When it comes to customer engagement, you’ve likely heard about the importance of both a properly-designed landing page and a homepage. However, many may not realize the instinctive difference between the two and their purposes.
Without properly understanding the unique purposes of both the landing page and the homepage, web designers run the risk of improperly implementing either one or the other.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how a landing page differs from a homepage and the unique purposes a landing page has in digital marketing.
Purpose of a Homepage – Help Current Users Navigate Your Website
It is unlikely that your website will get visitors to its homepage that aren’t already familiar with your website and the unique services that it is offering to clients.
When visiting a homepage, users will typically have a specific goal in mind. Therefore, when creating a homepage, it is imperative that you include easy navigational tools that will allow users to guide themselves to the area of the site that they wish to be in. Hence, a website’s homepage will oftentimes be filled to the brim with navigational buttons and links, none of which will stand out to a specific user any more than the others.
So long as users are able to navigate your homepage and find the area of your site that they are looking for, your homepage has done its job.
Purposes of A Landing Page
1. Landing Pages Bring New Users to Your Website
In contrast, landing pages are most often visited by users who are not otherwise aware of your website. Users will typically be directed to landing pages through links on other websites, and the purpose of a landing page is to entice and give users a “call to action”, or CTA, where they might otherwise not have any specific intent.
For this reason, landing pages are typically oriented with a specific goal in mind, and all included links are specifically honed and included to try and help “funnel” users into interacting with your website properly.
2. Landing Pages Serve As a “Call to Action”
Most often, users will be led to a landing page through search results, advertisements, or e-mails sent for the purpose of solicitation. The purpose of a landing page, then, is to convert clicks into active engagement, maximizing the return on investment, or ROI spent on advertising campaigns.
Without a properly-implemented landing page that is specifically attuned to the needs of prospective clients, advertising dollars spent on generating leads for your business will go to waste. It is imperative, then, that your landing page focuses on a specific and pertinent CTA that effortlessly channels users who end up on your landing page further down the funnel.
3. Landing Pages Have a Specific Intent
Whereas your homepage will feature navigational links going to all different areas of your website, even those areas which are not directly related, your landing page will need to have a much more focused intent. Generally, landing pages will be focused on one singular CTA, so as not to overwhelm or confuse prospective customers.
If customers end up on your landing page and are confused by what they see, they may simply click off, unaware that they could be missing out on something that may benefit them.
Every element of your landing page, therefore, should be specifically targeted to help lure prospective customers in, with specific attributes that speak directly to their personal needs.
4. Landing Pages Don’t Distract Users with Extraneous Links
You may implement several landing pages for different advertising campaigns, and the more, the merrier!
The more specifically targeted your landing page is, the more chance it stands to appeal to the demographic it is trying to attract. If your landing page is too cluttered or vague, you stand the risk of losing prospective clients’ attention.
A good measure of how specifically targeted your landing page is would be to determine the ratio of links to specific CTAs. A landing page should not have a single link present that is not part of some specific CTA. If there is a link that is not pertinent to some specific CTA, that link should be left on the homepage.
As well, a landing page is best to focus on one single CTA or a group of inherently related CTAs than a group of disparate CTAs.
A call to action isn’t a call to action if nobody sees it, which means that the first and main goal of your CTA is to be seen! Too many CTAs will cancel each other out, meaning your landing page might as well have no call to action whatsoever!
5. Landing Pages Turn Clicks Into Customers
Landing pages are all about generating leads, getting to know your customers, and letting your customers get to know you. You can think of a landing page as an expertly designed business card, whereas your homepage is more akin to a detailed brochure that goes over all the intricacies of your business operation in detail.
All a landing page needs to do is communicate to prospective customers that what they need can be found here and that you are a professional enterprise that they can put their faith in to get what they want.
Landing pages are minimal, and home pages are maximal. The cleaner and more clear your landing page is, the better chance it has of converting clicks into customers!
Bottom Line – Landing Pages Need to Be Direct, Homepages Don’t
Because landing pages are so often the introduction that potential customers have to your website, they should be viewed more as advertisements than as web pages with some sort of utilitarian functionality.
Your homepage will be the navigational tool that allows users to do what they need to do on your website– your landing page is the advertisement that gets users to come to your website in the first place. For this reason, where your homepage will typically be crammed with all sorts of information, your landing page should only focus on information that will attract potential customers. Such information could include discounts or special offers.
Oftentimes, timed discounts and special offers create the best CTAs, as their exclusive nature can lead users to “act first, think later” out of fear that they will not make it to the offer in time. Little things like these garner engagement on your landing page and that engagement turn into active users on your homepage.