A landing page is a homepage, right? I mean, it has all the links to all the places on your website, right? Because people are certain to take the time to search through your website until they find what they’re looking for.

If these are your assumptions, you’ve come to the right place. Why? Because you’ve assumed wrong.

Once on a homepage, 86% of internet users want to see a company’s products or services immediately. In essence, they’ll bounce if they can’t find what they’re looking for when landing.

What’s the difference then between a homepage and a landing page? Why can’t you use a homepage as your landing page?

First, I never said you can’t use a homepage as a landing page. It’s just that most homepages aren’t conducive to being landing pages in their current form.

Keep reading because these tips below will help you understand the difference.

1. What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is like a storefront. It’s meant to entice people to enter the store and buy things. If they aren’t enticed, your storefront is useless.

On the internet, people don’t just enter and suddenly buy unless they’ve already made up their mind to buy. Most visitors to your site won’t even consider buying unless you keep asking them to revisit and reconsider.

You can’t continually ask them to reconsider unless you have a way to contact them. They are just floating out there severed from your grasp.

The landing page is meant to reconnect them to you or even connect them to you for the first time. How does it do this? By asking them to do something for you in exchange for a gift of some sort.

Often companies will offer a discount or a free tool or webinar in exhange for an email address. At this point, the customer is a lead. You can now tempt them with even more offers through their email. Hopefully, they’ll eventually click through and buy something.

2. The Case Against the Homepage as Landing Page

Not everyone who comes to your landing page will need conversion. Some of them might be farther along the customer journey and they might even be ready to buy.

A homepage is for a different kind of customer or client than those who end up on landing pages. They might be new prospects, returning leads, or vendors wishing to sell to you. The unpredictable nature of the user-base on a homepage makes it unsuitable for a landing page.

The end goal of both a landing page and a homepage might be similar. For example, on a homepage, you should still include a CTA or two. Why? Because you want people who are near the end of their customer journey to buy. You’re attempting to push them further down the marketing funnel. Similarly, on a landing page, you’re pushing them farther down the marketing funnel. The difference is where the customer is at in their journey.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.