Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by andrewtk
What are the differences between a landing page and a standard web page, or website?
And exactly when should you use a landing page?
If this was a straight shoot-out between Landing Page vs Website, there would be no winner or loser.
Because there is a time and a place for both.
Let's get going…
- Landing Page vs Website
- What Is a Landing Page?
- What Is a Website Page?
- Differences Between a Landing Page And a Website Page
- Can a Landing Page Serve As a Website?
- Why Use a Landing Page?
- When Should You Use a Landing Page?
- How Do You Create a Landing Page?
- Landing Page vs Website – Wrapping It Up!
Landing Page vs Website
Let's kick of with a super-brief round-up of what a landing page actually is.
And of course what a website, or website page, actually is.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a stand-alone web page designed for a specific purpose…usually some conversion related goal.
Landing pages have a few unique characteristics, that together, make it easier for visitors to complete the desired Call-to-Action.
The Call-to-Action could be signing up to an email list, purchasing a product, filling out a specific form…or just about any defined outcome really.
The primary purpose of any landing page is to get as many visitors as possible to complete the desired Call-to-Action (CTA).
A good landing page should have just one ultimate goal and CTA.
What Is a Website Page?
In stark contrast to the pushy-salesman type behaviour of the landing page…
…the vast majority of website pages exist to inform visitors through the provision of rich, engaging content.
Your site, made up of its various pages could deliver all of the below and more:
- Tell Your Brand Story
- Show and Describe Your Products and/or Services
- Improve Your Search Engine Rankings
- Provide Functions for Users
- Be A Source Of Industry Knowledge
Most website pages encourage visitors to read other articles on the site, or even read articles on other sites.
They often have sidebars, and they definitely have navigation menus, both of which are massive distractions to the average visitor.
This is not to say that a website page can't have any Call-to-Action at all.
Many website pages have some kind of email sign-up request, or something similar, but getting visitors to complete that action is not the primary goal of the page.
Differences Between a Landing Page And a Website Page
Landing pages and website pages share quite a lot of similarities…
…but, there are a few key differences that have an important impact on how effective they are.
#1. A Specific Goal and Call-to-Action
Each landing page will have a very definite goal and CTA, and the whole page will be laser-focused on getting visitors to react to the CTA and therefore complete the goal.
Normal web pages also have goals, such as to deliver a certain message, or piece of content.
Sometimes web pages have CTA's, but it is secondary to the content. The page is not totally focused on getting visitors to react to the CTA.
#2. Minimal Distractions
Web pages often have a lot of potential distractions.
Navigation menu, sidebar, internal links, outward links…just a ton of stuff all tempting your visitor to head off and do something other than react to your CTA and become a conversion.
Well constructed landing pages on the other hand, are stripped of just about everything that isn't part of the journey that will guide the visitor gradually towards your offer.
Landing pages are clutter-free. They continually nudge every visitor towards the CTA, and nowhere else.
#3. Organic vs Paid Traffic
Paid traffic will almost always be directed to a dedicated landing page.
Organic traffic will almost always be directed to a web page.
Because if you are paying for traffic, you want to make sure that when a visitor lands on your page, that page is totally focused on getting the conversion.
It's also the case that it's very difficult to rank a landing page, because a lot of the indicators that Google looks for in a quality web page, are not present on a landing page.
#4. Fully Customised Experience
We pages can of course be customised to a degree.
But what we're talking about here is the ability to create a landing page that is totally customised to fit a particular offer, or ad campaign.
Sending visitors to a landing page fully customised to perfectly fit an ad, email, or social media post with its bespoke messaging and design, has a powerful impact on conversion rates.
Website pages generally do not offer anywhere near the same level of custom design possibilities.
#5. Dynamic Targeting
The better landing page builders have some pretty racey stuff going on these days.
Try Dynamic Text Replacement on for size. Literally setting up your landing page to display different text dependant on where your visitor has arrived from, or they are already know to be a frequent site visitor.
This technology is having a sizeable impact on conversion rates, and you just can't pull this kind of thing off with a standard web page at present.
Can a Landing Page Serve As a Website?
You do not need a website to have a landing page.
And getting started with just a landing page can be a cost-effectively way to begin building your online presence.
Creating a landing page gives you the opportunity to quickly start driving traffic and maybe building your email list.
But, in the long-run, you're probably going to end up finding that your landing page is beginning to morph into a micro-website.
By which point you might find that you've given up the total focus of a landing page, and you also do not have the depth that a website would provide.
So, short answer is that technically, yes, a landing page can serve as a website, but long answer is that it's probably going to and up serving neither job particularly well.
Why Use a Landing Page?
Well, because the rates at which well constructed landing pages convert site visitors, compared to the conversion rates of normal website pages, is compelling to say the least
You want your visitors to be totally focused on your goal and CTA.
Your website serves a different purpose…brand awareness, education etc.
When Should You Use a Landing Page?
Without a doubt, both landing pages and web pages are massively important digital marketing assets.
If you want to maximize your online success, you should have a website and you should use landing pages.
Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can do away with your website and use only landing pages… just because landing pages are all about conversions and that's what you want more of.
Websites serve a number of very important purposes, in ways that landing pages just don't allow for.
Your website builds your brand, lets people get to know your business, the people involved, your full product range etc.
Your website serves to build awareness and trust.
Landing pages should be used when you're trying to achieve one specific, focused goal.
When you have a defined online marketing goal, landing pages are pretty much always better at generating conversions than web pages.
And if you're running an advertising campaign, without doubt you should be using a dedicated landing page.
If you're using landing pages, but not seeing any real uptick in your conversion rates, there is definitely a problem with the content of your landing pages, because they should always convert better.
How Do You Create a Landing Page?
You will need a domain and a web host to create a landing page or a website.
The domain name is the web location of your site, or landing page.
The web host is where your website, or landing page will be stored.
And these days, most web hosts will automatically install WordPress for you.
The easiest way to make a great looking landing page is by using some dedicated software like Instapage or Unbounce.
Both will allow you to easily create beautiful landing pages using drag-and-drop functionality, rather than having to write any code.
Read Now: Instapage vs Unbounce Comparison Review
These two are a little pricey because they're top-end.
But they're certainly not the only landing page builders on the market, there are other landing page builders available!
Once activated, you'll need to enter your license key as will be clearly instructed.
You are now ready to build your first landing page!
You should probably choose a template as a starting point for your landing page, rather than start from scratch.
There is obviously a learning curve but basically you can now point-and-click, drag-and-drop until you have the design you are happy with.
Once you are 100% happy with your landing page, simply click to save, or publish to make it live.
Landing Page vs Website – Wrapping It Up!
Personally, I totally believe that if your are serious about building your online presence;
You're going to need both a website, as well as dedicated landing pages for your targeted marketing campaigns.
You can of course get going with just one or the other, but in time, you're probably going to want both.
It makes me happy when people get in touch, so go ahead and comment below, or sign-up to my email list and contact me directly.
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