Home Pages vs Landing Pages: The Epic Showdown

Someone asked me at the coffee shop the other day where he should send his traffic: his home page or a dedicated landing page? This actually hits on a topic that isn’t discussed nearly as much as it should be, his question set some gears turning in my head and became today’s post.

First of all, it’s tough to say whether a home page or landing page would win in a tussle, not because they’re so evenly matched, but more due to the fact that comparing the two in that way doesn’t really make much sense. While my friend at the coffee  shop was probably picturing a rousing brawl between a mongoose-like landing page and a cobra-esque homepage, he’d have been more accurate imagining a showdown between cake and a tricycle. Confused? Think of it this way. While both cake and tricycles can play vital parts in a toddler’s life, it’s not really an “either-or” type of situation, much less a battle between the two. In fact, while both are completely different things, using the two of them together can make a dynamic duo that will have any toddler occupied for at least several days. Landing pages and home pages make an equally potent (if slightly less messy) combo when their forces are combined. Here are some distinctions between the two:

Landing pages. The prized creation of the internet marketing world, landing pages are tightly-focused, simple and catchy pages that are designed to quickly grab someone’s attention and make a sale. The people arriving at landing pages most likely clicked an ad or typed in a URL they saw from a marketing campaign. Long story short, they already know what they’re looking for – don’t try and give visitors more than that! A landing page needs to have a clear and direct call to action, not a bunch of potentially useful but ultimately confusing links and information. If you can read all the words on your landing page without taking a breath, you’re on the right track.

Home pages. Even though it’s important your home page looks good and is easy to visually navigate (two key aspects of the best landing pages), the people arriving at your home page are most likely still in the “What type of shoes would I like?” phase rather than the “Yes! I do want a pair of the StompMaster 3000’s with added heel-flex and I won’t stop until I have them!” phase. This in mind, a homepage should be more of a starting-point than a deal-closer. Make it easy for your visitors to search, browse, and make sense of a variety of products or services.

Bottom line – if your paying for traffic send them an offer focused landing page!

I hope that clears things up a bit and turns the fuzzy line between landing pages and home pages into a rock-solid partition. Use them both wisely, update them frequently, and remember – they won’t fight unless provoked.

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