Are Landing Pages Better than Websites?

May 21, 2019

For those who use landing pages as part of their marketing plans, asking if a landing page is better than a website might seem like a trick question.

To set the stage, there are two basic approaches:

  1. The standalone landing page
  2. Incorporating landing pages into your main website

We'll explore both here, but first...

Just What Is a Landing Page?

First, a landing page, whether part of the main website or standalone, is created for a singular marketing campaign.

The landing page mantra is: "One Page. One Offer."

Second, the sole purpose of any landing page is to convert interest into a lead or direct sale.

For a complex sale, the landing page could also be used to introduce the product/service, but even those are single-minded and purpose-driven.

Landing Page DNA

Landing pages need to keep everything to a minimum so the prospect can easily understand the offer and then take the desired action. 

The standard elements include:

  • The proposal
    • Headline: “Frustrated with your CMS? Try Web CMS. It's Flexible, Powerful, but Simple to Use”
    • Supporting Statement: “Easily manage a 100-page or 100,000-page site without knowing any code”
  • The summary of benefits or features (repeat main points):
    • “Quick, easy and intuitive”
    • “Designed with the Non-Technical User in Mind”
    • “End the frustration of inflexible, slow, and clunky systems”
  • The call to action (CTA):
    • The actual call-to-action: “Try Our Award-Winning CMS Today (or for Free)!”
    • Maybe add a qualifier: “For a Limited Time Only”
    • An obvious button to start the conversion process: "Click Here to Start"
  • Conversion is the actual goal: 
    • Filling out a lead generation form
    • Signing up for a service
    • Opening an account
    • Making a direct sale
    • Picking up the phone and dialing
  • Supporting elements might include
    • The “hero” or "banner" image to support the offer
    • Testimonials or other elements that provide credibility or 3rd-party endorsement
  • Analytics are required to understanding the performance of landing pages. At a minimum, you need:
    • Source
    • Abandonment
    • Conversion

A Landing Page MUST Offer Something of Value

  • If used for direct customer acquisition, the thing of value is a product, service or information being offered
  • If used for lead-generation, the thing of value will often be something like a white paper or e-book, but it can also be the promise of someone calling back to discuss a specific issue

So What's Better: a Standalone or Main Website Landing Page?

Well, it depends... (typical, right?!)

Standalone Landing Pages

A standalone landing page can be very effective for a limited offer or something that does not involve multiple steps in the conversion process.

  • Testing interest in a new product/service or an existing product/service to a new market
  • Promoting a special offer or event
  • A single offer or limited-time sale opportunity

Main Website Landing Pages

Can do everything a standalone landing page can, but can also support:

  • Multi-step conversion
  • Unified look/feel with the main website
  • Integration with CRM
  • Access to existing main website content (e.g., testimonials, bios, etc.)
  • Unified analytics tracking
  • Domain trust

Higher Stakes Typically Lead to a Longer Conversion Process

The more expensive or involved an offer is, the more likely the landing page should be on your website.

Most people will know they are being prepped for a sale—even if that point is much later in their buyer’s journey.

In this case, the landing page can be thought of as an introduction to services, and the conversion goal would be to either get information to follow up or demonstrate value for a potential future sale; and the rest of the website can be used to support that landing page with more in-depth information and additional CTAs baked into it. 

Bottom Line: What Type of Landing Page Depends on What You Are Selling

Standalone landing pages are very good for quick and simple transactions but are not well suited for the "long sale."

Main website landing pages can also handle the quick and simple sale but are better suited for relationship-building and supporting a more complex sale or service.

Any landing page will probably be part of an Google Ads (Formerly "Adwords") campaign, direct mail campaign or advertising campaign. So regardless of platform, make sure you think through the process and make the landing page simple and conversion-oriented. The tendency is to add more. Don't. Keep it simple, direct and actionable.


Have questions? Contact us. We're always happy to help!

Thanks and be well,
~Your Friendly Animus Rex Team

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