Landing Pages vs. Websites: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

When do you need a full website, and when will a landing page do? Exactly what’s the difference between a website and a landing page, anyway? Landing pages and websites are both essential components of a company’s online presence. Understanding how they work together can help you meet your business goals, whether your focus is on traffic, leads, or sales. Let’s dive into the differences, and how to choose one for the job at hand.

Website development

What is a website?

A website is an online platform that showcases a company’s products or services, its mission, and its values. It provides a comprehensive view of the company’s offerings, and builds brand awareness. Websites are often referred to as a business’s digital home base, or digital marketing hub, because all your marketing leads back here for more information, resources, and credibility. Some very straightforward businesses can get away with a simple one-page website. But these days, from a user experience perspective, most small and growing businesses will need a carefully-planned website with 5-10 pages to really make the right first impression – and deliver results.

Why websites matter

Websites influence 97% of clients’ purchasing decisions (Hubspot, October 2022). Your website is where you put your expertise on full display, and provide value to potential customers. It’s a powerful tool for building trust and credibility, but it can also directly help drive traffic, leads, and sales. It should never be something you build to check it off a list. A well-made website is an important revenue-generating asset, and should be frequently updated and optimized.

When to use a website

If your goal is to 1) build brand awareness and provide value to potential customers, so they’ll stick around and buy, or 2) create a digital storefront or customer service desk, for more sales with less work… a website is the way to go. Your website tells your brand’s story, and encourages people to browse. It gives them space to see your products, services, or program details, plus get answers to frequently asked questions. And it’s the perfect place to showcase testimonials and case studies, where anyone can see them 24/7.

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a single web page, focused on a specific conversion goal – like capturing leads, making a sale, or promoting a particular product or service. You’ll hear marketing professionals use the term “landing page” to refer to a variety of things, including dedicated sales pages, simple email signup pages, and even the core pages on your website, e.g. Home, Services, and About. (We apologize on behalf of our industry for the confusion.)

But technically, a landing page is separate from your website, hosted on a dedicated landing page service. The benefits of this approach are twofold:

1. User experience and conversion rates
You can omit the usual website navigation, sidebars, and other distractions that pull focus from the singular goal of that page. This keeps user’s attention on the experience you’ve designed for them, producing better conversion rates.

2. Analytics and growth strategies
The landing page platform gives you all kinds of analytics and A/B testing to help you optimize performance over time. And it can usually integrate with your email marketing software and other solutions, so you have plenty of options as your marketing and sales strategies evolve.

Why landing pages matter

Landing pages let you focus on optimizing an individual step in your marketing and sales funnels. They only have to finish what your marketing started, by getting a lead to take one specific next step. And they let you optimize conversion with features not available for standard web pages. So you can be like a lion, targeting one goal at a time (in this case a conversion instead of a kill), instead of staying distracted… and going hungry.

When to use a landing page

If your goal is to drive conversions for a specific marketing campaign or promotion, a landing page is the way to go. With focused design and messaging, minimal distractions, and a clear call to action (CTA), landing pages are a powerful way to drive results from your marketing. You can even have multiple landing page versions for different traffic sources or segments – say, residential versus commercial clients, or print versus digital ad traffic. This lets you track how each source or segment is performing (because you’ll know what version they landed on), and deliver targeted landing page copy for even better conversion.

How websites and landing pages work together

Since the best websites are also conversion engines, the line between website and landing page roles has become blurred. And they’re both subject to the Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA) process.
But in general, your brand will have one website, the digital home base for everything your business does. In contrast, your brand or business can have many landing pages, each working towards a single, specific conversion goal, and supported by the brand equity your website provides.

Develop your custom marketing strategy

Not sure which approach is the best way to meet your current goals and increase your digital marketing ROI? Consider scheduling a free consult with The Right Path Marketing. We can answer your questions about websites and landing pages, and help you develop a custom marketing strategy that fits your business goals.

 

When to use a landing page

If your goal is to drive conversions for a specific marketing campaign or promotion, a landing page is the way to go. With focused design and messaging, minimal distractions, and a clear call to action (CTA), landing pages are a powerful way to drive results from your marketing. You can even have multiple landing page versions for different traffic sources or segments – say, residential versus commercial clients, or print versus digital ad traffic. This lets you track how each source or segment is performing (because you’ll know what version they landed on), and deliver targeted landing page copy for even better conversion.

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