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404: Page Not Found

March 26, 2019

We’ve all seen it — the dreaded “404: page not found” screen.

A 404 error appears on your computer screen when the internet address you are trying to visit cannot be found. There can be various reasons for one of these errors: the URL might be incorrect, the content of the page could have been deleted or moved, or the connection to the website itself might be broken.

This problem can cause frustration, anxiety and even anger. Even though it may not be the fault of the organization housing the website, in a searcher’s mind, that is where the blame is often placed. Eventually, without the ability to find whatever they are searching for, individuals often give up on their initial search and turn to another option.

Why does this reaction matter?
One of the largest challenges for many farmers and ranchers is talking about themselves and their operation. By design, they are excellent at wearing many hats. On certain days of the week they may double as nutritionists, geneticists, veterinarians and mechanics. Doubling as a photographer, writer or communications specialist is not generally something they are excited about — except in a few rare cases. This apprehension is understandable; however, the problem with it is they may be unintentionally turning themselves into a 404 page.

Imagine this: A commercial producer is at the local sale barn buying some replacement females. There, he overhears a conversation between two individuals raving about calves they have been getting out of the Hereford bulls they purchased and exposed to their cow herd the previous year from ABC Ranch.

The commercial producer goes home with his newly acquired replacement females, and he starts to think about his breeding decisions. He decides to try a Hereford bull and does a quick Google search for ABC Ranch, but he cannot find it. He continues to dig for anything he can find about ABC Ranch, but his searches come up short. Eventually he gives up and buys his bulls from XYZ Ranch instead. Unfortunately, ABC Ranch was a 404 — the page could not be found, or it did not exist.

What can you do about it?
My advice to ABC Ranch and other Hereford breeders is to attend The Brand Marketing Summit, June 3-4, 2019, hosted by the American Hereford Association in Kansas City, Mo. Not only will industry experts be on hand to help you establish a marketing plan moving forward, but we will also help you streamline the marketing process, making it easier and more time efficient.

Big or small, The Brand Marketing Summit provides an opportunity for everyone to learn from fellow Hereford breeders and industry experts. I encourage you to learn more and register by clicking here. Please reach out to me with any questions you may have at kdavis@hereford.org.

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 Hereford World. Kendra Davis is the director of communications and public relations at the American Hereford Association and can be reached at kdavis@hereford.org.