Landing Pages vs Websites?

Do you need a landing page or a website? How do you know? When it comes to a landing page vs website, your website is your entire online first impression, while your landing page is only one part of that impression; your handshake, greeting, or smile.

You need both to make your online first impression really shine. In some situations, a website may be more effective than a landing page, and vice-versa. In this blog post, we’ll go through some of the most common situations to decide between a landing page vs website.

Landing Page vs Website: The Basics

What is a Website?

Your website is a set of interconnected pages with details about your business. Generally, business websites explain what the business is, does, and products and services available. It may also house specialized pages such your business blog, log in page, a forum, or a particular function. The main purpose of a website is to describe and explain your organization or business, or give users access to a service.

A website:

  • Describes your business, products and/or services

  • Uses several pages connected through navigation menus

  • May provide a function or service, such as online ordering, customer service, or access to research.

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is designed to describe an offer—maybe a coupon, ebook, or a free trial—and encourage visitors to claim it. Though it’s connected to the website, it spotlights essential elements focused on conversion and doesn’t usually have navigation buttons or other links. The main purpose of a landing page is to drive sales or capture leads.

A landing page:

  • Describes an individual offer, product, or service

  • Usually does not have a navigation menu

  • Uses a form where visitors can claim the offer and become a lead

What is a Microsite?

If you can’t decide between a landing page vs website, a microsite may be a happy medium. This unique construction shares similarities to both a landing page and a website. A microsite explains a business, product, or service on a single page, but the page is much longer than a landing page. Usually, internal links take a visitor to different sections across the page, such as About Us, Our Mission, Contact Us or other sections. A microsite is ideal for apps, about-to-launch products or services, freelancers, books, or large-scale promotional campaigns.

A microsite:

  • Is usually one long, scrolling page

  • Uses internal links to help visitors navigate between sections on the page

  • Is ideal for creating a buzz or describing a product or service in detail

Landing Page vs Website: When To Use Your Website

Tell Your Story

With an About Us page, Mission, Values, Locations, Contact Us and other pages, you can explain, in your own words, what your business is and what it’s about. Consider all of the common questions a customer might have about your business. This is the place to answer them.

Your website let you organize information in a way that makes sense. On a single landing page, all your information would be stacked and users probably wouldn’t scroll to the information towards the bottom. The key is to organize your web content in a customer-centric way. Remember, what makes sense to you might not make sense to your target market. Some user testing can help you decide which pages should go where.

Explain Your Products or Services

Users searching general terms like “landscaping,” “dentist,” or “blue dresses” probably need more information before buying. They might not be sure exactly what they need, or what’s available. With your website, you can show what you offer in detail, and encourage customers to dig deeper.

Keep in mind that the purpose of a website is to inform, not necessarily to sell—that’s the landing page’s job. It’s best to make your website helpful and informational. Here are a few scenarios where you would need a website, and what this part of your website might look like.

  • E-commerce: Like aisles in a shop, different pages within your online store organize your products by brand or type. You can also describe each product category and answer questions or highlight key features.

  • Providing Services: With dedicated service pages, users can find what they’re looking for more easily. This also makes your message clearer, and ensures each service gets the attention it deserves.

  • Different Locations: When each location has a page on your website, visitors can learn more about the location near them without making a separate search. You’ll want to use location-specific keywords on the right pages to improve your Google ranking. We’ll discuss this in more detail later in the post.

Provide a Function

If you offer a way to make online orders, schedule an appointment, or download research, you’ll need more than one page. This online service section is connected to the public part of your website, however it would be “gated”, meaning it requires login information to access. Leads, customers, or staff might access this functionality.

Here are some examples of functions your website might provide.

  • Store: If you’re selling products, you’ll need several pages to safely collect customers’ information and bring them through the buying process.

  • Scheduling: You may use a calendar, appointment log, or a form to complete this, but all these will require multiple pages.

  • Research: While some research papers might be accessible through landing pages (more on this later), a library of research given to select users will require a separate, gated area of your website.

  • Forums: For users to leave comments or start discussions about a subject or post, you’ll need a website.

  • Custom Functionality: With the right development, your website can provide all types of functionality specific to your products, services, business model, staff or customers.

Relate to Customers

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 achieve an appearance that ideal customers connect to.

While this can be achieved with a single page, it’s more difficult to create a clear message. With a website, you can communicate different messages, like your mission or values, on dedicated pages, while maintaining a consistent style throughout the site.

  • Mission: The goal of your company. Example: solve a problem, help people live better lives, or provide a fantastic experience.

  • Values: The ideals or ethics that drive your company. Example: honesty, perseverance, dedication, hard work or integrity.

  • Culture: What it’s like to work at your company. Example: casual or professional, fast-paced or laid back, familiar or hierarchical.

  • Style: The atmosphere or attitude of your company. Example: modern and fun, scholarly and informative, prestigious and serious.

Improve SEO

Search engine optimization—helping users find your business with the right search queries—is an essential part of most business websites. It’s ineffective to target multiple keywords on one page, so it’s ideal to have multiple pages to target the most valuable keywords in your industry. Each page should have a dedicated keyword, so users can find it more easily in a search. This is a major benefit of a website when it comes to deciding between a website vs landing page.

  • Location keywords: for brick-and-mortar locations, use location-specific keywords to improve local SEO.

  • Service or product keywords: Do your research to find out what queries potential customers use to find products or services like yours, and create pages around these.

  • Q&A keywords: Your website is a great place to educate customers about your product or service, and answering common questions is a great way to do it. These long-tail keywords usually use “who, what, when, where, why, or how,” and they’re a great place to start for new websites that have trouble competing on broader keywords.

Landing Page vs Website: When To Use a Landing Page