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What is the difference between a website and a landing page?

If you are just starting your business or have been working on marketing for very long, you have probably heard the words “website” and “landing page.”

Unfortunately, people often use these words interchangeably.

But, they don’t mean the same thing!

In fact, they are completely different and should be used differently.

Let’s start with a definition of each.

What is a website?

Website: Your website is the face of your business online. It tells people WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHO you help and HOW you help them.

It establishes your credibility, legitimizes your business, and allows people to “check you out” without making any commitments.

Your website is a collection of multiple pages about your business and encourages visitors to click around and learn more about you.

It should give people enough information about your business to decide if they want to work with you or at the very least find out more about you.

It should call people to action, allow them to schedule an appointment with you and sign up for your email list.

A website should include some very specific pages:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services Offered or Work with Me
  • Contact
  • Blog
  • Landing pages (your landing pages should be part of your website)
  • Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, Disclaimer

Website pages should also be search engine optimized (SEO) so you can be found when people are searching for the answer to a specific problem or trying to find a certain kind of business.

Most importantly, your website should give visitors a favorable impression of your business. It should make a good first impression, help people feel like they have found answers, and tell people what they should do next.

What is a landing page?

Landing page: A landing page is a standalone webpage with only ONE purpose – to convert. To either convert someone to a lead or convert them to a customer.

A landing page is used when there is only one goal for your customer to accomplish. 

This goal is usually to have the person sign up for your mailing list, register for an event, or purchase a product.

Landing pages are very focused and talk only about one thing – whatever the goal is. They target a specific customer and solve ONE problem for that person. They have ONE call to action so the visitor can only do one thing – sign up.

Here is an example of one of my landing pages. It encourages visitors to sign up to receive a free download “6 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Set-up an Online Business: and the Budget Friendly Tech To Do It.”

6 Things Every Beginning Entrepreneur Needs to set up an online business

Notice that someone on this page can really only do one thing: sign up.

There are no other distractions. 

Landing pages do not have top navigation. You do not want the person to get distracted and leave by clicking on something else before they have completed the goal (signed up or purchased).

Note: A landing page can be built right on your website. In fact, this is preferable as it will ultimately drive traffic to your website and increase its visibility to search engines.

There is no need to use a separate paid landing page program. Build all your landing pages right on your website and then redirect the person to a “Thank You” page that adds back in the top navigation. This way, the person can now (after they have signed up) click around on your website and learn even more about you.

3 reasons you need landing pages

  1. You can send traffic directly to a landing page to grow your email list. When you post on social media or use marketing ads, you want to get people on your email list. To do this, you will send them directly to your landing page.
  2. Landing pages are very targeted. Since they solve one problem, you can target your ideal clients, solve a problem for them, and introduce them to who you are.
  3. Landing pages have higher conversion rates than regular web pages. Because they only serve one purpose and have one call to action, people are more likely to act.  

5 key differences between a website and a landing page

Landing PageWebsite
A landing page does not have any navigation optionsA website has a navigation bar at the top with menu items
A landing page has ONE goalA website can have more than one overall goal
A landing page will only allow people to do one thing: sign up for something, register for an event, or purchase a product.Your website will have detailed information about who you are and what you do. It can have links to your landing page, links to schedule with you, and ways to contact you.
A landing page will always redirect to a “Thank You” page after someone signs up. The “Thank You” page will tell people what to do next (usually check their email) and then connect them to the rest of your website.Your standard webpages do not redirect to thank you pages – they mainly allow people to click around and find out more, click to a landing page sign up, or contact you.
Landing page forms are linked to an email automation system where someone gets an automated email when they sign up or register for an event.The forms on your website pages, like contact forms, will typically be emailed directly to you to read and answer.

When should you use a website and when should you use a landing page?

Here are some simple ways to know which page to send people to:

  • If you are trying to grow your email list with a lead magnet: create a landing page just for that and send people there.
  • If you are giving something away: use a landing page.
  • If you have a webinar registration: use a landing page.
  • When you are ready to sell your course, membership, etc, use a landing page.
  • If you are introducing yourself to someone and they just want to learn more about you and what you do, send them to your website.
  • When you create a business card or have an email signature line: put a link to your website.
  • Your LinkedIn profile: use your website link.
  • Your social media platforms: your business page should have a link to your website. Your personal page also usually has a link to your website. On these pages, you can create posts inviting people to sign up for something, then you would link to your landing page.
  • Blog articles that mention one of your “freebies”: link to a landing page.
  • Your website home page should also have a Call to Action (CTA) button that opens up to one of your landing pages.

Both websites and landing pages are important to your overall marketing strategy; and you need BOTH. They serve different purposes.

Your website is your calling card to the world and your business storefront. Specifically, it tells people WHO you serve and HOW you help them. 

It is the door into your business, introduces your brand, and can help people get a “feel” for how you do business.

A good website can be the difference between someone doing business with you and someone clicking away to find a different business to help them. Be sure you make a good impression!

Your landing pages will be aligned with your brand and introduce you to others in one way. They will help you grow your email list and are the gateway for you to solve one problem for prospective customers.

Use landing pages when you have only one goal to accomplish.

Once you understand the fundamental differences between a website and landing page and their individual purposes, you can use BOTH to grow your business.

Wondering which tech to use to start your business? Download the free guide: “6 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Set-up an Online Business: and the Budget Friendly Tech To Do It.” and learn the tech I recommend to get started!

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Ready to build your website AND landing page? Register for the Done Right Website Academy: Website Creation Course and Business Coaching All-in-One where you learn to create a lead-generating website PLUS get live help along the way!

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April Hiatt working on her laptop sitting at a desk

Hi, I’m April Hiatt.

Your website designer and strategist.

I work with online entrepreneurs (coaches, consultants and other service-based businesses) to create high converting websites that help you build a thriving business, do what you are most passionate about… and let automations do the rest.

And unlike other website designers, I don’t just tell you what you need to do and expect you to supply everything, I actually walk with you through the process and take the overwhelm out of the tech!

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