Quick, answer these three questions:
- Have you heard of a landing page?
- Have you heard of a website page?
- Do you know what makes a landing page different from a website page?
More than likely, you answered “yes” to the first two questions without much thought. Those answers are predictable because those are common terms that most people have seen and heard numerous times.
However, the answer to the third question is more difficult to predict. Responses are all over the map. Some people know exactly what makes a landing page different from a website page. Others have a basic idea but may not know all of the details. There are also people who are caught off guard because they think they are just different terms for the exact same thing.
If you are among the second and third groups of people mentioned, this is the article for you. From a marketing and sales perspective, it’s essential to understand what a landing page is and what a website page is. We’ll help you by breaking down the key differences between a landing page and a website page so you can most effectively accomplish your web-related marketing and sales goals.
Landing Page and Website Page Defined
Let’s start with the basics. Here are the definitions of a landing page and a website page:
Landing Page – A dedicated, campaign-specific webpage that drives your visitors to complete a single marketing goal or call to action. — Unbounce
Website Page – A document commonly written in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) that is accessible through the Internet or other networks using an Internet browser. A web page is accessed by entering a URL address and may contain text, graphics, and hyperlinks to other web pages and files. — Computer Hope
Based on the definitions, you can conclude that a landing page is a type of website page. However, from a marketing and sales standpoint, the terms shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Differentiation is important. So now, let’s take a look at the specific characteristics that make a landing page different from a traditional web page.
A logical place to start the comparison is the reason each exists in the first place — their purpose.
As mentioned in the definition in the previous section, the lone purpose of a landing page is to accomplish a single goal. Everything associated with that page is designed to get the visitor to take a certain action. Success is defined solely based on whether or not the desired action was taken.
Because a landing page has such a defined purpose, the audience of visitors to it is very defined as well. Most, if not all, of the visitors will “land” on the page (thus, the name) because you targeted them based on interest they showed in your company or product/service and sent them there via a marketing tactic (usually a Facebook ad or email link).
Conversely, a web page may — and likely will — serve many purposes. It could be to provide information and also entertain the reader. Persuasion could be the goal, with the aim of achieving a sale. It could be a combination of these purposes… or maybe even all of them.
Web pages appeal to a broader, more diverse audience than landing pages, which is why they are designed with more goals in mind. As a result, measuring success isn’t as black and white as it is with landing pages. With a landing page:
- Goal Achieved?
- Yes = Success
- No = Failure
With a web page, you ideally want many visitors, and you want them to stay on the page for a reasonable amount of time. But with such a variable audience, each with different pain points and at different stages of the buyer’s journey, goal achievements and success rates aren’t as easy to define.
Purpose is the driving force of design. Because of this, the other differences between a landing page and a website page exist as a result of the quest to achieve their respective purposes.
Landing pages and web pages function differently because of the goals they’re built to accomplish. Functionality, in this case, refers to the “clickables” such as links, buttons, navigation menus, etc.
A landing page has limited clickables because they are designed to encourage action as quickly as possible with limited distractions. A basic landing page will consist of copy and a form… and maybe a static image or two.
Here’s an example:
In some cases, you may find it necessary to have an expanded landing page in order to share essential information you think will increase the chances the visitor will act. It could include multiple sections of copy, several images or graphs and perhaps an embedded video. A landing page like this will require scrolling. However, it’s recommended to include a button or similar functionality that scrolls the page right to the form you want them to submit. Like the “Get Started” button in this example:
With a landing page, you want to keep the visitor’s attention focused on accomplishing a singular goal, so you want them to stay on the page until they do so. A landing page should not include a navigation menu or obvious links that take them away from the page. If a content download is essential in getting them to act, make sure it’s set up to open in a new tab or download in a PDF viewer. You never want someone to have to hit the “Back” button to return to the landing page.
If you think including icons of your company logo and social media properties that link to your respective pages will help with continued engagement, you can do so, but make them subtle and put them at the beginning or end of the landing page where they won’t disrupt someone immersed in the landing page content. And again, ensure the links open in a new tab.
A web page, on the other hand, will likely have several clickables to help visitors explore your site and find the information they’re looking for. They include but are not limited to:
- Navigation Menus
- Clickable Images
- Chat tools
Unlike a landing page where you want to keep distractions to a minimum, your web page should encourage visitors to go from page to page to learn about your company and what it has to offer. You want visitors to stay on the site as long as possible and consume lots of content.
Take a look at all of the clickables on just one section of our homepage (noted in yellow):
Like functionality, the content of a landing page will be much different than the content of a web page.
Landing page content is focused solely on getting the visitor to achieve the lone goal of the page. If the goal is to get them to give up their information to receive a free white paper download, all content should be created to speak to the benefits of the white paper and persuade the visitor to get it. If the goal is to get them to request a free quote for a product or service, all content should highlight the unique selling propositions of the product or service and outline all of the valuable additional information they’ll receive FOR FREE if they request the quote.
Landing pages should keep visitors’ attention on the task at hand and nudge them toward your desired action. Stay on topic and don’t deviate!
Conversely, web page content can be thought of as a road map. The visitor will pick their destination, and it’s the content’s job to help them get there. The content on a web page can provide information on numerous topics:
- Company history
- Customer reviews/testimonials
- Various product categories
- Multiple service offerings
- Additional resources
- Contact information
One person could be trying to accomplish one goal when they visit a web page. But another person could be trying to gather as much information as possible and accomplish several goals. The content on a web page must be versatile and able to accommodate any and all possibilities.
Calls to Action
By now, you’ve probably figured out the theme and can guess the differences between a landing page and a website page with regard to calls to action.
You’re right if you guessed that a landing page should only have one call to action. A landing page has one purpose, one function and content that is focused on one goal. So, it only makes sense that there’s just one call to action.
In most cases, the call to action for a landing page is to submit a form in exchange for an offer or as a way to request contact from the company. Language for a landing page call to action should be strong. You’ve got the visitor’s attention, so make sure you don’t lose them. Get them to commit.
Here are examples of calls to action that could be utilized on a landing page:
- Get the Guide
- Get Started Today
- Claim Offer
- Download Now
- Request Quote
Web pages may or may not have calls to action. If a page is designed solely to share information, a call to action isn’t necessary. A page could also have many calls to action to encourage visitors to experience more of what your company has to offer:
- Visit our blog
- Expand for more information
- Play video
- Contact us
The difference is, calls to action on a web page aren’t nearly as strong. There’s not as much urgency to get a page visitor to commit to anything too big, so the language should be softer. You don’t want to turn anyone off by being too pushy.
To quickly recap, here are the key differences between a landing page and a website page:
- One Goal
- Limited Navigation
- Few or No Links
- Focused Copy
- One Call to Action
- Easy Navigation to Numerous Other Pages
- Many Links
- Copy That Covers Numerous Topics
- Zero to Many Calls to Action (depending on the page)
Now, you’ve got all the necessary information to know whether a landing page is a necessary tool to accomplish your marketing and sales goal or if adding or editing a website page is more appropriate.
Have additional questions about website design and development or want to learn even more? Call us at 815.431.1000 or submit this form to contact us. You can also visit the Web Design & Development section of our blog.