Did you know that some businesses out there treat their landing pages as their homepage? Statistics show that the percentage of landing pages that are home pages is extremely high. An outstanding 77% of them, in fact.
From an SEO point of view (or affiliate marketing), not being clear about the definition of both landing pages and home pages and their specific purposes is a recipe for disaster.
Thinking that your homepage is where most of your conversions happen is a huge misunderstanding of how any of this works.
We have written about landing page building before. But I’m here to paint a clearer picture for you about the true differences between landing pages and home pages. Let’s take a look at each of them first before getting into the juicy stuff.
What Are Landing Pages?
Landing pages are the most important asset of your SEO strategy, specifically for conversion optimization purposes.
They’re the place where you make your offer compellingly and engagingly by including enticing call-to-actions that draw your audience in. The sole purpose of a landing page is to attract visitors and get them hooked.
For those who maintain an active social media presence, providing the link to your landing page on your Instagram or Facebook account will definitely boost your traffic.
One key aspect of landing pages is that they lack a navigation bar and contain content that describes a singular product, app, or service. That’s it. No fluff, no “learn more”, no “other services”… in short: nothing that distracts your visitor from making an immediate purchase.
Designing a top-notch landing page is your ticket to increase conversion and move your audience down the sales funnel.
What About Home Pages?
Now, you’re probably aware of what a home page is. First and foremost, it should be an introductory look at your website. It must have an intuitive navigation bar that allows your visitors to explore your multiple offers and products.
Creating a compelling home page is essential to build trust with your audience (especially first-time visitors). You should include relevant information about your business in an organized and concise way to guarantee users don’t feel overwhelmed and understand what your website is about.
What’s the Difference Between Landing Pages and Home Pages
For many, the line between these two can get blurry if they aren’t familiar with their key differences and the elements that make them unique.
For simplicity’s sake, I’ve chosen 4 areas in which landing pages and home pages differ in terms of purpose and goals, so you can go right ahead and optimize your pages while you read!
1. Target Audience
People who visit your home page are not necessarily interested in buying your products, acquiring your services, reading your blog, or whatever your offer is. They’re there because they’re curious about your business and are looking for more information about it.
The people who land on your landing page, however, are already further down the sales or conversion funnel. Maybe they clicked on your paid search ad about a specific service or product they’re interested in purchasing, or they saw your landing page link on your social media accounts.
And here’s where the big difference lies: your landing page will serve as a push for your target demographic to convert and sign up for your form or take whichever action you tell them to take. Unlike your homepage, landing pages should be completely designed around ONE specific audience who is already interested in your offer.
2. Links and Navigation
When it comes to links, we could say that home pages are the clear winner.
Your typical home page needs a visually appealing and well-crafted navigation bar that allows visitors to explore your website easily and effectively. Home pages are riddled with links to your internal pages, social media handles, or any other useful link your audience might be interested in.
Without a thought-out and organized navigation system on your home page, your visitors will feel lost and leave in a heartbeat.
Now, landing pages operate on a whole different level.
It bears repeating: their sole purpose is to convert. That’s why your landing page shouldn’t have more links than is strictly necessary. Instead, your only link should pertain to a clear call to action that will allow visitors to become leads or possible customers.
In the battle between landing pages and home pages, I believe content is where the two really come apart.
If you’re an SEO or marketing expert, you know that your website’s copy is one of the decisive factors that will convince your audience whether to purchase your services or not.
Home pages usually cover a wide range of topics such as a list of your offers, your policies, your vision, etc. Conclusion? They lack specificity.
Landing pages have a more focused kind of content. Its sole existence revolves around making your users convert!
That’s why I can’t stress this enough: give your audience what they’re looking for in a specific and compelling way.
For example, let’s say you run a company that offers gardening services. You may specialize in landscape design, lawn maintenance, pest identification and eradication, mowing, weeding, and other related services.
What do you think will happen if you display all of your services on your landing page? I’ll give you a hint: astronomic bounce rates.
So, instead of cramming all this content right where conversion happens, you should design landing pages for each service and state why they’re the best and how they can help your target audience.
After all, visitors have clicked on your paid search ad and arrived on your landing page after typing a very specific query on SERPs. They already know what they’re looking for and the content within your landing page should reflect that. Nothing else.
Call-to-actions (CTA) is where landing pages shine.
Remember how I said that people who visit your landing page are further down the sales funnel? Well, a compelling call-to-action is how you slam-dunk that conversion.
CTAs can look differently depending on what services you offer and what action you want your audience to take. Some of them include:
- Sign up forms
- Calling a phone number
- A link to a checkout page.
Your main goal when creating a CTA that converts is to make it obvious and straightforward. Simple phrases like “Call Us Now,” “Sign Up Today,” or “Get Your Free Trial Here,” work wonders to pull people into buying your products or services.
From an SEO point of view, you should already know that an excellent CTA is one that conveys to your audience the feeling of immediately getting something in return.
Quick Tips for Landing Page Optimization
I couldn’t let you go without offering some valuable tips for you to optimize your landing page and start getting more leads than ever before.
Many web designers and SEO experts fail when it comes to landing pages. In order to succeed and maximize conversions, you must have high-quality landing pages, both in terms of design and content. If you don’t, you’ll be throwing all your search engine optimization efforts out the window.
Eliminating distractions in your landing pages is the way to go if you want to keep bounce rates to a minimum (the closest you can to zero) and compel your audience to purchase your products. Besides excluding links to your social media profiles, or adding unnecessary pages, you should have a clear view of what your target audience looks like.
So, the first step is to have a defined picture of your buyer persona. That way, it’ll be a thousand times easier for you to create the perfect landing page for them. By knowing exactly which areas to cover you can expect your conversion rate to increase tremendously.
State Your Benefits Clearly
If you’re getting visitors to your site, you know they’re there for one thing: your offer. These specific visitors are never interested in reading a bunch of text riddled with unhelpful content. That’s why you should make sure that your copy is engaging and straight to the point.
Whether your business is about gardening, clothing, or health insurance, showing your audience the benefits of your offer right off the bat is paramount to increasing conversion. Visitors are more drawn to acting on landing pages that tell them exactly what they’re getting when choosing your business.
Improve Your CTAs Down to The Last Drop
I think by now you’re pretty clear on how important call-to-actions are.
Landing pages that don’t have a strong and clear call-to-action will fail, miserably. It’s your job to let your readers know exactly what they should do to acquire your services. Make your CTA stand out and you’ll be one step closer to driving a crazy amount of leads to your site. Experiment with designs and colors to see what best works for you, but make sure your copy is short and straight to the point.
Help Your Readers Trust Your Offer
Think about this for a second. If you don’t give your audience a sense of trust and confidence, how do you expect them to choose your business over your competitors?
Some of the methods you could try are incorporating reviews or testimonials from clients that loved your product and would buy your services again. Positive customer reviews and testimonials are a surefire way to build a trustworthy relationship with your audience. Inspiring confidence is essential if you want your products to sell.
Including company logos from places you’ve worked with or have been featured can also boost confidence and convince your audience that your products are worth buying.
Keeping these factors in mind when designing or publishing your landing pages guarantees you maximize conversions by keeping your audience engaged and interested in your products. Next time, we will talk about landing page disasters and how to prevent them.