You might hear these terms often, but what's the difference? And which one does your company need? Let's take a look at each one.
Purpose: A general introduction of your company's products and services to potential customers.
A website contains all information about your business that customers need to know. It typically has multiple pages such as:
Products or Services
When to use it?
To tell your company's story, and relate to your target audience.
To introduce all your products and services.
To improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
To provide a function or service (such as an online store, a research hub, or forum).
Purpose: To help the company achieve one specific marketing goal, such as downloads, sales, or sign ups.
A Landing page is a single page that is built for conversion, such as driving sales or capturing leads. While it can be connected to (or be part of) a website, its contents should focus on your marketing goal, with no navigation buttons or links to distract your visitors from the main call-to-action.
If you're running an online ad or marketing campaign, it would be more effective to link it to a landing page with a specific product / service introduction and a strong call-to-action, than to link it to your general website.
For example, if you sell beauty products and are running ads to promote a new series of body wash, your ads should be linked to a landing page for this new series so that your visitors can access information or purchase it immediately. Linking such an ad to your website's homepage will cost you as visitors lose interest and drop out.
With a landing page, companies don't need to update their entire website whenever there's a new product or offer.
When to use it?
For pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Google judges PPC ad quality by their relevance to the linked page. A landing page built specifically for an ad campaign will be more relevant than a general product page, so it will appear higher in the search results.
To capture leads. An example of this is a form where visitors need to key in their name and email address in order to get a voucher, download a free resource, get a free trial, etc.
To attract different customers. You can personalize each landing page based on the product you're offering, the audience location or demographic, and much more, while keeping your general website the way it is.
Time-sensitive products or services. While a website takes longer to build and is meant to last long term, a landing page can be built in a much shorter time frame and can be taken down when the offer or campaign has ended.
Purpose: To create buzz for a marketing campaign.
A microsite has shared characteristics of a website and landing page. It can come in the form of multiple pages or a long landing page. Similar to a landing page, its content usually focuses on one marketing campaign, but it can have multiple call-to-actions as well as navigation links for visitors to view different sections or pages.
When to use it?
Create pre-launch buzz for products or services.
Suitable for freelancers who don't require that much information for a full fledged website.
Any big promotional campaigns. If you've spent a lot on a promotional campaign for a new product launch, you could consider including a microsite where people can visit to get more information, view event dates, participate in games or view contest results, and so on to maximize your marketing efforts.
Time-sensitive products or services. Similar to landing pages, microsites can be taken down after a campaign ends.
If you're looking to build a new site for your company...
it's important to consider all the above, as well as the long term usage of your site. For example, if you plan to start social media marketing, consider the type of content you're going to put up, and whether you would need to drive potential customers to your site for more information about your products or services.
Some of our clients have made the mistake of building a single landing page for their company rather than a proper website before hiring us. This limits the amount of information they can include on the site, and visitors may not be able to find the information they need.