Apples and oranges, folks. Website homepage design vs. landing page design is nuanced. Both should be approached uniquely and strategically to reach your desired goal. We’re here to teach you more about the difference between these two important conversion pages and how to optimize each. Let’s dive in, shall we?

What’s the Difference Between a Homepage and a Landing Page?

A homepage is the introductory page of your website. You only have one of them. It’s where people go when they type in your main URL. It’s the chosen entry to your site (the foyer, if you will) that you make pretty and functional to help people learn about your business and direct them to other pages.

A landing page is a very targeted, stand-alone marketing page with one CTA (call to action). It exists for a single purpose, like lead generation to build your email list or buy a particular product. Instead of offering a number of links and directions to go in (like your home page), your landing pages have one goal and that should be abundantly clear.

What Makes a Great Homepage?

Homepage design vs. landing page design is drastically different based on what you want each page type to accomplish for your site. A homepage should

  • Be the Hub. As we mentioned before, the homepage is where your root domain directs people. It is the central hub of your site. It’s where the link in your logo goes and where visitors find navigation to the rest of your site. It’s home base, and usually an aggregation of your entire site’s content—or at least the most important parts.
  • Identify Your Business’s Purpose and Personality. Your homepage should help visitors understand what your business does or why your page exists and compel them to visit other parts of your site. It should also scream your brand personality. Make a solid impression on your homepage with visuals that reinforce your branding and messaging that oozes your voice and tone.
  • Link to Supporting Content. Your homepage should link to every other permanent page of your website, including your service pages, blog, about, and contact page.
  • Create Connection. Your homepage should tell visitors how to connect with you in other ways, which means including social buttons, your brick-and-mortar address, your phone number, and your email address.

What Makes a Successful Landing Page?

Landing pages don’t try to do as much as your home page. They have specific jobs to do. Here’s what a landing page should accomplish:

  • Encourage Action. The purpose of your landing page is for visitors to take action, like requesting a free quote, registering for a webinar, or downloading an ebook. That means you need a strong call-to-action that encourages them to do the thing.
  • Focus. Landing pages don’t say or do too much. Anything you add beyond the focus of that call-to-action distracts visitors from it.
  • Limit Navigation. A landing page, unlike your homepage, doesn’t include a navigation bar. You aren’t trying to get visitors to peruse other parts of your site. You’re trying to get them to do the one thing they came there to do. Make it simple and it should work.
  • Fleeting. Your landing page is a temporary microsite. It’s not likely to stay on your site forever like your homepage.
  • Stand Alone. Visitors to your landing page may not have visited your homepage. They may come from ads, email campaigns, social media posts, or a backlink from another site. so you have to help them understand briefly what your business does. This, of course, should come after the main CTA!

Homepage Design vs. Landing Page Design

Because they have different purposes on your site, you design your homepage and landing pages differently. Here are some of the differences in homepage design vs. landing page design. 

The Purpose

Your homepage and landing pages have two different functions. Thus, one will be simple, and the other more complex.

Your homepage’s design will be fuller because it has to do more. It introduces your site’s purpose, helps visitors find other pages they may need on the site, and establishes your brand’s visual identity.

On the other hand, your landing pages are just there for one marketing-related purpose, so they’re much more focused and scaled-down. They are single pages featuring a call-to-action in a simplified manner.

The Audience

While you want your target audience to visit your homepage and your landing page, you should keep in mind that you may have to design for two different visitors. 

Those who visit your homepage are seeking information or searching for products. They’re probably trying to learn more about your brand in the process. 

You targeted those who visit a landing page to take a specific action. They may not be the same person. Think about each of them as your designing the individual pages.

Simplicity

Regardless of the specific purpose of the page or the audience you want to reach, web design, in general, has taken a turn toward simplicity. You don’t want the format of any of your pages to confuse or overwhelm visitors. Have a guide for your brand’s colors, fonts, and other visual representations, then keep presenting your brand’s image as clean and straightforward as possible on your homepage and landing pages.

Visual Hierarchy

We’re sure you’ve been to a webpage where there was so much going on that you didn’t know where to look first. We certainly have. People are uncomfortable with pages that seem visually all over the place, and they’re likely to click off of them quickly.

When considering homepage design vs. landing page design, know they both need to follow the F Pattern. The F Pattern is a way to design page content that reflects how eye-tracking studies found that readers view pages. Readers enter a page through an image or headline. Then they look down the left side of the page for bulleted or italicized text. They read body copy last.

Create a “visual hierarchy” based on the way people process web pages to get them to read your content. This means:

  • Placing your logo at the top left side of the page
  • Using attention-grabbing images and a big headline to attract your visitors’ attention
  • Recognizing that visitors naturally read from left to right
  • Dividing your page’s content with subheadings to make it easier to read and understand
  • Using bullet points to draw attention to lists you want visitors to read
  • Underlining links or making them a different color
  • Using brief body copy to explain other elements, but understanding that visitors are least likely to read it

Homepage Design vs. Landing Page Design that Works

As we explained, homepages and landing pages have different purposes and may have a slightly different audience. These pages’ goals drive their design, while they both adhere to certain consistent design concepts. If you still aren’t sure about how to design these pages or you’re looking for someone to help, get in touch! We’d love to help you.