Average time on site and total page views are direct, positive SEO ranking factors. And due to the very nature of a 404 page (the content a user has requested cannot be found) both of these metrics are put at risk any time a website visitor lands on said 404.
To keep SEO metrics up and keep users engaged with FOX.com content, we ran an A/B test in April on the website’s 404 page — to see if a new page design could help lower exit rates/increase click through rates (CTR) to a new part of the site.
Continue reading to discover how we were able to lower exit rates and increase CTR from FOX.com’s 404 page by 60% by revamping the page’s design.
All 404 page visitors (on desktop and mobile web) were involved in the experiment – with 1/3 of the traffic going to the control, 1/3 of the traffic going to variant 1, and 1/3 going to variant 2. Screenshots of the three pages included:
This is what the 404 page looked like initially.
Featured Show Variant:
Featured top shows currently on FOX, to entice users to click onto one of the series detail pages.
Featured Genre Variant:
Featured top show genres, to encourage users to explore content from their favorite TV genre.
Results & Business Implications
At the end of the experiment, both variants significantly improved CTR on the 404 page. And so, we made the permanent change.
- 42.7% lift in CTR from the Featured Shows version.
- 60.3% lift in CTR from the Genres version.
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SEO Lead at FOX Networks Group. Founder of TEKKI.digital blog. Contributing author at SearchEngineJournal.com.