Not knowing the difference between a landing page and home page can lead to epic fails for your digital marketing efforts. See, a landing page is like a gold mine of information. It is the mother lode, while a home page is more like a rumour that there’s gold beyond this point.
Here we’re going to explain the difference in detail so that you begin to see the importance of using landing pages more often.
Determining the Purpose
So, what is a landing page? It might be better to ask, what is a landing page for? The purpose of your landing page is to convert. Who views your landing page and home page is one of the most important differences between the two.
You want someone very specific to view your landing pages. These pages are created with a particular purpose in mind. You’re sending someone who has read something specific about your company to a page where they will find more information accurate to their purpose.
So, if someone has just clicked an ad about printing brochures when you also offer large format printing, vehicle wraps, and business cards, they will expect to find more info based on brochures and nothing about the other stuff. Because you create an ad with a specific message, your web landing page will lead them to more info based on that message. You can then help them take the next step they expect, which you want them to take.
Your digital ads should be targeting people with a specific purpose in mind. This will allow you to convert them with a logical plan. You decide what you want them to do and make it easier for them when they land on the page. If you send them to your home page, they won’t know what to do next. A landing page will tell them. That improves conversions.
This probably sounds like the thing we just mentioned. But there’s a bit more to it. Your home page is a place people might just happen to wander onto out of curiosity or in relation to a non-specific search. This is very organic. A person who arrives at a web landing page was sent there based on more refined searches or, as mentioned, because of an ad. This makes it more of a sales lead page.
So, where someone might do a general search for printing companies and land on your homepage, you can also create landing pages for someone who might enter something more detailed like “printing brochures for real estate.”
This means your ads have to be SEO friendly to capture specific targets to act as an effective sales lead page. Your landing page, in this case, would be all about your printing services specific to real estate brochures so that your target is really psyched that you’re telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. What do you sell? Why are your real estate brochures the best? How can they order them now?
Defined Call to Action
Drilling down a little further, your landing pages also make it easier to have more focused calls to action. Because they are like the action pages of your website, you can direct people to the next steps more easily. It’s almost like your web landing pages have helped you create a higher quality lead. Your home page can send people just about anywhere on your site based on the whim of the visitor. To format a landing page, you are basically saying, “No, just go here. This is where the action is.” So again, conversion is defined through specific messaging, and it is not necessarily sales. You can get them to do what you need them to do, whether it is calling you for more information, signing up for a newsletter, asking for a free demo, or placing an order if this is the ultimate goal.
Your CTA is a clear message that is large and in charge, so people know what to do. Doing it well on your website landing page helps you boost your conversions. It is also the perfect place to introduce offers and incentives from discounts to getting a free something or other with their first order. This will get them to act now, instead of deserting.
So, in this case, the difference is that you have a specific, very directed CTA, while your homepage is vaguer.
Resource vs. Action
Your website landing page is designed to convert traffic with a specific destination. Your homepage acts as a traffic cop for visitors with different travel plans in mind. While a landing page is a green light to proceed, your home page offers the opportunity to turn right or left, go straight or take the scenic route.
Your homepage should be well laid out to make it easy to interact with all visitors. That way, it’s easy for them to see where to go next but also to get a good overview of what you offer. Your landing pages are void of other links and focus on that CTA.
Your homepage allows people to take their own path and jump from place to place, while your website landing page is actionable for one step only. One is for the explorer while the other is for someone with a specific destination in mind.
Therefore, what a landing page should have is very limited, with maybe three options at most:
- Click the CTA
- Login or provide info
It sounds a little cold and unwelcoming, but people who are landing there are expecting to make one of these moves, so it’s all good.
Message vs. Welcome
In short, your landing page is a specific message, while your homepage is more like a welcome. You want your homepage to show a visitor that there’s plenty to do on your website, while your landing page is telling them the best thing to do for their specific needs. One says help yourself, while the other says, here take this.
Both pages are happy to see visitors, but home pages welcome unexpected guests, and the landing page sends out invitations.