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Understanding Soft 404s and 404 Errors in Google Search Console for Wix Websites

As a Wix website designer, it's crucial to ensure that your site not only looks fantastic but also performs optimally in search engine results. One common issue that can impact your site's SEO performance is how it handles missing pages, specifically soft 404s and traditional 404 errors. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between these errors and how to manage them effectively on your Wix website.


What Are Soft 404s and 404 Errors?

Soft 404:

A soft 404 occurs when a web page is missing, but the server does not return a proper 404 (Not Found) HTTP status code. Instead, it might return a 200 (OK) status code or another non-404 code while displaying a page that indicates the content is not found. This can confuse search engines, leading them to believe that the page exists when it doesn’t.


Traditional 404 (Not Found) Error:

A traditional 404 error happens when the server responds with a 404 HTTP status code, clearly indicating that the requested page does not exist. This is the correct way to handle pages that are missing or have been deleted.


Why Does This Matter?

Google and other search engines use status codes to understand the state of your web pages. Properly managing these codes ensures that your site is indexed correctly and maintains a good reputation with search engines, ultimately helping your SEO.


How to Identify and Fix Soft 404s and 404 Errors on Your Wix Website

1. Monitor Google Search Console:

  • Regularly check Google Search Console for any soft 404 or 404 errors. This tool will alert you to any pages that are not returning the correct status codes.

2. Correct Soft 404s:

  • On Wix, ensure that pages that do not exist return a proper 404 status code. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to your Wix Editor.

  • Create a custom 404 error page if you haven't already. This page should inform visitors that the page they are looking for doesn't exist and guide them back to your main content.

  • Ensure that this custom page is set up to return a 404 status code. You might need to check the settings or consult Wix support if the page is not returning the correct status.

3. Fix Traditional 404 Errors:

  • When a page is genuinely missing, ensure it returns a 404 status code. However, if the page has been moved, set up a 301 redirect to the new location. This can be done in Wix by:

  • Navigating to your site's dashboard.

  • Selecting the "SEO Tools" section.

  • Using the "URL Redirect Manager" to set up 301 redirects from the old URL to the new one.

4. Provide Helpful 404 Pages:

  • A custom 404 page should be user-friendly and helpful. Include links to your main pages, a search bar, or a sitemap to help users find what they are looking for. This not only improves user experience but also reduces bounce rates.


Benefits of Properly Managing 404 Errors

  • Improved SEO: Correctly managed 404 errors ensure that search engines understand which pages are missing, helping maintain your site's SEO health.

  • Better User Experience: Users are less likely to be frustrated by dead links if they encounter helpful 404 pages that guide them to relevant content.

  • Efficient Crawling: Properly handled 404 errors allow search engine crawlers to focus on indexing live pages, making the crawling process more efficient.


Conclusion

Managing soft 404s and 404 errors is essential for maintaining the SEO health of your Wix website. By regularly monitoring Google Search Console, correctly configuring your server responses, and providing user-friendly 404 pages, you can ensure that your site remains in good standing with search engines and provides a positive experience for your visitors.


If you need further assistance with managing 404 errors or any other aspect of your Wix website, feel free to reach out to us at WixCreate. Our team of experts is here to help you create a stunning and high-performing website.

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ABOUT WIXCREATE

Welcome to WIXCreate, your top-level WIX Partner! Our experienced team of digital professionals has built hundreds of beautiful and functional websites using the WIX platform for companies and organizations around the world.

 

We're passionate about helping businesses like yours succeed online. With our expertise in design, development, and digital marketing, we're here to support you every step of the way. Whether you're looking to create a new website, improve your online presence, or drive more leads and sales, we're here to help you achieve your goals.

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We offer the following services:

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