One of my biggest pet peeves as a web designer is when someone asks me to make a landing page when in fact what they want is a homepage, or vice versa. I don’t take it against them, but I usually feel too polite to explain it to them so I just let them keep calling it whatever they want to and then help them achieve what they really want to do. If I could, though, here’s what I’ll tell them:
Your homepage’s aim is to inform the visitor; your landing page’s aim is to persuade the visitor.
Your homepage is for you to tell the user what your company is about and give them an overview, but in your landing page, you have a specific purpose and focus of getting the visitor to take an offer. For example, check out Hubspot’s homepage versus their landing page for downloading an ebook (note: the ebook is about landing pages–how meta!)
Your homepage can have a lot of CTAs; your landing page has only one CTA.
Want to link to your shop, your blog, and your social media pages? You can do them all on your homepage. Not so on your landing page. With your landing page, you have a single goal. Your customer must do one thing and one thing only: schedule a consultation, request a quote, send an inquiry, etc.
Your homepage is only one; you can have as many landing pages as you like.
Usually, your domain URL immediately goes to your homepage. Whereas, you can add as many landing pages as your hosting allows. Ideally, you should have different landing pages depending on what your marketing goal is and you should be A/B testing them.
Knowing the difference between a homepage and a landing page is crucial to marketing your business. For example, the classic mistake of sending all your paid ads traffic to your homepage, instead of a dedicated landing page, will surely lower your conversion rate.
Note that using landing pages is optional, not mandatory. However, it is highly recommended.
I’ve also seen cases where the homepage is designed like a sort-of landing page. It really depends on what your marketing goals are, etc.
I hope this has been helpful!