Do you know what a 404 page is? A 404 error? Well, 404 is the error code that is returned when somebody tries to go to a web page that does not exist. So, in other words, if somebody types in a web address and makes a mistake, and the page they try to go to does not exist, then a 404 error is returned to the browser. When this 404 page comes up, it generally just says something like “Page does not exist” or something along those lines.
These days, with almost any web hosting account, though, you can customize your 404 pages. So what? Well, how about putting some free advertising on your 404 pages? Why not?
Now, be careful when you customize your 404 pages, because you can’t put just any ads there. For example, you cannot put Google AdSense on a 404 page, because that is against Google terms of service, and can get your AdSense account banned. Other Advertising Networks likely have such a policy too.]
However, there is no reason why you can’t put ads for your own products! For example, I have a number of eBooks that I have written and that I sell. There is no reason I can’t advertise my own eBooks on my 404 pages! Why not do it? Think about this, if your URL is very identifiable with a certain topic, then if you have eBooks about that topic, it will likely be of interest to the person trying to navigate your site.
For example, one of my domains is The Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. If somebody is trying to go to that site, and they type in the wrong page, but they see an ad for information about Retiring in the Philippines in eBook form, there is a good chance they would have an interest. Now, if I put an ad for car engine repairs on that domain, people would probably have little interest, but if it is for a related product you just might get a few extra sales from making the custom 404 pages.
Yeah, you won’t make a mint doing this, but in these days of such a tight economy, you have to go for every advantage that you can get!
What a great idea! I hadn’t really thought of that, but it makes so much sense. Of course any time you can increase your advertising space is a good idea.
Hi Tom – Thanks, I’m glad you like my idea! The way I look at it, it’s real estate that you already own, so you might as well use it! 😆