The Critical Difference Between Landing Pages and Homepages

Sep 16, 2019 - Ryan Black
Web

In the marketing world, we talk a lot about “landing pages.” They are essential for success in digital marketing, especially when advertising on Google or Facebook. But what exactly is a landing page? And why wouldn’t you want customers to see your homepage first?

Landing pages and homepages are different pages with different purposes. Both are necessary for digital marketing, but they are not interchangeable. In this article, we will explain the functional differences between landing pages and homepages, and explore how landing pages can be used to increase the number of sales leads generated on your website.

A Homepage is Not a Landing Page

A website homepage is extremely important to your brand. Customers, clients, potential hires, and press contacts are likely to see your homepage when they search for your business name on Google. A homepage is a broad introduction to your business, services, or products. Homepages provide basic information and allow visitors to browse your website freely. From the homepage, visitors should be able to navigate to your products or services, your team, an about section, your business hours, and other general information about your business.

More simply, homepages are hubs for general brand-positioning information about a company.

What Are Landing Pages?

Landing pages provide a free resource or service in exchange for contact information. They are highly-focused, stand-alone web pages designed to maintain a visitor’s focus on a specific objective. Examples include buying a discounted product, downloading an e-book or whitepaper, earning a coupon, or signing up for a free trial of a service or product. Landing pages are used primarily to generate sales leads and build marketing email lists. They also inform digital ad targeting strategies and help build your brand’s reputation for thought leadership in your industry.

How Do Landing Pages Work?

There are several ways visitors might reach your landing pages. They could:

  • Click an ad on Google or social media
  • Click a link in a marketing email
  • Click on a link from a Google search engine results page (SERP).

No matter how visitors find your landing page, the page should closely match the ad or link that led the visitor to them. This technique is called message matching and it is highly effective in increasing the success rate of landing pages. If your ad or button says “Claim Your 50% Discount Now,” the title of the page, headline, button, and form on the landing page should all say something about claiming a 50% discount now. The experience should be seamless for the prospective customer and the offer should be clear.

Targeting Niche Needs

Landing pages should be specific. When a potential customer reaches your landing page, you want them to fully engage with your resource offer. You want them to buy your discounted product, download your e-book, get your coupon, or sign up for your free trial. All content on landing pages should lead to that action, which will ultimately generate leads for future sales and marketing efforts. These leads have shown a direct interest in your products or knowledge and are highly valuable.

The more specific the resource you provide is, the more you learn about the visitors who download it. However, niche resources often attract fewer downloads than more general content.

For example, an e-book called “Best 100 Tools of 2019” may attract thousands of downloads, but many of those downloading the e-book won’t be interested in buying any of your products. On the other hand, an e-book called “Best 25 Tools for Hydraulic Mechanics in 2019” will generate fewer downloads, but each lead generated will be more valuable because you will know more about their needs and can target them with more specific products. When optimized, websites use multiple landing pages. Each landing page should be designed for a single purpose and audience.

But be careful with how much information you ask people to provide on your response form. While more information is always better for marketers, the more data you request from a page visitor to unlock your resource, the less likely they are to submit the form.

Examples of Landing Pages

Landing pages are useful in virtually all industries and niches.

  • Healthcare providers may use landing pages to attract younger people to sign up for free flu vaccine appointments in a small town. The emails of those who signed up would then be targeted in a marketing effort to increase the percentage of young people scheduling yearly checkups.
  • Manufacturing-based B2B businesses may use landing pages to offer potential customers downloadable product catalogs. To get to the download, the B2B business would require the landing page visitor to provide their name, title, and contact information which empowers the sales and marketing teams to follow up at a later date with discount offers.
  • A local hardware store may create landing pages that offer coupons for discounts on specific products. The hardware store could then follow up with those who claimed their coupons with additional deals on related products.

The Big Deal with Landing Pages

Landing pages are essential for businesses of all types. They streamline the buying process, supercharge your marketing efforts, and provide valuable insights into your customers and clients. Most importantly, they grow your email list by generating leads with niche interests. If you aren’t crafting and testing landing pages already, we would love to help you start.

If you aren’t sure how to get started with landing pages, send me an email at rblack@WeTellYourStory.com or click the link below.