You have a website to draw in customers and new leads online…do you need so many pages? It’s a tempting thought to simply have the one page—what’s most often referred to as a landing page—and call it a day. However, having simply one or the other is not going to be the best thing for your business.
When it comes to your business online, your website and/or landing page is going to be the very first impression a customer makes of you, which is why we’ve talked time and again about how much that matters in our blog. Both a landing page and website are going to help your first impression stand out and shine above the crowd.
But is one better than the other? You may be wondering. That’s what we’re going to examine in this article. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two and whether or not your business ought to have one or the other.
Landing Page Basics
A landing page consists of the following aspects online:
- A single web page, with a thank you page attached to it
- Information about a very specific item or offer to customers
- Usually only consists of text, images, and a form to fill out
- Limited navigation
- A design with the purpose of selling or capturing new leads
Landing pages are basically created for a very specific purpose. You may want your customers to sign up for an appointment to your office, gather information, or to sell a product.
The key difference is that a landing page is simplified to the point where it has no distractions.
In contrast to the landing page, a website can do the following for your business:
- Consists of five pages or more
- Contains all information for customers that they need to know
- Contains multiple modules and functions
- All web pages are accessible
- Built with the intent to explain or present your organization
When Should a Landing Page be Used?
Because the landing page’s purpose is so streamlined and straightforward, you should use it only for the following courses of action:
- Grow your e-mail list by offering an incentive to sign up (ebook, video, etc.)
- If you’re holding a sweepstakes draw contest, make the focus on gather names and e-mail addresses
- Event sign-up pages, where customers will need to purchase a product in order to register
- A coupon or deal on your product or service, where users sign up to access your offer
- A product offering sales page, driving sales of one specific product, such as a brand new one or your most popular one
Basically, you should use a landing page if you want your audience to be completely focused on your goal of entering and submitting information, while eliminating distractions and other options to click on. Landing pages cut out the extra options.
Not every business performs these actions or offer such kinds of service, however. That’s why we prefer websites.
Why You Should Always Have a Website First
Your website is geared to serve another purpose… orientation, education, and introduction. You also have the ability to do what a landing page doesn’t: tell your story. To us, this is a major aspect any business owner can bring to their customers online. You can have a business similar to Jim’s down the street, but he doesn’t have the same story as you. You may have a lot of different messages to share as opposed to just the one, also. You can relay these messages in your mission, locations, about page, and home page.
Customers won’t get a good idea of who you are, why you’re selling what you’re selling, or why it’s worth using your services and website over and over if there’s just a landing page. That being said, some customers may already know what they want from you and don’t bother with visiting every page. That’s why having a landing page is handy. However, if you’re a newer business, or you need to build your online reputation and earn a loyal customer base and you’re in it for the long run, you always are going to need a website.
You should have a landing page only if:
- You are running a pay-per-click campaign via Google Adwords
- Your business’s primary goal is to sell a single service
- You want people to sign up immediately, and that’s what they came for
- You want to focus only on sales in your marketing campaign
However, you should really have a website if:
- You want to make a great first impression to your customers, time and again
- You find that your website has been more effective at gaining an audience more than a landing page
- You have a lot of content to contribute in the form of a blog
- You’re invested in your company in the long run, making it about the people you serve and not just about the money you make
- Your objective is to inform and educate, not just sell
- You want people to use your website and engage with your content over and over
- You want to tell your story to the world
Having both can indeed help you out if you have something to sell, but a landing page will only get you so far in the long term. That’s why before you get yourself a landing page built, get that website done first.
Need a great website built? Give our professionals at V3 a call. We’re happy to talk more about websites versus landing pages with you if you want!