How One Website Turned a Common Landing Page Problem into a Positive Shopping Experience
I was recently doing some product research for road bicycles. Having little experience in this area I browsed the web and found a specific model I liked (’12 Specialized Allez Compact) on a local retailer’s website. After using a search engine to find more information about this particular model, Google returned the following Page 1 results:
With most searchers staying on Page 1, Specialized did a good job optimizing their webpage to rank well for a long-tail search phrase. So, I clicked through to their site, and was met with the following page:
No, this was NOT the page I was expecting- but it did leave a positive impression, as I smirked at the image and the witty caption. What a unique and well-thought out webpage to display in the event that a visitor landed on a non-existent webpage! Specialized understands that websites can lose pages from time-to-time. Visitors can quickly become frustrated when landing on a non-existent page, only to receive the famous “404 Page Not Found.”
[Update: Specialized has since fixed the redirect, so that clicking on the above search result leads to the correct page. However, if you want to see this creative landing page in action, visit one of their pages and remove a few characters from the slug]
This company took their understanding of their target market to create a self-humorous webpage that kept visitors on the website and transformed anger into laughter.
Most importantly, this webpage keeps visitors on the site! Notice how the page provides visitors with a concisely written and ideally located Call-to-Action that drives visitors into their website (“Page not found. Back to Home >”). While the text informs visitors that this is an incorrect page, Specialized notes the issue in a very discrete manner. Instead, the emphasis is placed on the humorous caption above. Brilliant!
What All Businesses Can Learn from this Experience
Consumers’ first interaction with a brand often occurs on the web- specifically, through the company website. As a result, website owners have a lot on their plate these days! From keyword density to calls-to-action to setting up the proper redirects, websites need to be crisp, clear, and under control. Understanding that some problems- such as non-existent pages- are inevitable, the best businesses will use this knowledge to turn frustrating situations into positive user-experiences. Here’s how.
Know Your “Buyer Persona”
Specialized is a bicycle manufacturing company that markets an array of bikes to riders of all capabilities. They know what type of audience their products are geared towards (pun intended), and what makes these customers buy from Specialized. In essence, they have a firm understanding of their “Buyer Persona.”
Put Yourself in your Website Visitors’ Shoes
Picture yourself browsing the web for information about a specific product, service, or company. A list of results matching your search query pop-up on Google’s results page. Your excitement begins to rise, as you move closer to reaching your goal. Imagine how excited you are to arrive on this company’s webpage!
Now, imagine how you would feel when the page loads with a “404 Page Not Found.” What type of emotions run through your body as you try to make sense of this result? Anger, frustration, confusion? All of these emotions can result in a negative experience. When this happens, consumers return to the search engine results page only to visit competing webpages.
Online marketing, when done correctly, can help companies connect with their customers in new ways. If you know what makes your website visitors frustrated, but also what makes them laugh, you can use this knowledge to resolve almost any potential dilemma. Because Specialized knew that the standard announcement for non-existent pages rarely resulted in meaningful visitor actions, they developed a unique and effective webpage that fixed this issue. Because of this wonderful visit to their site, they have increased the likelihood that I will buy their product.
What features on your website are creating a positive user-experience? What are you doing to keep visitors on your website?
Site Source: Specialized