Landing page or webpage? When deciding between the two, it’s important to recognize the purpose each serves and which is likely to work best given the specific content you're planning to share. In this blog post, I discuss when you should use a landing page and when to opt for a webpage. I’ll also walk through example scenarios with recommendations for when to use each.
What is a landing page?
According to MailChimp, a landing page is a standalone webpage that potential customers “land” on when they click through from an email, ad, or other digital location. Standalone in this case means that the landing page is devoid of, or has only limited navigation, so that visitors don’t click around the rest of the site. Additionally, a landing page is more likely to be non-indexed, meaning web crawlers aren’t using its content to categorize or understand the content of the overall site.
Why use a landing page?
A landing page is best suited for instances in which the marketer wants the visitor to be totally focused on one goal. It could be: reading a report, filling in a form, downloading a whitepaper, etc. The content of the page is probably tied to a specific marketing campaign, rather than being relevant to the business’ site as a whole. Because they’re kept a bit more separate from the site’s main content, and are often only discoverable if linked to directly, landing pages are a good place to test out messaging, customize content for a specific target demographic, or promote short-term products, promotions, or deals.
What is a webpage?
Websites are made up of a collection of different webpages, each with different goals. Unlike landing pages, webpages are heavily interconnected and navigation invites the visitors to move freely between them. They are usually also indexed, so their content helps web crawlers better understand the overall site and catalog the elements within. You can imagine then, that the webpage content should be more general, and enduring.
Why use a webpage?
Webpages should be used for evergreen content - content that doesn’t expire. Content on webpages should appeal to all visitors, rather than being targeted to specific prospect or customer profiles. Webpage content should be informational and awareness-oriented, not driving for conversion to a specific goal.
Content tells a story and may include many ideas on one page
Includes all or much of what prospect needs to know
Content is limited to information about a specific item, product, promotion, or solution
Includes multiple CTAs or a singular, high-level CTA like requesting a demo or starting a trial
Includes only one CTA - the visiting prospect should have only one option to choose
Includes multiple modules, elements, images, etc.
Includes only the images and content necessary to drive to the intended goal
Full navigation to rest of the website
Limited navigation to keep visitor focused on the intended goal
Drive awareness, educate
Drive leads, convert
Pages are intended to live 1 year +
Pages are retired when the associated campaign is complete
Anyone can find your webpage
Landing pages are not discoverable, visitors are driven through controlled targeting
Ads may be helpful for driving general awareness, but likely a poor investment for conversions to a specific intended outcome due to there being many conversion options
More “bang for your buck” - paid amplification drives traffic to a single conversion option
Examples of when you’d use a landing page and webpage
Page hosting a lead magnet white paper designed to target top-of-funnel prospects to download it, gated with a form.
Recommendation: Landing page
Why: Because this is designed for a specific target audience, and the goal is a specific conversion. Using a landing page will also allow for multiple versions of the page to be created, each targeting different personas.
A new offering page with information about a new feature, product, or service with a goal to drive education and awareness.
Why: Because the goal is to drive education and awareness of a new offering and the page is not related to a campaign or intended to drive lead conversion.
A research report by Gartner that will be gated, but will live on the site in its current form for one year and will be updated annually thereafter.
Why: Because it’s a widely known, readily accepted, and high-value report, our expert opinion would be hosting the report on a webpage, gated, with the caveat that the URL will be updated with a new report yearly. If it were a lesser-known report, or wasn’t going to be updated, then we would recommend using a landing page.
And there you have it! I hope the next time you’re debating whether to create a landing page or a webpage, you’re able to reference this blog for guidance. Looking for more marketing tips?