It's the million dollar question: when running a campaign, when do you use your homepage versus a landing page? Let's paint a different perspective and then we can make the best decision from there.
A website is a lot like your company's store. It showcases all of the products you have, provides detailed information about them, shows you who actually works there, provides a way to contact the owners or the managers of the store, and might even let you buy the product right there on the spot.
If you've ever worked in retail, you know that shoppers like to roam around the store—picking and choosing what sections they want to explore, examining your products, and maybe even talking to one of the store employees along the way.
Sometimes they buy something, and sometimes they walk away empty-handed. They might even return at a later date.
A landing page is much more like your company's trade show booth, but minus the trade show.
The only purpose of a booth is to quickly build rapport and relationships with the people who visit your booth, and provide something of value in exchange for a way to contact them later. There's really just one thing to do a booth: engage or walk-away! There's no guarantee that someone will buy something, but it's a "touchpoint" between your company and your prospects.
That said, your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks to your overall brand and corporate values and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site. It’s designed to encourage exploration, and if your website is well-designed, it will encourage people to buy your product or service.
Landing pages are designed for one purpose only — for a visitor to complete a single objective. Think of the links on your page as leaks. Each link on your page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate.
The example below shows a WebTrends homepage which contains over 60 links. It works as a general marketing homepage, just not as an effective landing page. There are multiple actions you can take, many of which that will divert the visitor from the page's main goal.
If we look at an example of a WebTrends landing page below, it is focused entirely on a single campaign objective. You’ll notice that it has only one call-to-action. It’s immediately clear what you are supposed to do on this page. Visitors stay focused and conversions increase!
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