malfunction and therefore it is impossible to eradicate errors completely.
However, instead of allowing these errors to go to waste, why not do some work on your website to increase the prospect of turning errors into conversions?
Make something positive out of what could potentially be a huge loss of business by redesigning the look, feel and tone of the error message that the Internet user is presented with.
In this way, errors do not have to result in a negative action. Errors can create positive outcomes and the success of your website can continue to grow despite the inevitable existence of these errors.
The first thing to do is to test your website for what happens when someone types in a bad URL. For example, the following is the correct URL for a page on the Webrageous Studios Website: PPC Imposters However, if someone mistakenly types in the following bad URL that includes a stray number, for example: PPC Imposters Bad URL they are then presented with a polite message that tells them exactly what went wrong. Try clicking on both of these links above to see what we mean by this exactly. Then follow in the footsteps of Webrageous Studios and prepare for bad URLs by creating pages like the one Webrageous has set up above.
Once you have taken a look at the above, follow the 3 tips below in order to redesign the error message that the internet user is presented with so that you can increase your chances of achieving a conversion despite the existence of that technical error:
Images and Visual Layout
An error message that is visually inviting or that includes an image which aims to brighten the mood of the Internet user is very important.
If an internet user is presented with a message that is difficult to read, this can cause them to leave the site immediately without bothering to retry what it was they were trying to do in the first place. In short, a visually poor error message can cut dead any chance you have of securing a conversion.
On the other hand, if the internet user is presented with an error message that is clearly presented or which includes an image that may help to lighten their spirits, they may be convinced to either return to the site again later to try once more or they may continue trying to convert in that same moment (if you provide them with the option to do so, that is… more on this below in “Links and Options for What to do Next”).
Take a look at examples of error messages that are poorly constructed visually and examples of error messages that visually entice the internet user to keep trying to make a conversion by following this link.
Links and Options for What to do Next
Error messages that provide no exit route are extremely poorly designed. The kind of error message that simply says “there has been an error,” but which offers no way in which to continue or resolve the matter means that the internet user cannot convert, even if they are prepared to continue trying.
Therefore, if you provide links to alternative pages, telephone numbers or email addresses for internet users to make use of, you are more likely to turn an error into a conversion.
To see examples of the ways in which optional links or contact information in an error message can be used in order to keep the internet user on the path to conversion, read the Webrageous Studios article that presents visual examples of some effective solutions.
Tone of Language
Finally, if you “shout” the error message to your possible converter, or if you construct the error message without any thought given to the tone of the language you are using, then you run the risk of angering the internet user.
This is a really bad move because you run the risk of that internet user never returning to your site again. Anger is such a powerful emotion that you also run the risk of that internet user spreading their poor experience on your site by both word of mouth and through comment boxes, etc. on the Internet. Poor online reputation is something that you really should avoid at all costs.
Therefore, make sure that the message you offer doesn´t make the internet user feel responsible for the error. Avoid an error message where the tone of the language is brash, unhelpful or completely different to that which you utilize throughout your website in general. Make the language you use internet user friendly and in keeping with your website style.
Take a look at some examples of error messages that alienate the internet user further because of language tone and examples of those that help to encourage the user to continue in their quest towards conversion by reading the article on the Webrageous Studios.
Turn your errors into conversions and turn what could be detrimental for your business into something very, very positive.