They say that you can only make one first impression, so you’d better make it a good one especially when it comes to your landing pages. For many ecommerce businesses, landing pages are THE single most effective “first impression” that money can buy – provided that they’re set up in the right way. Despite this, far too many organizations design their pages ineffectively, to say the least. If your pages currently have these six core elements, congratulations – you just discovered the reason why you aren’t getting the results that you’re after. More importantly, you know what you should be focusing on to correct that issue as soon as possible.

No Social Credibility

When choosing to work with any one particular business online, many people are looking for one thing above all else: credibility. Your readers don’t just need to see you as an authority, they need to see you as someone to be trusted. Social media functionality like the ability to instantly share a page via Facebook or Twitter is a great way to build that reputation using the power of cyber networking. It instantly conveys to your readers “we’re proud of what we have to offer and if you want to tell your friends about it, you can do it in just a few quick clicks of your mouse.”

This also lets you use the benefit of word of mouth to your advantage. If people see that your page has been shared thousands of times thanks to a social media counter somewhere within the text, it immediately gives you more credibility than you had before.

No Security or Social Media Badging

Another example of a truly ineffective page is one that lacks two important components: security and social media badging. Your customers want to know that you’re always going to act in their best interests at heart, even before your relationship has technically begun. Making certain elements like quality or money guarantees, clear return and refund policies and other trust marks as visible as possible goes a long way towards building up that deep level of trust that you need to transform a “slightly interested party” into a “valued repeat customer” sooner rather than later. They help to instill a deep sense of safety in your customers, which makes them much more likely to not only spend money but to spend money with YOUR business.

Bad Grammar and Spelling

As previously stated, one of the critical qualities that people are looking for when they hit your page is credibility. People don’t just want to spend money on a product or service – they want to spend money on the right product or service. One of the single most effective ways to absolutely kill that credibility before it has had a chance to work to your advantage is to publish a page filled with bad grammar and spelling.

How many times have you gotten one sentence into an email only to delete it because it was filled with so many errors and typos that it barely made sense? That’s exactly what happens if your pages have those qualities, too.

Misleading Page Titles

One of the most important messages that a page has to convey in a short period of time to your reader is “you’re in the right place.” If your page titles are misleading, that message instantly gets muddied. Readers will start to doubt not only that you’re able to give them the information they’re looking for, but ultimately your company as a whole.

Overly Complex Wording

Landing pages should be almost beautifully simple. They should very quickly say to a reader “Yes, you’re in the right place and here is easy access to the information you’re looking for.” How can you expect to accomplish that if your page is filled with overly complex wording? All the page is really doing is confusing your reader, sending them into the arms of a competitor that is much easier to understand.

Generic Stock Imagery

How can a business ever expect to position themselves as an authority if their pages are filled with the type of generic stock imagery that can easily be found on dozens (or even hundreds) of other sites around the Internet? If you’re showing off a product or service, take your own photos for your pages – end of story. Nobody can show off your company the way you can and the investment is more than worth it.