Sometimes having a website for your business can feel like more trouble than it is worth. You’ve got seemingly endless maintenance to worry about, you need to optimize and promote it accordingly, and there are a million-and-one other things you need to consider in order to keep it functioning optimally and converting those clicks into customers.
Not only that but there’s a lot of terminology involved as well. So much so it’s easy to get overwhelmed! For example, what is meant by a ‘dead-end’ page? Is there ever a good reason to create one on your website? Read on for more…
What is a dead-end page?
A dead-end page (much as the name suggests) is a web page that doesn’t contain any links to any other pages, whether internal or external.
Dead-end pages are often confused with ‘orphaned pages’, however, orphaned pages can still link to other pages, it simply means that no other pages’ link back to them in exchange.
It’s easy to see why the two can often get confused, however, the distinction is important.
- Dead-end pages have links pointing towards them. They do not have links pointing onwards or any clear CTA or navigation options (thus creating a dead-end).
- Orphaned pages on the other hand, do not have links pointing towards them. They can have links pointing onwards, but are not reciprocated.
Is there ever a good reason to create a ‘dead-end’ page on your website?
The short answer is no! There is no real benefit to having a dead-end page on your website. In fact, it is more likely to damage your website and hinder your progress than anything else (as we will cover shortly). As such, it’s important that you keep an eye out for any pages that might fall under that category.
Some people argue that dead-end pages can used to create a ‘sense of completion’, signalling to users that there is no further action required of them, but this is a waste of opportunity.
For example, a ‘order confirmation page’ is typically a dead-end page. However, you also have an opportunity to link your users to social proof, your social media pages, or additional information such as ‘How-to’ blog posts to get the most out of their newly purchased products, etc.
Why are dead-end pages harmful?
Dead-end pages can be harmful because they will increase the bounce rate on your website. If your users are arriving on a dead-end page, there’s a good chance that they aren’t going to take any further action (e.g., head over to a recommended product or service page / read an additional blog post that you’ve linked to for further learning).
It’s not worth the risk.
How to effectively avoid creating dead-end pages
The best way to avoid creating dead-end pages is to always be thinking about what possible actions your website visitors could be taking next.
For example, if you have a service page (which could easily become a dead-end page), you should consider adding the following features at the bottom:
- Link to an FAQ to help overcome objections.
- Link to case-studies and customer reviews for further nurturing.
- Recommend different products or services they may be interested in.
- Invite them to contact you for further information.
As you can see from the examples above, each point will effectively improve the user experience. Your website visitors don’t find themselves at a dead end. Instead they can either make a purchase, or seek further assistance.
Take this company offering SEO services in Las Vegas as an example. On the linked service area page, they have:
- A link to request a free proposal.
- Links to different services.
- A link to information on a new analytics tool.
- Frequently asked questions.
- And a contact form.
Conclusion: No dead-ends!
In conclusion, dead-ends are a waste of opportunity. Always anticipate your website visitors’ needs and guide them toward a positive conclusion: spending their money with you.