Simply put, a website is a collection of web pages. A landing page, on the other hand, is a standalone web page that doesn’t belong to a wider website.
That’s the difference at a very basic level - but the two things themselves have different characteristics which set them apart from each other. Let’s take a look at them.
Differences between a landing page and a website
Whilst landing pages normally just promote one specific offer, a website has various purposes. It introduces you to the company in question, tells you more about them, explains what they do, captures leads and - well - pretty much does anything you want it to do.
A landing page is a little more laser-focused on a single purpose: collecting contact details, selling a product, offering a service - things like that. For this reason, they are optimised around that specific goal and should, in theory, be better at helping you achieve it than a normal website.
Although landing pages ‘belong’ to a company (and so feature company branding), they’re not normally linked to the company website. So from the landing page, you couldn’t (easily) navigate to the wider company website. They’re standalone pages.
Websites, however, are designed to help you smoothly navigate between its different sections. Or, in this case, the different components of a company. They’re not standalone pages and promote all parts of a business.
A website is a collection of multiple web pages, meaning they’re bigger than a standalone landing page. On a website you might have a homepage, about us, contact, products, services and all that jazz. A landing page is just one web page promoting one thing.
Landing page vs homepage
Speaking of homepages. A landing page and a homepage seem pretty similar to each other, don’t they? They both tend to be the first page that people land on, and so both serve as a kind of introduction to a company. But again, there are some key differences between them.
The purpose of a landing page and homepage is slightly different. Landing pages are optimised around a specific offer, and are designed to persuade you to take action. Homepages, whilst still being the first impression you get of a company, serve as more of a gateway into the company as a whole. They’re not there to persuade you to take action - they exist to help you explore the rest of the website.
Persuading you to take action (such as downloading something, buying something or leaving your contact details) comes a little later, once you’re already acquainted with the business.
The navigation and interconnectivity of a landing page and homepage are also different. Homepages typically have navigational links to every other section of a website. They make it easy for you to navigate through a website and the two are interconnected.
A landing page, once again, is just a standalone page that isn’t linked to a wider company website. The only link you’re likely to find on a landing page is the one that persuades you to take action.
The final key difference between a landing page and a homepage is how users arrive at them. Users arrive at a website homepage from various places: social media, directly by typing the URL in, search engine, email and much more.
Landing pages are often targeted at existing customers who are seen as more likely to take action and ‘convert.’ For this reason, users often find their way to landing pages via specific channels: normally adverts or promotional emails. Random users, with no experience or connection with the company, are unlikely to find their way to a landing page via search engines or social media. That's because they're seen as less likely to convert.
Think about it. If you came across a company landing page, and you had never heard of them before, and they were trying to persuade you to buy something, you wouldn't be that likely to buy. You would be more likely to buy from a name you already knew.
When to use a landing page vs homepage
You should consider creating a landing page when you have a specific offer to promote. Let’s say, for instance, you’re an online retailer and you want to grow your list of email subscribers. You might set up a landing page to persuade people to leave their email address in return for a 10% discount code. Because landing pages are optimised around a specific goal like this, theoretically more people who visit that page should convert and leave their email address.
If you just want to promote your company in general, then it’s probably a better idea to use your homepage to do this. They serve as an introduction to your company and also to your wider website. They make it easy for people to learn more about your business, who you are, what you do and what you offer.
A landing page is a standalone web page used to promote a specific offer. It is not part of a wider company website and you couldn’t navigate to other sections of a website from one.
A website is a collection of interconnected web pages, not including a landing page.
A homepage is the front page of your website and is connected to the rest of it via navigational links and buttons.