Those who are new to the digital marketing industry operate under the false impression that there is no difference between a landing page vs homepage.
Business owners trying to do their digital marketing are particularly prone to this mistake. While your visitor may land on your homepage, that does not make your homepage a landing page.
The difference between a landing page and a homepage is more than just semantics. The landing pages vs homepage argument is settled by a simple business ideology - one universal across all disciplines. That ideology is intention. What makes these two categories unique is the fact that their purposes are vastly different. In other words, you intend to use them to achieve different goals.
We’re going to break down the key difference between a landing page and a homepage in practical terms. Practicality is essential so that you can easily apply these concepts in your work. For those familiar with landing pages, hopefully, you’ll find some new exciting takes on the basics and some new concepts to cut your teeth with.
It is fundamental to understand the definitions of a landing page vs a homepage. This will serve as our jumping-off point.
A Landing Page is a standalone page, designed for a specific campaign. Landing pages have a call-to-action and there should be nothing to distract your clients from converting.
A homepage exists as a single page of a larger website. It has lots of information and focuses on introducing your company. Your homepage is an invitation to the visitor to explore your brand.
Already for these straightforward definitions, the difference in intention between a landing page and homepage is striking.
Communication is the driving force of marketing, in all its different forms. A marketing campaign that does not clearly communicate with its audience is destined for failure. While you may use similar information at times, the way you communicate this on your landing page vs homepage will be different.
Below is an example of a lead generation landing page designed by our team at Apexure. Let’s look at the type of information we are communicating.
Brand Introduction: In our example, the introduction to Munley Law is done in two ways. Firstly, the bullet list on the upper right-hand side details both services offered and the firm’s achievements. The ‘cases we handle’ section gives the client more in-depth information.
Trust Indicators: The online buyer is a cautious buyer. Everyone knows that the internet is crawling with scam artists in all their different forms. Since with a landing page, you are keeping your information as concise as possible, you have to build trust quickly. The best way to tackle this is to put in as many trust indicators as possible. In this example, there are testimonials, as well as an external rating score. Additionally, there is a list of well-known publications that Munley Law has been featured in, as well as badges of the awards that the firm has won.
The Offer: The heading, introductory paragraph and the CTA button all clearly demonstrate what the client can expect to receive.
With a post-click landing page, visitors are directed from an ad or a web search. These ads or links would have a very specific offer to attract the user. For this page, the ad might say something like “Get Your Accident Claim Reviewed By Top Lawyers”. The landing page then expands on this offer - and why it’s attractive.
Imagine you are a financial investment firm, let’s call it Investments Inc. You’ve decided to run a lead generation campaign. After weighing the decision between landing page vs homepage, you opt to use a purpose-focused landing page. The offer is simple - customers can get a free assessment from one of your financial advisors. All they need to do in exchange is fill in their details and an advisor will contact them. Your landing page would probably have some of the same information as the previous example.
A brief description of your company
How will this be different on your landing page than a homepage?
The Investment Inc homepage should introduce the buyer to your brand. Again, buyer trust will be important, as well as detailing your products and services. Let’s look at your landing page vs homepage. The intention of your homepage is not to push for conversion. This is essential when comparing a landing page and homepage. Your homepage is an exploration platform for the rest of your brand. Think of it as rolling out the red carpet for potential clients. The three core elements of information from your landing page will still be there, but they will be communicated differently.
Brand Introduction: You have a whole website’s worth of space, so your brand introductions can be more detailed. Homepages are generally broken up into several sections. Different sections for our fictional company include ‘The Investment Inc. Method” and “Our Story”. As with your landing pages, you may incorporate multimedia.
Trust Indicators: Trust indicators are still essential - so there will still be testimonials, ratings etc. The difference here is that you can include more. Commonly, companies use a banner slider moving between different testimonials. Links to news articles about recent awards and achievements are a great way to showcase your achievements, without overwhelming the visitor.
The Offer: Your offer for your landing page vs homepage will be vastly different. Instead of pushing one specific offer, your homepage will be demonstrating your brand’s services as a whole.
The audiences for your landing page vs homepage are at different phases in the conversion funnel. With a landing page, the buyer has shown interest by clicking on your ad. In contrast, homepages attract organic traffic. So your landing page visitors are more ready to convert. This is a major difference in the layout and wording of your landing page from a homepage.
When looking at the structure of a landing page vs homepage, the obvious difference is the CTA. Landing pages have a specific CTA for a particular campaign, and so you don’t just have one landing page. You only have one homepage, so you can’t focus on pushing a singular CTA. Although your visitor might be moved to action by your homepage, it isn’t optimized for conversion.
For example, a client going through your Investment Inc. homepage may decide to call in and ask for an assessment with a financial advisor. But a client on your landing page is being explicitly told to leave their number for an assessment.
A major difference between a landing page vs homepage is that homepages have links, landing pages don’t.
A homepage is full of links both internal and external. You want the visitor to fully investigate your brand so they should be able to go to your social media or navigate through your site with little effort.
Landing pages, on the other hand, are conversion driven. Any distractions from this goal - including links - should be strictly avoided. Let’s say you put a link to your LinkedIn page on your landing page. When some visitors see this, they will click on it - directing them away from the page before they’ve had a chance to convert. Additionally, once the user has navigated to a social media platform, you have no guarantee they will stay on your page. Who is to say that after being directed to your LinkedIn page, the visitor won’t get distracted by job notifications.
Social media followers are a great trust indicator. Instead of direct linking, many landing pages just show the number of followers on their social media platforms.
There is a misconception about landing page vs homepage traffic. Your landing page traffic can be used to direct customers to your other online platforms but not directly. Once the user has converted, they should be redirected to a thank you page. Unlike your landing page, your thank you page can be and should be filled with links. One could include a link to their homepage, social media pages, or maybe even other landing pages.
The reverse is also true, many businesses include links to their landing page on their home page. These are normally in the form of banner ads or perhaps embedded intext. When looking at your page traffic, there is no need to strictly divide landing page vs homepage traffic. Integrating your online platforms is a great way to lengthen customer interaction.
Now that we have discussed the difference between a landing page vs homepage, we need to establish when to use each one.
You use landing pages when you are promoting a specific campaign. The goal is that the user will follow through with the CTA. Whether that’s a drive for more blog subscriptions or your seasonal blowout sale, you’re asking the customer to do something. So, you need a landing page.
Normally these landing pages are coupled with a PPC ad. This means that you are paying for each and every visitor. Directing a PPC ad to your homepage isn’t a good sales strategy - there are too many distractions. Low conversion rates translate to money wasted. The wrong choice between a landing page and a homepage can be very expensive.
We can see here the different intentions of your landing page vs homepage. Your homepage is the face of your brand. So, you should include information targeted at new visitors. This is normally your general background, as well as recent news or achievement.
Knowing when to choose a landing page or a homepage can save you money and an even more valuable resource - time. The differences between a landing page vs homepage make up the fundamentals of your digital marketing knowledge. So, using this as your foundation, you are sure to build a strong web presence. Contact us today!
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