What Is a Landing Page and How Is It Different from a Website?

Every business needs its own place on the Internet, whether it is to share information about the company, sell products or services online, or simply to make it easier for the customers to ask about the details of available products.

Putting all those things in one place may not be the best idea, since each goal requires a different approach to get the best results.

In some cases, a landing page works much better than a regular website, and you're about to learn why.

Key Differences

A homepage is an entry point to a journey, something like crossroads, where users can choose multiple paths. Landing pages on the other hand are more straightforward, with a single trail to follow. You may ask – but how do I apply this metaphor to my marketing strategy?


Usually, websites contain numerous subpages, links, and purposes. As a user, you use them to contact a website owner, learn more about the company, or even buy their products. In fact, a homepage serves as company headquarters available for anyone, or a hub, connecting all important pages (such as blog or offer) in one place. Before you dive in and build your first landing page, take a moment to learn when a typical website will be enough for you, and when landing pages should come in handy.

Landing Page vs. Homepage

Organic and Paid Traffic

Long story supershort: Homepage is for organic traffic, whereas you should use landing pages for paid traffic.


If you’ve never heard these terms before, no need to worry, here’s an explanation. Organic traffic is when visitors themselves search specifically for your company. For example, when they type your name in a search engine. Paid traffic is when you do the work, for example, publish an ad on a social platform, and try to reach people who are potentially interested in what you offer.

To summarize briefly – a homepage may not seem crucial, but it works great as a place where people can learn more about your business, read your blog, or find useful contact information. Landing pages are definitely better when it comes to advertising purposes, and – what’s even more interesting – creating them is much easier and requires hardly any knowledge if you use a landing page builder.

How much information do my customers need?

Another difference between landing pages and homepages is the number of (sub)pages. Homepages always contain more than just one page – they’ve got global navigation (usually at the top of the page) linking to all the important stuff.


Homepages give visitors an opportunity to walk around the website and discover every page separately – and there’s always something to discover – a blog, login page, products or services page, contact and so on. That’s because you create a website to share all kinds of information – about your company, your products, prices, and much more.

Landing pages, on the other hand, usually consist of a single page and an attached thank you page, simply because – unless it’s a part of a sales or marketing funnel – they have only one information, one goal to pass on.



Homepage

Landing Page

Goals

Every website should have an objective. A homepage has different purposes at the same time, a landing page has only one goal, and you should specify it before creating your landing page.

A perfect landing page is built around one goal, and that may be collecting leads (for building the potential customer database), selling products or services, gathering participants for an event or webinar, offering coupons, recruiting, announcing new releases in your product range, etc.

Typical homepage goals:

- Sharing information about the company

- Selling products

- Educating (blog)

- Helping customers (help center)

Homepage, menu

Landing Page, goals

Target Audience

At the end of every website, there are users. Homepages are built for a broad spectrum of visitors, whereas landing pages should have a specified audience. Sometimes the product implicates the target audience, but things aren’t always that easy. To define your target audience, ask yourself these 5 questions:

The answers will make it easier for you to define your target audience. Of course, each product, service, event, and so on, needs an entirely different target audience – keep that in mind.

  1. What is the stage of life of my potential customers?
  2. What language(s) do they use (fluently)?
  3. What are they interested in?
  4. What’s their approximate income level?
  5. What can I say about their demographics (location, age, gender)?

Functionality

Landing pages are usually much simpler than homepages – a contact form, integrated calendar, time counter or embedded videos mark the top of landing pages’ functionality.


It’s perfect for presenting a product, inviting people to an event or gathering their resumes in the hiring process, but – keeping in mind that there’s a single purpose to be served – you shouldn’t overload a landing page with content.


A homepage, on the other hand, has everything we can imagine – but keep in mind that getting more costs more (both in time and money) and even a homepage can get overwhelming for users.


Landing page builders usually offer a drag & drop interface with widgets, which means you’ll be able to create an effective landing page with a few clicks. Websites are much more complex, and there’s usually no way to create one yourself, unless you have some experience with coding.

Content

Writing content for a regular website seems to be time-consuming, as one should prepare quite a large amount of text. That’s because a homepage covers more topics than a landing page. The content you write for your company’s or brand’s web page is more general and you don’t have to worry about it being too long. Whenever it’s necessary to describe something in detail, you can do it and use the space as you like.


There’s nothing wrong with putting a lot of text on your homepage. It should be informative and SEO-friendly, and that explains it. Alas, such a piece of content would most likely kill the landing page and trample it for good.


The landing page content has to be short and on point. It also has to correspond with the content of an ad that drove the traffic to it. This is why – regardless of its length – it takes some time to come up with a text that ill be good enough to put it online.

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Takeaways

Knowing which elements differentiate websites from landing pages is just an entry point, but a very important one. To make sure you get everything right, check the list below:

1. Landing pages are not just websites simplified, but pages with a specific goal – a single goal, to be precise.

2. They are only for paid traffic, while the homepages work with organic visitors.

3. In order to squeeze the most out of a landing page, you should determine what its target audience will be.

4. One of the most crucial elements of a landing page is a Call to Action and a form.

Why and When do You Need Landing Pages?

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