What’s The Difference: Landing Page vs Homepage?

What’s the difference between a landing page and a homepage? This type of terminology trips people up all of the time.

And don’t worry about it.

We’re jargon busters here at Canny Creative, so we’re here to help!

Even though this sounds like website design 101, people are often confused by the two terms. We often hear one used, when it should be the other, and vice versa.

So, without making a big song and dance about it, what is the difference between a landing page and a homepage?

What is a Homepage?

A homepage is the main page on your website. And quite often, it’s the page that visitors land on first.

Which is why people often refer to it as a landing page.

For example:

The Canny Creative homepage is located at canny-creative.com. Google’s homepage is google.com, Apple is apple.com, and so on.

This page is the page that is set as the default or starting page to your website, and often links out, or introduces other areas of the website.

Essentially, the job of your home page is to encourage website visitors to learn more about your brand or business. Then, take them from the home page through your products or service, encouraging them to buy or reach out along the way.

The Different Types of Home Page

But there are many different types of homepage.

Here are a few examples:

The Informational Homepage

The Canny homepage is an informational homepage. It has information about our services, what we do, perhaps a few client reviews, and a call to action (a way for clients to get in touch.)

The Shop Homepage

The shop homepage is something like Amazon or Not on the High Street. These pages are designed to encourage you to click into products, or product categories, eventually making a purchase.

The Blog or News Homepage

A blog or news homepage is something similar to BBC News or The Huffington Post. A series of catchy tidbits and articles that encourage you to click through, and read more.

Different websites need their homepage to serve a different purpose. The functionality of your homepage is usually dependent on your business model.

Think carefully about what should go on your homepage.

But…

When You Should Use a Home Page

All of the time. Your website should always have a homepage.

If a website has not had a home page created or allocated, when someone attempts to visit the site, it’s likely they’ll see a random list of files and bounce straight off your website.

And that’s not what you want!

Your website is often one of your main selling tools and brand touch points, so make sure it’s relevant, up to date, and helps your business put its best foot forward.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a very different type of web page to your homepage.

Technically, a landing page is any page on your website that a visitor can land on.

However, when we’re talking about landing pages in the sense of digital marketing and advertising, this isn’t what we mean.

When you hear people talking about landing pages in a marketing context, it’s more common that they’re referring to standalone web pages that form part of a marketing or advertising campaign.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at how landing pages can help in your digital marketing efforts.

The Two Types of Landing Page

There are two main types of landing page that are used in online marketing.

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Click Through

Let’s take a look at what these landing pages can be used for:

Lead Generation

The main type of landing page is a lead generation page.

As you may have guessed, the goal of this page is to convert your visitors into leads. And there are a lot of different ways you can do this.

Two of the main ways are:

  1. Encouraging people to reach out directly.
  2. Get people signed up onto your mailing list.

Either way, you want to take your visitors and turn them into leads. Some people are happy to reach out straight away, others need fed information, and then sold.

Or in the words of Gary Vaynerchuk, jab jab jab, right hook.

The purpose of a lead generation landing page, is to allow you to collect information, that allows you to contact or market to your visitors.

Often, a lead generation page will contain a contact form, or signup form, and a free giveaway.

The idea of a free giveaway is to encourage your visitors to sign up to get the giveaway, in turn giving you their contact information.

Here are several examples of some giveaways we’ve seen used as a lead magnet (a way to attract leads):

  • eBooks or Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • Free Consultation
  • Free Trial
  • Notification of future products or posts

There are several studies around the length of the ideal lead generation page, or what to include and not include.

But the general idea of a lead generation landing page is to convert visitors into leads. Eventually making sales.

Click Through

The click through landing page is a different type of page altogether.

The goal of this page is to encourage your website visitors to click through to other pages in your website. Essentially pushing them through your sales funnel.

Click through landing pages are often used in ecommerce websites to encourage users to click through into different areas of your shop, hopefully buying more product along the way.

When You Should Use a Landing Page

There are several different occasions that you should consider using a landing page within your website.

  1. When you’re paying for clicks – You want to use your pay per click adverts to drive traffic to a a dedicated landing page. The headline and content should match the advert title and copy. By using landing pages like this, you’re giving yourself a better chance of turning visitors into customers.
  2. When a blog post just won’t do – Sometimes, you might identify a keyword or phrase that just won’t work as a blog post. Location based keywords for example. Graphic Design Newcastle – hard to write a blog post about, easy to create a landing page for.

Just remember, a landing page should be focused around a specific keyword, term, or phrase.

This will give you the best chance to resonate with your target audience and seal the deal.

How Do I Design a Landing Page?

There are numerous ways that you can design a landing page for your website.

For example:

If you’re using a custom WordPress theme, and your design agency have done a great job, you should be able to create a landing page without hassle.

However, sometimes your design agency isn’t up to scratch, or you can’t build a landing page easily.

Well, here are several options that could help you:

  • Leadpages
  • Optimizely
  • Unbounce
  • Visual Website Optimizer

These four websites offer SaaS (software as a solution) services that can help you get started building your own landing pages.

Here are five things to think about when designing your own landing page:

  1. Make sure you remain “on brand” – the colours match, the font matches, your logo is present etc.
  2. The messaging needs to be right. If people click through from an advert, make sure your website copy matches up.
  3. Think about the giveaway you’re offering. Often expanding on your website’s main themes or your companies services is a good way to convert visitors.
  4. Remember to test for speed. You don’t want to lose visitors because your website is too slow to load.
  5. Make sure your website is engaging. Nobody wants to read a long boring sales page! Make it engaging, informative, and the leads will follow.

What’s this A/B Testing All About?

That’s for a different blog post altogether. But essentially, A/B testing is where you create two versions of your landing page.

You test version A against version B, and then publish the page converts the best.

But like I said, that’s a different blog post altogether!

Conclusion: What’s The Difference: Landing Page vs Homepage?

Your homepage is the page that’s normally located at your main URL. And you’ll only have one of them.

Landing pages are used as part of a larger digital marketing strategy and you’ll usually have more than one of them.

And that’s all there is to it. We hope you found this useful.

How do you use landing pages in your marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments below.

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