We all know how important your online presence is, particularly during these troubling times. One of the questions I hear most from clients is ‘should I use my home page or a landing page for my promotion?’ This is a great question and, one that I’ll try to answer comprehensively during this article. Before we delve into that though, let’s first take a look at just what these two different pages are:
The Home Page
This is the main, permanent page on your business or private website and, it serves a few different purposes including:
- Tells visitors about your business – what it does and why it does it
- Tells visitors how to get in touch with you
- Connects visitors to every other page on your website, for example, ‘Services’, ‘Pricing’ etc.
- Gives visitors a snapshot of your brand
Your home page is, essentially, the central hub of your website from where customers can find out everything they need to know.
The Landing Page
This is a fluid page or set of pages which are designed to piggy-back visitors from an advert, social media or email and bring them into ‘land’ on a single, focussed page. Landing pages are usually created to serve a single purpose, for example, fill in a form or click onto a link and, these pages may include:
- A focus on one specific topic
- One specific call to action
- A simple and clear message
A landing page will rarely include navigation options as it is designed to serve one particular purpose. You can create a landing page without having an actual website as this is a kind of standalone site, however, most people prefer to link a landing page to their website.
Fit for purpose
Now that we’ve given you a snapshot of what the two different kinds of pages are, we’ll now tackle the big question – which page should you use for which activity?
Close to home
First, we’ll look at the activities which are best suited to your website’s home page. These are:
Showcasing your business
When you’re looking to show off your brand; including what you do and, how you do it, this is the time to make your home page shine. The home page is the ideal place to provide an overview of your brand as well as contact information and, you can always feature an opt-in box or banner on this page.
Getting online for the first time
If you’re in the process of introducing your brand, your home page acts as a ‘welcome mat’ for your new customers. Directing leads to your home page in this instance is useful as they will be hearing about you for the first time and will want to know more (hopefully).
This is a good opportunity to make sure that your home page tells them everything they need to know including who you are, what you do, where you are and, the benefits of using your product or service.
Completing website fields
At some point, you’ll likely be filling in some of those pesky online forms for your business, including for social media. In this case, your home page is the obvious – and right – choice as it directs potential customers to the heart of your business.
If, for example, somebody has visited your Facebook page and they want to know more, they will expect to be sent to a page which contains fairly comprehensive information.
Coming into land
As explained at the beginning of this article, a landing page generally serves a specific purpose and, these should be used as follows:
Social media paid campaigns
As social media gurus will tell you, simply generically advertising your business on social media simply doesn’t work. To snag customers in this way, you need to offer something specific such as a special offer, discount or piece of content to get those fingers clicking onto your link. For this reason, a landing page is the way to go for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, when clicking from a Facebook ad, a visitor will expect to see the same topic or content immediately – if they, instead, land on a generic home page, they are likely to lose interest.
Secondly, your Facebook ad should be all about a call to action – which should be clear the minute that a visitor lands. For this reason, it’s important that you use a landing page – and that your call to action takes up at least 15% of that landing page.
For brands getting serious about winning the search page war, paid searches such as Google Ads and PPC campaigns are an incredibly useful resource and, ones which are tailor-made for a landing page.
The reason for this is simple; if, say, your business offers a number of website and SEO services then, your home page will encompass all of the services offered. This is great – except for the fact that, if a customer is just searching for specialist SEO services and they end up on your generic home page, they may decide that your business is not ‘specialist’ enough.
This is a good time to use a killer landing page linked to your paid searches to take advantage of the more specific search parameters. Make sure that your landing page is simple but contains clear and engaging copy – if this isn’t your forte, it’s well worth the investment to hire a copywriter to do it for you.
Something new and exciting
It may be that your brand has been around awhile – and that you have a good collection of regular and loyal customers who are frequent visitors to your website. Good for you!
You might, however, decide to introduce something new and exciting which you want to tell your customers – old and new – about. A landing page is a great choice in this instance as it takes the visitor directly to a page which is all about – and only about – that new product. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what’s being said about your products or services online and, you can use a tool like Brand 24 to do this for you.
For example, your business sells nail polishes and, you’ve just introduced this season’s new colour – your landing page will take the customer directly to a page dedicated to that product and will give them the option to buy immediately.
We mentioned earlier that you don’t need a website to have a landing page – but it helps. You can get great results by using the two in tandem. Do this by using your home page as your ‘base’ but introducing landing pages for special promotions (you can even switch these about on your social media if you want the focus to be 100% on one specific topic for a certain amount of time.
Although the above is a good guide to which page to use in different situations, don’t be afraid to play around with the options. At the end of the day, if you have a compelling message and a great product or service, communicating this will work however you decide to do it.