Are a website and a landing page the same thing? No. A website consists of multiple pages which visitors are encouraged to browse for information or to buy products or services. A landing page consists of one page and its only purpose is to capture leads, either on it’s own as a standalone site or as part of a full website.
If you’re a start-up business, a landing page is a great tool to announce and introduce your new business to the world and start engaging with potential customers by capturing their contact details or getting more information about them, even before your business launch date. It also gives you the opportunity to work on a full website to be launched later when your business is in full swing, as it’s much quicker to set up.
Say you’re starting out on your own offering graphic design services but you don’t have any customers or a full portfolio yet. Besides from images showing off your talent, your landing page could host a “win a logo” competition. Participants will have to enter their email address and Viola! you can start communicating with the entrants – you already know they’re interested in having a logo designed, so they’re hot leads.
If you have an established business, there’s no better way to get visitors to do what you want them to do, for example, register for an event, give you their email address, buy a specific product etc.. When used correctly, this is a powerful marketing tool.
A landing page can be part of your full website, it can even be your homepage (temporarily or permanently). If it’s your homepage, it will first lead your visitors to do something specific. The rest of your website will contain pages with more information about your business or perhaps product pages or an online shop.
For example, an established cycle shop’s full website consists of pages with information about their history, products, services, contact details and an online shop. Their homepage could announce that they will be stocking the most popular model of a specific bicycle very soon and ask visitors to enter their e-mail address if they want to be notified when it arrives in store. They will then be able to send follow-up e-mails to these potential customers with information about other products, services and special offers.
A successful landing page, whether it’s used within a full website or as a standalone, has a number of key elements and a specific layout. The infographic below will help you to visualise it.
There are many online platforms where you can ‘easily’ and for ‘free’, set up a landing page. A word of caution, however, creating these accounts may be free but in most cases, you get limited design and functionality. If you want anything but dead simple, you’ll have to pay a fee. Furthermore, the information that visitors complete on your landing page is stored on their platform, so they may have access to it.
It is therefore preferable and much safer to host your landing page on your own domain and ensure that you do the necessary to comply with POPI and keep your customer details safe.