Landing page vs homepage vs website: oh my! Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore. We’re someplace far more confusing: the internet. And if you want your business to thrive online, you need to know the key differences between these three concepts.

The fundamental difference between a website, landing page, and homepage is that you design them with completely different purposes in mind:

  • The website is the base of operations for your online presence
  • The homepage of your site sets the stage
  • A landing page allows visitors to accomplish a specific goal

These are all broad definitions, so let’s get more into what makes for a compelling website, effective homepage, and typical landing page.

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. No—It’s a Website!

It all starts here. The website.

A website is the place where your brand primarily lives online. It’s where you post your content (blogs, service pages, testimonials, landing pages, homepages, contact info, and more) as various web pages, all under a single domain name.

A group of people watch a website page fly by with a cape. Two people say "bird" and "plane". Play on the Superman joke, "It's a bird. No, it's a place. No, it's Superman!"
“It’s a bird!” “No, it’s a plane.” “No, it’s a website, DUH.”

What Makes for a Good Website?

The markers of a good website are that it accomplishes the following:

Two of the most important types of pages you can have on your site are your homepage and landing pages. Let’s dig into each a little more.

What the Heck is a Homepage?

A website homepage is typically the first page users will see on your site. So make sure it leaves a good first impression.

Let’s use an example… our own!

It didn’t always look this good, but right now we’re pretty darn proud of it.

Digital Strike homepage

As you can see, we give an overview of the solutions and services we offer with a couple of calls-to-action (CTAs) sprinkled throughout the page. We have a “sticky header,” which means our header stays at the top even when you scroll down—and our phone number stays prominently displayed. We also have a navigation menu that lets you explore the rest of our site depending on what you want to know.

Look how pretty it is.

A woman crowns herself. Digital Strike logo overtop her head.
We are very proud of ourselves.

What Makes for a Good Homepage?

Seeing a homepage is great, but what exactly makes one good? Here is what a good homepage should accomplish.

1. Occupy your root domain (e.g., www.digitalstrike.com) and be the central hub of your website.

It’s where the link in your company logo links, and it’s where site visitors can easily find navigation to the rest of your site. It should always leave a phenomenal first impression.

2. Give a comprehensive overview of what your business does.

When looking at your homepage, a visitor should definitively know what your company does and feel compelled to venture within the site for more detailed information.

3. Link to every other crucial permanent page of your website.

People who land on your homepage should be able to easily access all valuable web pages, including all service pages, your blog, the contact page, your storefront (if you have one) and more.

4. Tell visitors how to connect with you in different ways.

Your homepage does not need to call someone to conduct a specific action, but it should allow for some type of action, including telling users how to connect with you. That means:

  • Making sure your phone number is prominently displayed.
  • Including buttons to your social media pages.
  • Including a Contact Us form/email submission form.
  • Adding your email contact information in a smart location.

5. Get users to engage with your brand.

You want all site visitors to engage your brand in some way as quickly and as efficiently as possible before their enthusiasm fades. Anything less is a wasted visit, which means wasted opportunity for new business with your target audience.

A stop sign with traffic going to a laptop, representing the concept of web traffic to a homepage.

What’s a Landing Page?

A landing page is a fundamental component of online ad campaigns.

Here is how it works.

You create an ad with a strong CTA that incentivizes users to click through the ad to land on—you guessed it—your landing page. The landing page is a specially designed, standalone web page for a specific campaign, engineered to encourage users to take a desired action. That desired action can be anything, from signing up for an email list to making a purchase.

Let’s take a look at a few examples below.

Landing Page Example #1

Here is an example of a landing page we designed for a client.

Landing Page Example #1

We specifically designed it for a campaign to promote the company’s fire damage restoration services. The call-to-action is to schedule a free estimate, and as you can see below, the phone number is prominently displayed three times. And there’s a form you can fill out.

It gives you just enough information that makes you want to call this company and see how they can restore your home.

Note that it has a singular call-to-action (get the free estimate).

Landing Page Example #2

Landing pages aren’t always as short and sweet as our previous example. Sometimes, you need to have more information available because your business is intricate.

Landing Page Example #2

This particular client specializes in micromachining laser services and systems, which, as you can imagine, can be complex in nature. The concept of micromachining lasers is not easily whittled down to a one-scroll landing page.

