One is Not Like the Other: Home Page and Landing Page
Fun fact of the day: Home pages and landing pages are not the same things. Yup, you heard that right! Contrary to popular belief, these two subjects are different things with their opposing purposes, elements, and designs. To be fair, they do have their similarities so they’re not polar opposites, but I’d say they have more differences than similarities.
We’ll dive more into what constitutes each subject later on. But first, let’s discuss what each one is.
What Is a Home Page?
A home page is, well, just as it sounds – it’s the home page to your website and is often considered to be the main page. This page is the first one that your visitors will see when they click on your website and will resort back to when they want to go to the main page.
The overarching goal of a home page is to provide a brief yet comprehensive (yes, we know those are contradicting words, but just trust us) overview of your business, what it does, and what it offers. By brief yet comprehensive, we mean summarize what your business does in a concise manner that also entices your visitors to want to click on the other pages you have. What’s the point of a home page if it doesn’t attract people to want to explore your website?
The home page has one of the most important tasks of your entire website. As the first thing your visitors see, the home page needs to pack a punch with its first impression skills. Just like the first impression on an interview or first date matters, so does the first impression with your website. The weight is all there for the home page to do an effective job at capturing the attention of all of your website visitors with the glance of a single page. Talk about pressure!
What Is a Landing Page?
Now, onto the other end of the line – landing pages. Probably one of the only things home pages and landing pages have in common is how logically their names make sense. Home pages are your home page. Landing pages are the page where your visitors land on when they click on one of your advertising and marketing campaigns, posts, and/or other promotional links.
Landing pages have the principal goal of driving traffic and generating leads and conversions. How do they do this? By focusing on a single call-to-action. Note the keyword here, single – so not two, not three, and definitely not four. This plays into the concept of the paradox of choice. The more options people have, the more difficult the decision-making process will be (not to mention, the more distracted they will be!) Just flashback to when you were a kid and your parents took you to that place that had more than one hundred ice cream flavours to choose from – was that an easy decision? (It doesn’t count if you picked either chocolate or vanilla, those two flavours are the standard ones). So the lesson learned here is that there’s no better way to generate leads than with one call-to-action button – there isn’t anything else to do except convert (or leave, but hopefully that won’t be the case).
Because people who click and see your landing pages are further down the sales funnel, it’s more effective to have a page that’s narrowed down and catered to what people who click on the page want.
For example, if you had an advertising campaign on Google about custom-made heels, then the landing page should be exactly about that. People who clicked on your campaign for custom-made heels aren’t looking for custom-made sneakers – they want heels! So, cater your landing page to the specific marketing campaign you have for it.
What Is On a Home Page and Landing Page?
So now that you know what home pages and landing pages are, what is classifies each as it is?
As the role of the main page, home pages consist of information, content, and images that provide a background and presentation of what your business is and what it offers. Home pages often have a navigational bar that leads to other pages on your website, such as the “About,” “Products/Services,” “Testimonials,” “FAQs,” page and other pages. These links can be considered as the “call-to-action,” if you will, of each page. (These aren’t really calls-to-action though). Your home page also often has contact and social media links to help your visitors easily reach and connect with you.
While home pages have several links and buttons pleading for visitors to click on them, landing pages are more streamlined and zoom in on a single point of focus. As landing pages are heavily action-oriented, they use particular words that encourage people to take action like “call now for a free consultation,” “enter your email for 10% off your next purchase,” and “fill out this form for exclusive offers and deals.” With landing pages, you give some and you get some. By this, visitors often provide contact information or data of some sort in return for a promotion, deal, or other offer. Because of this, landing pages often have forms that visitors can fill out for their offer.
One of the defining and separating characteristics of landing pages is the single point of focus, as mentioned earlier. Home pages have numerous links and buttons, while landing pages have only one (or two, at the very most) buttons to help make sure that visitors stay focused on the task at hand – leading to a conversion of some sort.
When to Use a Home Page and Landing Page?
Now one of the most important questions still remain: When should you use each? Knowing what each one is and what each one consists of is pointless if you don’t know when to use each case. So, when should you use which?
Because home pages are your home page, they should be used in accordance with your website as the main page. If you have a website, you should probably have a home page for that website. Your home page is the first impression to your entire website so it’s important to have one that packs a punch and accurately represents your company and brand.
Landing pages, on the other hand, are a more particular case. As they’re associated with generating leads and conversions, they are best used as the end result of your marketing and advertising campaigns. When you have an advertisement on Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or anywhere else, that call-to-action link button should lead to a landing page. Since the main goal of a landing page is to attract leads, clicks as a result of an advertisement are the perfect time to use a landing page.
There is one tricky case with home pages and landing pages though: Some people like to use landing pages as the home page to their website. This is A-OK if you think that this would be a much more successful home page than an actual home page. Take a look at our own home page and see for yourself what we mean – it’s a blend of a landing page with the prominent call-to-action of “Get a Free Quote” accompanied by a navigational bar at the top. The decision on whether you should do this is entirely up to you – it all depends on the nature of your business and what kind of services you offer. If you’re unsure, you could always try A/B testing and see what works better, albeit it would be costly. But I digress.
The Verdict: Home Page or Landing Page
So, whether you’ll be designing and building a home page or landing page, keep all of these points in mind so you can make your pages as effective as they can be! If you have any questions or want Evilnut to help design your home page (or landing page!), please contact us below.