Website landing page Vs home page

A landing page is not synonymous with a home page. It’s true that landing pages appear to be identical to the home page but there are certain subtle differences between the two. The goal, traffic source and good purpose of your landing page are markedly different from that of your website home page. Yes, they are both designed to draw an audience and boost your overall business but each does it in its own signature way.

Put simply, the home page of your website is the prime virtual representative of your overall business. It offers a general overview of your trade at a glance. The landing page is strictly dedicated to one particular product or service or aspect of your business. It’s the page where your traffic reaches (read lands) after clicking on your ad online.

In other words:

  • A landing page is the “response page” and conversion is the immediate purpose here.
  • The home page inspires your audience to know about your overall business and check other pages for further information. Conversion is not an immediate but rather a gradual purpose here.

Without further ado, let’s quickly check out the major differences between the two:

1. Who’s knocking? (category of the audience)

First and foremost, the landing page and home page are made for two different categories of audiences. As mentioned previously, there are subtle differences between the purpose of the two pages. And that reflects in the type of audience each page individually invites, inspires or receives. Let us break down audience types.

Landing page audience

The landing page especially caters to those viewers who have clicked on your ad the very ad has redirected these viewers to a page that contains information about the product/service being advertised. For example, let’s say you are a fashion accessory seller and have put up an ad online for a cool tan tote bag. Now, whenever a person will click on this ad, he will be redirected to the landing page that features details of the bag and also offers the buying option. So, in this case, the audience of a landing page are those who want to know about a specific product and also intend to purchase it. This way, these visitors are already in your sales funnel and show faster and higher chances of immediate conversion.

Home page audience

As discussed previously, those who visit your home page primarily intend to “explore” your website or know about your business. Most of them do not intend to buy anything right away and their main objective here is to gather information about your trade. They might convert into your customers later but, unlike a landing page, conversion is not the immediate effect here.

2. The linking part and quality of links

Landing pages focus on one sole objective: conversion of traffic.

On the contrary, a home page has to juggle myriad roles. It has to feature information about your business in general, the customers you serve, the USP of your trade/site and so on. Additionally, the home page has to allow people to look for and navigate to different pages or sections across the website. Besides, the page will also contain social buttons that will take visitors to the business’ profile page on social media sites.

The difference in link volume:

Based on the discussion above, your home page will always bustle with multiple links to help visitors interact with the site in a variety of ways.

However, it’s not the case with your landing page. In fact, too many links on the landing page will only leave the visitors distracted and baffled which might affect the goal of conversion big time. An ideal landing page offers just 3 options to the visitors:

  • Convert
  • Sign in
  • Leave page

The idea is to offer them minimal options so that they don’t get confused and can take prompt decisions without getting distracted. Don’t risk taking the audience off your landing page.

Let’s define the situation further with an easy example.

Let’s say, your business page on social media is commanding rising numbers of “Likes”. You might be tempted to put the links of your social pages on top of the landing page to boast your glorious social proof. You might think it will be a great promotion for the business and might inspire further conversion.

But, this is an unwise thing to do.

If you put these links on the landing page, your visitor could be intrigued to check your social page first. Don’t forget, that social media is bustling with a large number of random stuff. So, the moment a visitor (from the landing page) goes to social platforms he is likely to get crowded by all kinds of information, notifications and entertainment featured over there. In the meantime, he might forget about the landing page and your chances of conversion would drain down into the abyss.

Where does the compass point to?

Navigation is again another key difference parameter between a landing page and the home page.

The home page leads to many roads

the home page allows smooth and easy navigation all across the website. Whether you wish to check the “About Us” section or fill out the Contact form or scan the different products/services offered- your start page is always the home page. It’s because, once again, visitors hitting the home page wish to explore your website as a whole. Thus, the home page should be categorically designed to enable convenient navigation to any page or section of the website.

The landing page limits traffic to the same page

The landing page doesn’t allow navigation to other pages of your website. The page is driven by one sole motto: convert visitors into customers. We have already given an example of what might happen if you put links to social media pages on top of the landing page. The main idea here is to keep visitors focused on your particular product on the landing page. If you offer them the possibility to check out other links, they might forget to come back to the product after all.

4. What’s in the pie?

The content type singlehandedly differentiates a landing page from a home page of a website.

The home page houses myriad contents

The job of your home page is to provide a general overview of your business. Naturally, the page will be loaded with a diverse range of content. There will be a menu bar, a search bar, and information about the company, its industry as well as the services or products it offers. There could be a small section on “Why to Choose Us?”. Some home pages also feature customer testimonials. Then, of course, your home page would feature contact details, sneak peeks on the “About Us” section and social media buttons.

It’s all because the home page gets organic traffic and visitors there don’t usually come with one “specific” purpose. Most of them happen to land on your home page just to check out your business while browsing the web.

The landing page houses specific content

The motto of a landing page is “cut the chase bro” and “come to the point”.

The page doesn’t cater to random organic traffic that a home page receives. The traffic that is redirected to your landing page has seen your ad and now is solely interested to know about and possibly buy the product featured. Naturally, the content of your landing page should contain information specifically pertaining to that product.

For example, let’s say you are a florist and sell various kinds of flowers. Now, you have made beautiful flower bouquets and have put them on online ads. So, you have ads for rose bouquets, orchid bouquets and so on. But say, a potential customer is looking for a rose bouquet. He searches for “rose bouquet” online and pop comes your ad. When he clicks on your ad, you shouldn’t take him to your home page but to that particular landing page that features a rose bouquet. As he enters the page, he is regaled by all the necessary information he might need about his chosen red bouquet- number of flowers, shipping terms, customization options etc.- and no other unnecessary information.

5. Cut to action

CTA or Call-To-Action is meant to inspire a prompt action in relevance to the page where it is embedded.

CTA is a must on the Landing page

A landing page is incomplete without a clear CTA tab. It’s because this particular page is primarily action-oriented. We have mentioned time and again that the key purpose of a landing page is conversion. And conversion is never possible unless the visitors on the page take a certain action. The CTA tab inspires them to take the needed action that will “convert” them into customers. Major examples of CTA buttons on the landing page are- “Buy Now”, “Get Free Evaluation” or “Buy now and get 20% off” and so on.

CTA isn’t a must on the home page

Your home page may or may not feature a CTA tab. It’s because the prime purpose of the page is not conversion. Rather it serves as more of a resource or information page through which visitors get an idea about your website. And if they wish to check out other sections of your website through the home page, they already have the menu bar or search bar on the page. They won’t require a CTA tab for that.

The takeaway

The bottom line is although both the landing page and home page are parts of one website yet these two serve two different purposes. The home page comes packed with diverse links, sources and information to guide visitors about different aspects of your business in general. In contrast, landing page especially deals with the aim of conversion. As a result, it only stresses facts and details that are relevant to the offering featured on the page and can prompt conversion.

Let’s wind up with 5 pro tips on optimizing your landing page like a boss:

  1. The landing page should especially feature information on the product/service that’s featured on the ad that redirects to the page.
  2. Page content should be rich in keywords relevant to the online ad.
  3. Featured information should be precise, authentic and to the point.
  4. There must be multiple images of the product/service featured.
  5. Be careful of image clarity and caption.
  6. The CTA button should be easy to find.

Hexadesigns is a web development and design company in Kolkata, India. We develop agile web applications, corporate websites and other good stuff. This is our blog where we write periodically to educate common users on the complex jargon of the web development industry.

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