But, as you can see, we were able to temper this complexity by including a series of bright call-to-action buttons that guide the visitor’s eye to the form at the bottom. It’s a relatively long page, but it still funnels the visitor toward a single call-to-action.

This landing page is a little longer, but it does everything it needs to do.

What Makes for an Effective Landing Page?

Let’s talk about what a high-converting landing page should accomplish.

1. Feature design elements to receive traffic from one or several specific sources.

A landing page is designed to welcome traffic from a click on an ad on Google (or another search engine) or a link inside an email marketing campaign. The info on the page should expand on what’s found in the ad/email and be easy to navigate both on desktop and on mobile.

2. Prompt visitors to accomplish a goal with a strong CTA.

A landing page funnels visitors in the direction of accomplishing a central goal, such as signing up for a newsletter, requesting a free quote, registering for a webinar, and more.

3. Stay focused on a single topic or offer.

A landing page should never say or do too much. Anything above and beyond a single topic distracts the visitor from the main goal.

4. Omit or downplay navigation options.

Unlike your homepage, a landing page should not include a navigation bar. That would allow visitors to click out of the page, lessening any chance for meaningful action and leading to lower conversion rates.

5. Not necessarily be a permanent part of your site.

Your homepage is the face of your website, a mainstay feature. A landing page is more of a temporary microsite, meant only for use in conjunction with specific marketing campaigns.

Two women-one on a cell phone and one on a laptop-give a thumbs up.
Optimized for mobile and web traffic? You bet!

Landing Page vs Homepage: How and When to Use Each One

When do you use a landing page or a homepage? It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Let’s look at some of the most common scenarios and when you might have to choose between your homepage and a landing page.

Listing necessary information about your business.

Landing page or homepage: Homepage.

Why: When you’re listing core business details like your address, phone number, and office hours, you don’t need an action-oriented landing page. People will likely interact with you offline if they’re searching for this kind of information by calling you or visiting your office or store.

Note: Don’t necessarily shy away from including an opt-in opportunity on your homepage, in addition to your general business info. Doing so can help with lead generation.

When you’re running Facebook ads (or any other paid social campaign).

Landing page or homepage: Landing page.

Why: Just informing people your business exists is not an effective angle for your paid search campaigns. Facebook users don’t go to Facebook to look at your ads, so it usually takes a little extra nudge to get them to click through your ad and connect with you.

The best kind of nudge is to offer something special, like a freebie, a signup bonus, or a limited-time discount.

Note: While you can use your homepage for special offers, you’ll have a lot more space to make an impact on a landing page. Your homepage likely contains too many areas that can distract the visitor and entice them to click away before they commit to the specific action you want them to perform. Plus, when you use a landing page specifically designed for a social campaign, you can track your success much more easily.

Running a paid search campaign (e.g., Google Ads).

Landing page or homepage: Landing page…usually.

Why: The same factors that make landing pages good fits for paid social campaigns also make them the best choice for PPC campaigns. Visitors from paid search campaigns are acquired by using keywords that relate to specific elements contained within your business offers, and so a landing page gives you the chance to write content that is a reflection of these keywords.

For example, let’s say you’re running a campaign for a construction company that wants to promote its siding services. Instead of making the primary focus of the homepage all about siding (and ignoring all of the other services they offer), you can create a dedicated landing page to showcase siding services and then funnel the visitors from the campaign to this specific page. This action can significantly increase the company’s chances of acquiring potential customers.

Note: One possible exception is if you’re running a paid local search campaign that uses extremely broad keywords like “construction companies near me.” In this case, the homepage could be used since you’re just advertising that you exist and not promoting a specific service.

Launching a new product or service.

Landing page or homepage: Landing page.

Why: Whether it’s a new product, a live event, a big sale, or whatever you’re promoting, a landing page is the best choice.

Note: A great landing page is where visitors can channel their excitement over something new into immediate action, providing immediate results for you. These results include an RSVP to your event, a pre-order process for your new product, or a mobile-friendly CTA button that visitors can use to call you directly from their devices.

When You Need Help Optimizing Websites, Landing Pages, and Homepages…

Now you know the basics of a landing page vs homepage vs website. But optimizing each piece of this digital marketing puzzle can be difficult. That’s where the help of a team of digital marketing strategists can make a difference. Contact the experts at Digital Strike – Targeted Marketing. We may not know how to tackle lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but we can certainly help you tackle your landing pages, homepages, and websites.

Digital Strike

Learn more about Digital Strike

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