Landing Page vs Website: Which Do You Need & Why?

 
Landing Page vs Website: Which do you need and why?
 

I was just asked this very thing today so I thought I would share my answer with you as I’m sure there are others who wonder the same thing. 

A landing page is NOT a website. There’s a big difference between them and they serve different purposes. Your website is your entire online presence while your landing page is only one part of that impression such as your handshake, greeting, or smile. 

In some situations, a website may be more effective than a landing page and vice-versa. Let’s talk about the differences. 

Landing page vs website: which do you need and why?

THE BASICS

Website Landing Page
# of pages: Usually 5 or more A single page and an attached thank you
Information: All customers need to know About a specific item or offer
Functionality: May contain multiple functions and modules Usually only has text, images, and a form
Navigation: All pages are accessible Limited
Purpose: To explain or present the business To sell or capture leads
 

Website

Your website is a set of interconnected pages with details about your business typically with pages such as About, Contact, Services, Products, etc. Generally speaking, business websites explain what the business is, does, the why, and products and services available. They have common design and navigation items, meaning more things to see and more ways to go to other places on the site. It may also have specialized pages such as a blog, membership log-in page, forum, or gallery. It’s an integrated group of pages geared to help your website visitor coming to your website and wanting to find and then navigate to an area of interest.

Your website allows you to showcase your company culture, mission, values, and style. Your brand’s voice as well as your website design should work together to build a connection with your potential customers.

WHEN WOULD YOU USE A WEBSITE?

Your website is your 24/7 marketing partner that is always available when people want to find something out about you and your business, what services you offer, where you’re located, and potentially purchase a product. Some examples would be:

  • If you’re selling products, you’ll need several pages to safely collect customers’ information and take them through the buying process using an eCommerce storefront.

  • You may use a calendar, appointment log, scheduling app such as Acuity or Calendly, or a form, to schedule an event or service but all these will require separate pages.

  • To have a forum for users to leave comments or start discussions about a subject or post.

  • If you want a membership site where people have their own login information to enter a password protected part of the site.

  • To have a blog where you share information with your website visitors

  • If you need an online resume to showcase your portfolio, skills, etc.

Landing Page

A landing page is designed for a very specific purpose such as a sign-up, selling a product, or to gather information. They are not for general use and don’t look like the other web pages, though they can be at the same domain. 

Landing pages are built to drive traffic for a specific marketing campaign goal. The intent is to focus the visitor solely on the intent of the page, such as the sign-up process say for a free e-book or free training, or to purchase a product. The main purpose of a landing page is to drive sales and/or capture leads. A key difference is that they are simplified and have no distractions. No other options. Simply to inform and get the visitor to take the single action noted.

You would use a landing page when you want your audience to be completely focused on the goal of entering and submitting. You want to eliminate distractions and other options to click through to. 

With a landing page, you don’t have to update your entire site with each new content offer. You don’t have just one greeting for everyone you meet, and you shouldn’t have just one page for all your customers. While your website stays generally the same, you can create custom landing pages to appeal to certain market segments. Keep in mind that the content, offer, page style, and advertising you choose will determine how impactful the page is on the new market.

Since a landing page is only one page with one focus, it’s much easier to test than parts of your website. Some businesses test two or three different landing page versions, others test 40 or 50. With the right tools, you can test your page continuously, making it as user-friendly and compelling as possible.

Any type of lead page, landing page or squeeze page can, and usually should be tested. This is especially true if the lead page’s promotion is long-term, or if it isn’t performing as well as expected.

WHEN WOULD YOU USE A LANDING PAGE?

  • To grow your email list by offering a resource incentive to sign-up (e-book or video for registering, etc.)

  • With a Sweepstakes drawing where the focus is on gathering names and email addresses

  • For an even sign-up page where visitors will need to purchase to register

  • With a coupon or deal offer where users sign-up to access the offer

  • For a product sales page to focus on driving sales of one product


Landing pages are a great addition to your website as they can help you promote a specific product, lead magnet, service or other offer and get as many conversions for that offer as possible. They're an excellent way to build your list and start a sales conversation. However, that doesn’t mean that you can scrap your existing website and replace it with the landing page in the hopes of getting as many customers and clients as possible. A well-designed website still has its place and merits. If you’re wondering about a landing page vs. a website, I recommend using them both together as they serve different purposes. Each should be used for different things, and neither should be replaced by the other.


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Glad you’re here! I’m the branding and web designer and founder of Kat Collins Design, based in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.

I’m a designer that builds powerful and modern Squarespace websites and branding for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

You do you. I just show you off! Design without the BS.

On the blog, you’ll find a variety of topics that help you succeed in online business, such as website design, branding, being authentic online and in business, Squarespace design tips, and more.