HubSpot gives users two very different types of systems for site pages and landing pages. Each type has its own set of features to help us optimize both kinds of pages. What we've seen, however, is failing to utilize the power of landing pages simply because they're not sure which one to use in which case.
In this article, we'll do our best to highlight the differences between site pages and landing pages, and when to use each. Trust me, if you're wanting to build a page that converts leads from external links, calls-to-action, and especially external advertisements, you'll want to master HubSpot landing pages.
Landing Pages vs. Site Pages
Let's take a look at each content type, and learn their proper usage.
What are site pages?
Site pages are the typical webpages that make up the majority of your site. These pages such as the homepage, about us, contact us, and all the general info pages.
Site pages are the basic building blocks of your site. These pages are typically found in the main site navigation and footer links. If you use HubSpot's sitemap tool, most of the pages you map will be site pages, if not all of them.
Site Pages Dashboard
The Dashboard will show each page and the most important performance metrics giving you a great overview of how your website content is performing. The most important metrics you can easily track on the site pages dashboard are:
See how many visitors have viewed each site page. Knowing how many people are hitting the page can give you a good look at how that page performs from a user experience perspective. When you know what purpose that page is supposed to accomplish, you can measure how many are taking the desired action vs. how many have viewed the page.
SEO is the backbone of business growth. Search engine traffic is free, and if your pages rank for popular searches, you can acquire those visitors very inexpensively, and they'll keep coming as long as you rank. Knowing how many keywords each page is ranking for gives you an idea of what market you're website is doing the best at attracting. This information is golden.
This is also an SEO item. How many incoming links are pointed to a specific page? Usually, a page with more links means that the page is providing something people find valuable. Tracking incoming links for each page is difficult without HubSpot, but with this feature, you can get the info you need at a glance.
Beyond the dashboard, each page has its own dashboard with a more granular look at its performance. If you need to drill down and find how each page is performing, you can do it easily through HubSpot. Making tweaks and measuring over time is the best way to optimize the performance of the whole site. Giving you granular metrics of each page allows you optimize one page at a time.
What are landing pages?
Unlike site pages, landing pages are made specifically to convert visitors into leads.
Typically, landing pages provide information on some kind of offer and gives visitors a form to fill out to receive the offer. This is the trade in which you offer something of value in exchange for an anonymous visitor giving you permission to market to them.
A landing page often correlates with an advertisement of some sort, whether that is a call-to-action or an external Pay Per Click ad. To convert visitors at a high rate, the page they land on has to be instantly relatable to the ad or call-to-action they clicked.
Here's some things your landing pages must include.
A lot of people make the mistake of spending a ton on ads, and sending them all to a site page, the most common being to the home page. While this is a very common thing to do, it wastes a lot of money as fewer people convert when they land on generic pages with no incentive incorporated.
Here's an example:
Acme Limo Company buys $1,000.00 in Google ads for people looking for limo service in the Los Angeles area. All of these ads, regardless of ad copy, point to their home page. The homepage has all kinds of information on their vehicles and cities they service, etc. Some people will convert, because they realize this is a limo service in LA, and they will follow through and request a quote or booking.
Smart Limo Company, on the other hand, is using HubSpot landing pages. They spend $1,000.00 on Google Ads, and point each ad to a corresponding landing page.
They have ads targeted at people wanting to take a limo from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Those ads point to a landing page that is only about going from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, with cost information for that trip only. The main headline matches with the ad copy very closely. In short, the page is designed to give those who clicked the ad exactly what they are looking for.
Which one do you think performs better?
If you said landing pages, you would be correct. There are many studies where ad-specific landing pages out-performed generic pages by 115%. This means Smart Limo's cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is lower, even if Acme Limo was paying a lower cost per click (CPC).
Companies who have more landing pages convert more leads. More landing pages means more dialed-in messaging and more opportunities for visitors to convert. Companies who increase their landing page total from 10 to just 15 experience a 55% increase in leads.
Adding video can increase your landing pages conversion rates if that video is also directly correlated to the landing page.
Read more about how to improve your landing pages' conversion rates.
The HubSpot Landing Page Tool
The HubSpot Landing Page tool allows you to create a new template optimized to increase conversions on the page. One of the main differences from regular site pages is removing the navigation options. When someone arrives on a landing page, they should have one option, to convert or leave. You don't want them to get distracted by links to your social profiles or the "about us" page.
Beyond having templates easy to use, the Landing Pages tool in HubSpot allows you to a/b test the entire page. This is one step higher than just a/b testing page elements. You can test two different versions of the page, or just change the main headline. A/B testing is so powerful, allowing you to find little adjustments or layouts that convert a higher percentage of visitors, driving down the CPA even further.
Like your site pages, you have a Landing Page Dashboard as well. And this dashboard has an entirely different set of metrics, important only to landing pages. At a glance, you can see which landing pages are converting at the highest percentage, and how many views are recorded for each page. This dashboard gives you a bird's eye view of how well your lead conversion engine is running.
Then, each landing page has it's own dashboard as well, with another deep dive into the kind of metrics you need to see in order to optimize each page to convert at the highest rate.
Our landing page for our How to Repurpose Content eBook converts at around 40% on average. We can easily access that page's metrics and get a lot of useful information, such as submission rate over a custom date range.
Seeing this graph, we can see in January, there was an uptick to 60% conversion rate. This allows us to review what we did in January that caused the increase, and try to repeat that moving forward.
NOTE: If you're considering using WordPress as a CMS, check out HubSpot vs. WordPress before you make a decision.
Using the Right Tool for the Right Job
While to the average visitor, there may not be a lot of difference between the average site page and landing page, their overall purpose is quite different. If these pages and tools are used correctly they can yield great benefits to your business.
Your site pages will build a website for all visitors to view and experience what you have to offer, while, your landing pages will yield you hard conversions and give you more of those much desired leads. It will drive your CPA down, and increase the value of each individual lead.