Shopify Error: Page Not Found

A "404 Error" occurs when a web page cannot be found on a Shopify store, resulting in a broken link and an error message that the requested page is not available.
Common Errors
Page Not Found

Error Description

The "404 Error" on Shopify indicates that a requested page cannot be found. This typically occurs when the URL of a page has changed, the page has been deleted, or there is a typo in the URL. 404 errors can negatively impact user experience and SEO, as visitors encounter broken links and search engines may lower the ranking of a site with many 404 errors. It is essential to address these errors promptly to maintain a seamless browsing experience and retain SEO rankings.

Common Causes of 404 Errors:

  1. Deleted Pages: Pages that have been removed but still have links pointing to them.
  2. Changed URLs: URLs that have been modified without setting up proper redirects.
  3. Typographical Errors: Mistyped URLs in links or browser address bars.
  4. Broken Links: Links to pages that no longer exist or have incorrect URLs.
  5. Expired Products: Products that have been deleted or are no longer available.
  6. Missing Files: Assets such as images or scripts that have been moved or deleted.

Error Solution

To resolve "404 Errors" on Shopify, follow these steps:

  1. Identify Broken Links:
    • Use tools like Google Search Console, Broken Link Checker, or Ahrefs to identify broken links on your site. These tools can provide reports on 404 errors and the pages linking to them.
    • Manually review commonly linked pages and high-traffic areas of your site to identify any broken links.
  2. Set Up Redirects:
    • For deleted or moved pages, set up 301 redirects to guide visitors to the new URL or a relevant page. This helps maintain SEO value and provides a better user experience.
    • Go to "Online Store" > "Navigation" > "URL Redirects" in your Shopify admin to create redirects.
  3. Correct Typographical Errors:
    • Review and correct any typographical errors in URLs, both in your store's links and any marketing materials or external sources linking to your site.
    • Ensure that all internal links within your store are accurate and up to date.
  4. Restore Missing Pages:
    • If possible, restore any deleted pages that are causing significant 404 errors. This can be done by recreating the page or restoring it from a backup.
    • For expired products, consider creating a custom "Out of Stock" or "Product Unavailable" page that informs customers and suggests alternative products.
  5. Update External Links:
    • Reach out to external websites that link to your store with incorrect URLs. Request that they update their links to the correct URLs.
    • Use tools like Ahrefs or Moz to find and manage external backlinks to your site.
  6. Regularly Monitor and Audit:
    • Set up regular monitoring and audits to catch new 404 errors as they occur. Use automated tools and set reminders for periodic manual checks.
    • Implement a process for monitoring and addressing 404 errors on an ongoing basis.
  7. Create a Custom 404 Page:
    • Design a custom 404 error page that is informative and user-friendly. Include helpful links to guide visitors back to the main areas of your store, such as the homepage, product categories, or popular products.
    • Ensure the custom 404 page aligns with your brand’s design and tone.
  8. Optimize for SEO:
    • Ensure that your redirects are 301 (permanent) redirects to maintain SEO value. Avoid using 302 (temporary) redirects unless necessary.
    • Regularly check Google Search Console for any crawl errors and fix them promptly to maintain good SEO health.
  9. Test Regularly:
    • Test your store regularly to ensure that all links work correctly. Use automated testing tools to perform routine checks.
    • Periodically review and update your site’s structure, especially after making significant changes.
  10. Educate Your Team:
    • Ensure that your team is aware of the importance of maintaining correct URLs and handling 404 errors. Provide training on how to set up redirects and monitor for broken links.
    • Create documentation or a checklist for adding, moving, or deleting pages to prevent future 404 errors.

Pro Tip

Advanced Strategies for Managing and Preventing 404 Errors:

  1. Implement a Link Management System:
    • Use a link management system to keep track of all URLs on your site. This can help identify and manage links more efficiently, especially during site updates or migrations.
    • Tools like Pretty Links, Link Whisper, or Yoast SEO (for WordPress) can help manage and monitor links.
  2. Utilize Site Map and Schema Markup:
    • Ensure your site map is up to date and submitted to search engines like Google and Bing. An accurate site map helps search engines index your pages correctly.
    • Use schema markup to provide additional context to search engines about your content. This can help reduce crawl errors and improve SEO.
  3. Leverage Analytics for Insights:
    • Use Google Analytics or similar tools to monitor user behavior on your 404 pages. Analyze where visitors are coming from and what actions they take after encountering a 404 error.
    • Use this data to improve the user experience on your 404 page and adjust your link management strategy.
  4. Perform Regular Link Audits:
    • Schedule regular comprehensive link audits to check for broken links across your entire site. This includes internal links, external links, and media files.
    • Use tools like Screaming Frog SEO Spider or Sitebulb to perform in-depth link audits.
  5. Engage with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs):
    • Use a CDN to manage and distribute your content globally. CDNs can help improve site speed and reliability, reducing the likelihood of server-related 404 errors.
    • Ensure your CDN configuration is correct and regularly updated.
  6. Automate Redirects with Rules:
    • Set up automated redirect rules for common patterns, such as old product URLs or specific types of content updates. This can save time and ensure consistency.
    • Use Shopify apps like "Easy Redirects" or "Bulk 301 Redirects" to manage redirects efficiently.
  7. Optimize Site Structure and Navigation:
    • Design your site structure and navigation to minimize the chance of broken links. Use clear, logical paths and ensure that all important pages are easily accessible.
    • Regularly review and update your site’s navigation to reflect changes in content and structure.
  8. Conduct User Testing:
    • Perform user testing to identify navigation issues and broken links from a user perspective. Use feedback to improve the user experience and fix any 404 errors.
    • Use tools like UserTesting or Hotjar to gather insights from real users.
  9. Integrate with Marketing Campaigns:
    • Ensure that URLs used in marketing campaigns are correct and up to date. Regularly review campaign links and set up redirects for any expired or changed URLs.
    • Use UTM parameters to track campaign links and monitor their performance.
  10. Prepare for Site Migrations:
    • When migrating your site or making significant structural changes, plan ahead to manage URLs and redirects effectively. Create a migration plan that includes mapping old URLs to new ones.
    • Test the new site thoroughly before going live to ensure that all redirects work correctly and there are no broken links.

By following these strategies and maintaining a proactive approach to link management and monitoring, sellers can minimize the risk of "404 Errors" on Shopify, ensuring a smooth and efficient browsing experience. Proper link management not only helps in preventing errors but also enhances overall SEO performance and user satisfaction.

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