Can a home page be a Landing Page?
Simply put, yes. But let’s break it down to fully understand why…
There are 3 prerequisites for Landing Pages to be effective:
- The user “lands up” at the webpage after a marketing effort eg. a Tweet
- The targeted user is specific and not everyone on Earth eg. Developers
- The webpage has a single objective for the targeted user eg. Enroll in a course
Combining the above would create a classic Landing Page scenario: A Tweet sending a developer to a course Landing Page. Wonderful.
Now that we have context on when Landing Pages are most effective, let’s compare the Apple home and product pages.
Based on the above requirements, the Apple home page is not a Landing Page as it promotes several products targeting different people:
But Apple’s iPhone 13 promotions send users to the iPhone 13 product page and not the home page. Furthermore the webpage hides the main navigation as you scroll focusing the experience purely on a single product. The iPhone 13 product page is a classic example of a Landing Page:
What about One Page websites?
Now what happens if Apple bought the domain iphone13.com and the above identical Landing Page sat on that dedicated domain?
This is the home page of the iphone13.com domain. This is where Apple send users after their marketing efforts. There is one objective: buy the iPhone 13.
The home page is the Landing Page.
A dedicated domain with only a single home page promoting a product/service is also known as a One Page website.
Fun fact: I have been collecting One Page website references since 2008. I was fascinated with how people where promoting their products/service in such a brilliantly simple and direct way. 8000 One Page websites later I’m still collecting references daily.
What about SaaS website home pages?
To help get to the bottom of this one, let’s take a look at some SaaS big dogs; Shopify, Stripe and Notion.
Taking into account our earlier Landing Page requirements, here is the Shopify home page:
Is this Shopify home page a Landing Page?
- The user “lands up” at the webpage after a marketing effort. Shopify send a ton of their marketing to their shopify.com home page.
- The targeted user is specific and not everyone on Earth. Shopify are targeting someone wanting to start an online store.
- The webpage has a single objective for the targeted user. Shopify has clear focus in this webpage on a first-time visitor starting a free trial.
So technically yes the Shopify home page can be considered a Landing Page. But taking into account their big navigation promotes other areas of the website along with a Log In link – I do not consider this a classic Landing Page, this is a home page.
A better Landing Page example would be Shopify promoting how they are a great solution to sell your products linked from Facebook or Instagram – targeting those more-specific audiences:
Same goes for Stripe, based on the earlier requirements, their home page could be considered a Landing Page but it is targeting multiple user groups with several solutions:
But their Payment Links webpage is a classic Landing Page. It is where their no-code marketing is sent. It contains everything you need to know about creating payment links all in a long-scrolling webpage. The objective for this page is to give Payment Links a go. A clear single objective Landing Page promoting a single product:
And lastly Notion offers up unlimited use-cases covering productivity, collaboration and organization. Their home page narrative is broad but they have Landing Pages tailored to more specific use-cases. Here is their personal use-case Landing Page with the “Write, plan, & get organized in one place. Now free for personal use.” narrative:
Also note how they have trimmed down their weighty pricing table to only include the personal pricing tiers on this tailored Landing Page:
In summary, the home pages of big SaaS services with multiple use-cases are not Landing Pages. Their subpages located on the same domain domain, targeting more specific use-cases or audiences are Landing Pages.
If any of this (text, images or refs) didn’t make sense, please hit me up on Twitter or email - I’m here to help. Also let me know what Landing Page areas you are struggling with and I’ll try my best to point you in the right direction:)