A guide to landing pages vs websites (plus differences)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When creating a website to promote a brand or product, using the proper format is valuable in attracting a suitable audience. Both landing pages and complete websites have different purposes in providing information to a target audience. Understanding which medium is the ideal fit for your marketing and branding activities helps you create a platform that meets your goals as effectively as possible. In this article, we define what landing pages and websites are, illustrate the key differences between landing pages vs websites and provide tips to decide which is most suitable for a business.

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Defining landing page vs website

Before outlining the key differences between landing pages vs. websites, it helps to define what these concepts refer to. You can define them as follows:

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a single website page, typically hosted on a larger website as a single source of information on a promotion or product. Landing pages are marketing tools designed to encourage visitors to connect with a business and become qualified leads by learning more about an offer. For example, a brand may create a landing page for a product launch to direct paid ads to one location that explains the benefits of that product, encouraging click-through and capturing leads.

A landing page includes specific elements such as branded copy, relevant imagery and calls to action buttons to encourage visitors to interact with the business directly. This focus allows brands to convert visitors into paying customers by providing all the information they require in a single place. Landing pages span many industries and sectors to promote various products, services and specific offers to encourage potential customers to buy.

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What is a website?

A website is a series of different web pages owned by an individual or business covering a wide range of requirements. Website structure typically includes a homepage, product or service pages, contact pages and other content such as articles or blog posts. The purpose of a website is to provide an online representation of a particular brand, allowing potential customers to find relevant information when they search for it online.

For some businesses, websites provide a simple way to encourage potential customers to get in touch with them, converting them into leads. Other brands use websites for e-commerce to sell their products or as an online catalogue to provide detailed information for consumers. The key priority for a company website is to display product branding that explains who the business is, what it does and why it's beneficial to its customer base.

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Landing page vs website key differences

While you host landing pages and websites on the same platform, their purposes and roles are different. For example, a whole website may be ineffective for marketing a single product, while a landing page may be too small to provide detailed brand and company information. Some of the key differences between these two online platforms include:

Goal

One of the main differences between landing pages and websites is their purpose. The goal of a landing page is to provide specific, targeted information about a product, service or offer to directly encourage visitors to contact or purchase. Websites provide information on various topics, from job vacancies to information on products and the company itself.

Design

The design of a landing page and website are different to accommodate the purpose of each platform. For example, it's crucial for the design of a website to include easy navigation for users and search engine bots to achieve high-quality SEO. Designs that flow on a single page and draw visitors' attention to call to action buttons are more valued for a landing page.

Navigation

The navigation of a landing page and website have key differences, with a landing page only requiring in-page navigation while a website may have a more complex structure. For example, a landing page may take you to a particular section on a website if you click the 'Learn more' button. As websites include a wealth of information for various purposes, there's a greater requirement for clean and efficient navigation to help users find what they want to know.

Content

The content included in a landing page forms a part of the marketing strategy for that product or service. As a landing page is directly involved in a promotion, its copy is most effective when it's on-brand and focused on encouraging potential customers into a sales funnel. The language used on a website may follow the same brand guidelines but may be more generalised than the sales and marketing language used on landing pages.

Pages

Websites are a series of connected pages, allowing businesses to put specialised information in different locations. Landing pages are a single page that may be longer than a standard page, with the only navigation included for a call to action. By keeping offers on a single page, marketing professionals aim to reduce distraction through navigation to encourage the conversion of leads.

Traffic

The traffic for a brand's website comes from multiple sources, including organic search engine rankings, social media, real-world advertising and marketing activities. For landing pages, online paid ads are the primary source of traffic. This targeted approach allows businesses to promote a product or service to a particular demographic to gain new customers.

Visitor demographics

The demographics of visitors to a standard website and landing page differ. Websites target a broader audience to suit different customer groups, such as luxury buyers or affordable shoppers, while a landing page targets a specific demographic. For example, if a brand makes a shampoo for middle-aged women, they may use this demographic to effectively focus their advertising, bringing their chosen product demographic to their landing page.

Functionality

The functionality of a website is more complex than a landing page. For example, a website may include calculators for quotes, online e-commerce systems or other tools such as social media interconnectivity. Landing pages are comparatively faster and easier to create, making them an effective tool in marketing without the extensive cost or testing required for an entire website.

Optimisation

Landing pages are temporary or directly used for pay per click or social media marketing, allowing brands to connect with specific audiences. This approach requires less focus on search engine optimisation to encourage organic customers to find that page. While SEO may still support landing pages, less time and effort are necessary to establish a product or service with a particular audience.

Related: 29 website features to impress your audience

Tips for deciding which platform to use

When deciding between a website and a landing page, considering which best serves the purpose of the message you're sending is a good place to start. Understanding the ultimate goal for that platform helps you determine the time and financial investment to budget for a specific project. Here are some tips to consider when deciding which option is most suitable for your business use:

Think about the purpose of the page

Defining your goal in creating an online platform helps you decide whether a landing page or a website is the right fit for your business. For example, if you want to build a page to promote a single product, a landing page may be the ideal fit. If you want a platform that provides a lot of different information to potential customers, a website may be better.

Decide which information you want to provide

Landing pages are most effective when they're targeted and aligned with the branding of the product and company. Deciding which information you want to provide helps you decide whether a landing page is the right fit. General product specifications, how-to guides and company information are more effective on a website, while highly targeted marketing promoting a product's benefits and offers may be better suited to a landing page.

Define your target audience

Creating an effective website or landing page requires good knowledge of the particular audience you want to target. A website may have a broader audience, such as B2B businesses, while a landing page may have a more targeted audience, such as B2B businesses searching for a new tool for their manufacturing workflow. By specifying who you're targeting, you can decide whether a website or landing page suits your audience.

Establish what you want visitors to do

Deciding how you want visitors to act also helps you decide which platform is most suitable. For example, if you want to funnel visitors into clicking a call to action as soon as possible, a landing page may be the ideal solution. If you want visitors to stay on your website as long as possible to qualify them as future leads, directing them to a website provides more resources for browsing and navigation.

Build an online presence first

Landing pages are specific to marketing campaigns, hosted as temporary additions to the main website of a brand. Building a standard website for the company is vital in building your online presence. For example, potential customers may want to navigate back to your website to learn more about other products, making it vital to have an existing website for your brand.

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