And the truth of the situation is: it depends. It depends on your goals and objectives as a business. For some, a well-thought-out landing page will do the job just fine. For others, a website is needed.
Anyhow, our goal with this article today is to help you answer that question for yourself and your business. Do you need a landing page, or do you need a website? Read along to find out.
First off, what is a website?
We know the answer to this question seems like a straightforward one but still. A website is basically a set of related web pages that, in this case, contain information about your business. They’ll usually explain what your business is, what you do, and the products and services you have to offer.
Moreover, your website might contain additional “specialised” pages such as a blog page, a login page, forums for your customers and fans, and more. These pages are easily accessible using a navigation menu, usually found at the top of your website.
Landing page vs website: What is a landing page?
A landing page, on the other hand, is usually a standalone web page designed mainly to encourage users to perform an action. The action ranges from anything, such as taking a free demo or trial, to redeeming discounts.
In other words, instead of describing your business and its workings, a landing page aims to highlight a single offer. This is done by an attention-grabbing copy, good and relevant images, call-to-action (CTA) buttons, and other elements.
So, a landing page basically aims to direct users’ attention to your offer. And it either drives them to become a subscriber or convert them into paying customers. Unlike a website, there’s usually no navigation menu on a landing page. See below for more.
Landing page vs website: The differences
|Information||Details about the offer you have at hand (discount, free eBook, product, etc)||Anything and everything visitors need to know about your business|
|Audience||Users interested in the offer (e.g. clicked on your ad)||Users interested in your business as a whole|
|Navigation||Restricted/limited navigation||Everything is accessible|
|Purpose||To capture leads/make sales||To present your business to the public|
So, your website’s audience is people who are generally interested in your business and the products and services you offer. For instance, if you’re selling clothes, people interested in fashion might land on your website to learn more. They might be there to buy some clothes, but some might just visit to read your blogs.
Then there is the landing page. People who make it to one already know what they need and what you might be offering them. For instance, someone who’s looking for a web designer in Manchester might find themselves on your landing page if you happen to be, well, a web designer from Manchester!
In such a case, the objective of your landing page would obviously be to get visitors to book a consultation. After all, they already know what they want, they just want a little push to convert, and your landing page is where all the magic happens.
Well, now that you know the main differences between a landing page and a website, let’s take a look at the best time to use each.
Landing page vs website: When to use a website
We have already gone through the numerous use cases of the website above. Still, let us take a deeper look at them:
1. Telling your brand’s story
Your website is the ideal place to tell your brand story. It’s also the best place to answer any questions that people (visitors of your website) might have about your business.
Such a detailed delve into your business cannot simply be done using a landing page. Indeed, on a website, you can tell your brand’s story in numerous ways, which are, but are not limited to:
- About page: Here, you can explain the main mission of your business, your values, and your goals
- FAQs page: As the name suggests, this page is where you address the most frequently asked questions about your brand, your offerings, and even your industry as a whole
- Contact page: Here, you can give people the opportunity to reach out to you. This can be done via e-mail, phone, or messages
2. Having a Blog
Having a blog on your website is a great way of creating content. By introducing a blog, you have the capacity to add new pages to your website on a regular basis. And each new blog page is a new index-ready page for Google to score.
In other words, blogs are a great opportunity to introduce keywords into the mix. With a little help from a tool like the Keyword Planner, you can put together a list of popular and effective keywords. Once this list is ready, you can utilise it in your blog articles or even build whole articles around certain keywords.
To put it shortly, blogs are a great opportunity to share and update your content regularly. And once you get a hold of it, organic traffic will pour in by the minute.
3. Showcase your products & services
When people look for things such as “shoes” or “SEO services” on the Internet, chances are they’re looking to find more information about the products or services before buying. Why? You might wonder. Well, most of the time, people don’t know exactly what they need. Or they just might want to see the different options available to them before committing.
And this is where your website comes into play. It’s the ideal place to showcase what you offer and provide users with the information they need.
Remember, information comes first. Yes, your overarching objective here is to sell whatever products or services you’re offering. But you should try to provide information first and try your best to be as helpful as possible doing it.
Here are some examples of website pages that can help you achieve this:
- Online store: Here, you can organise your products by type, brand, category, price, and more. You should also explain or describe the key features of each product and grouping
- Services page: Here, you can describe each service you offer to users so that they better understand them
- Location page: In case you have one or many physical stores for your business, this page serves as a guide for users to find you. Indeed, if you happen to have many stores, you don’t want users searching for them individually. Instead, have them all listed and shown on a map on a single page
4. Provide other functionalities for users
If your business allows users to download content, make appointments, and more, then you probably need different pages for each. You can also have pages for content that is exclusive to users or staff members that log in.
Anyhow, here are some examples of the functions that you can have pages for:
- Forums: Here, you can allow users to start discussions with one another, post their opinions on a lot of things (mainly your products) and leave comments
- Booking an appointment: On this page, you allow users to book appointments for in-person services or online ones
- Members area: As the name suggests, this area of your website would be exclusive to people who subscribed to your website, who have made a purchase in the past, and more
Landing page vs website: When to use a landing page
Now that we’ve discussed the numerous use cases of a website, let’s look at how you can utilise a landing page:
This is perhaps the most obvious and most common use of landing pages. You see, whenever you run a marketing campaign for your business, it can be a good idea to have a landing page behind each ad.
So, whenever someone clicks on an ad, they’ll end up on a landing page that aims to provide them with all the information they might need.
Now, you might wonder, couldn’t this be achieved using a website as well? Well, not really, no. This is because landing pages are more hyper-focused on a single goal or call to action. Their limited navigation and simplicity are what keep people who click on your ads right where they belong.
And in such a case, it’s highly recommended that you keep your landing page’s design similar to that of the ad. This helps to create a seamless and consistent experience for the end user. And in case you’re wondering, here are the different ad campaigns you could use landing pages for:
- PPC (pay-per-click) Ads: These ads usually appear higher in the search results pages (SERPs) of users, ensuring that users click on them and land on your page
- Social Media Ads: It’s also a good idea to have a landing page for ads that run on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter
2. Lead magnets
Lead magnets are one of the most effective ways of turning visitors into qualified business leads. And lead magnet landing pages are often referred to as lead capture pages.
The key to a good landing page is a good headline, copy, form, and call-to-action (CTA). And these pages can offer a lot of things in order to attract leads, such as:
- Free trials: These are great ways to entice hesitant users and turn them into paying customers
- Webinars: You can invite users to a webinar where you’d discuss important topics related to your business and answer questions. Webinars can either be done live or pre-recorded
- eBook download: You can share your expertise as a business owner on a specific topic and offer it as a free download to users who subscribe
So, the dying question here is: should I use a landing page, or should I use a website? Well, both! A website is a hub for all of your customers and prospects to meet and get a better idea of who you are as a business, what you offer, and more.
Landing pages, as we’ve mentioned, are more focused on single offerings.
Successful businesses such as Netflix, LinkedIn, DoorDash, and Amazon have both great websites and greater landing pages. Even smaller businesses such as Zenefits and Battesti Associes implement this approach to great success.
Do you need help creating your first website or landing page?
Once you’ve decided whether you want to use a landing page or a full-fledged website for your business, it’s time for the building part. That’s where we come in to provide the best website development services you could get. Just book a discovery call with us today!