Updated Feb 6th, 2023 by Nicolas Zenker
Are you organizing an event? If it’s a public-facing event, you may want to have a page to draw the attention of your target audience.
But here’s a question. Should you create a landing page on your website or a separate website for the event?
Both have their benefits and drawbacks. The final decision should come down to whatever offers the greatest benefit for your event.
What should you choose? This guide will walk you through all the peculiarities of using a landing page vs. a website for events and help you understand what’s best for you.
A website is a series of interconnected pages published under one domain name. Your company’s website is an important asset that builds authority both in the eyes of web users and search engines. All mentions of your website that link back to it build authority and recognition.
When you create a new website for your event, you’re starting from square one. An example of this is iMedia Summits, run by the Comexposium group. They created a separate site for this type of event, and as a result, had to work twice as hard on SEO and PR since they had a new website with zero recognition.
A landing page is a single page on your website created specifically to explain and offer something. Your services page is a landing page, as well as an event announcement page.
It’s used to promote the event, showcase the topics and speakers, and encourage users to sign up. If you’re going to run ads for your event, the landing page is the perfect place to drive traffic to.
It can also be used to promote assets associated with the event, like recordings, ebooks, etc. This is what Spyker did with their EXCITE Berlin 2022 page.
The downside of using a landing page is that it limits the growth potential of your events. If you want to make the event annual, like a conference, you may want to create a website for it. The same applies if you want to grow the events you hold into a separate business.
Let’s compare a landing page with a website for event marketing. They differ in three main ways.
The most important difference between a website and a landing page is the intended lifespan. The rule of thumb is to create a website for long-term projects and a landing page for short-term or one-off events.
Creating a separate website can be good if you’re planning to make the event you’re promoting a long-standing project. For instance, if you’re creating a conference that you expect to become popular enough to turn into a standalone project, it’s best to create a website for it from the beginning.
This way, you’re building the website from a solid foundation. When the event does catch up, you’ll have less trouble ranking it organically. However, it does require constant upkeep and work, like keyword research, optimization, digital PR, etc.
A landing page is a lot less demanding when it comes to work that needs to be done. It’s the best choice for short-term or smaller projects that you don’t expect to turn into a separate line of business.
Examples of this include webinars, podcasts, or master classes that serve the purpose of lead generation or brand awareness and won’t become a separate project.
The goal of websites and landing pages will impact the way users first interact with them. Websites are found via organic search along with multiple marketing channels. Landing pages are typically discovered through a targeted ad campaign in search or social media.
Both the website and landing page can be equally promoted organically and via PPC. However, as it tends to live longer, an optimized website is better suited for developing a quality organic presence and covering multiple topics around your niche. If you need to promote an event that is taking place in the short term, you probably won’t have enough time to build and optimize an entire website. In this example, building a landing page with a PPC campaign would be your best choice.
Speaking of PPC, the right keyword strategy is key to the long-term growth of your event website. If you can identify the keywords your target audience will search for and rank for them, you’ll have an endless source of leads for your events!
You can discover the right keywords with a keyword search tool. The tool has the capability to conduct in-depth keyword research and build an effective content strategy.
The keyword search tool provides detailed statistics on the keyword you want to research, including ranking difficulty, estimated search volume, and Google ads pricing.
You can also get thousands of keyword suggestions based on the topic you want to focus on.
This research can help you position the event website on Google and receive relevant traffic.
This won’t work well with a landing page as they tend to be suited for events of a smaller scale. Instead, the first touchpoints are going to be email marketing, social media, and PPC ads.
Websites and landing pages differ in purpose as well.
A website is a much larger digital asset that has multiple purposes. Its main purpose is to explain what a business does and encourage interaction. A website typically has a homepage that acts as an introduction to the business, and specific pages that describe each aspect of the business in more detail.
Another major goal of a website is to build trust with the audience. A website can accomplish this by displaying social proof or sharing expertise through different types of content.
This website for Savant Events pursues multiple goals:
A landing page is much narrower in its purpose. It focuses on converting page visitors and incentivizing them to take certain actions. It could be signing up for a newsletter, booking a free event with an embeddable calendar, or paying for an event.
Landing pages will typically include some elements of an event website, such as social proof or a pitch to sponsor the event. But they don’t go into much detail and instead focus on pitching the event at hand.
Are you enthusiastic about the event you’re going to create? Is it a conference or a master class? Is the event itself a product?
You may need a website for it. Here’s why.
Since a website contains multiple pages, it does a much better job of telling your story. Place the main sales pitch for the event on the home page, and explore your brand on the supporting pages.
Having more space to talk to your audience allows you to go deeper into the vision behind your brand, the team, the speakers, and the topics your event covers.
A landing page can be a comprehensive sales pitch, yet it can’t explore every aspect of the product in full. A website can.
With an event website, you can cover every attendee’s pain point, every objection, and every benefit, which can increase your webinar signups. Adobe Summit even provides a letter template aimed at convincing a boss to let their employee attend the event.
A major issue that in-person event attendees have is logistics and lodging. You can talk about that in more detail — how to get to your event and what the options for staying there are.
It’s also a great way to upsell and cross-sell the audience on different connected products. The Adobe conference website offers pre and post-conference experiences for an additional price. That’s something you can hardly upsell on a landing page.
These days, most commercial websites are educational platforms as well. Missing the opportunity to educate your audience when you launch a website is a bad practice.
Write content about the topics your event covers and try to get it ranked on Google. This will bring in more people that may be interested in attending.
Creating content about your event’s core topics can also serve as a conversion method.
The brand story, the ability to explain the even deeper, and the option to attract organic traffic through optimization and educational content all demonstrate that websites are a great solution if you plan on doing the event long-term.
If you want to run a recurring event like a monthly webinar or annual conference, it’s best to create a website for it.
Another reason to create a website is if the event you run is a product and not a marketing technique. If you charge for participation and intend to develop the event like a product, you may want to create a separate website for it.
A landing page doesn’t offer such a wide variety of options when it comes to explaining your event. But it doesn’t have to because it serves a different purpose. Here’s why you may want to create a landing page for your event.
Websites are great for organic search traffic. Landing pages excel at converting paid traffic from Google search and social media channels.
These ads can be targeted toward your ideal customer and include specific keywords. Since the copy of the landing page is tailored towards a single demographic and a single search intent, it has the potential to convert at a higher rate.
If you’re creating an event to advertise a product, a landing page is the best option. A successful webinar can be a great way to engage your target audience, educate them, and potentially make them a customer.
Gating free events behind a lead form can make for a strong acquisition channel. You can ask your audience to share their email or business information in exchange for access to a webinar or whitepaper. Incentivize them to leave a work email in exchange for bonus materials to improve the quality of the database you get.
All of this won’t do you much good if the event is hosted on a separate website. An event that is meant to promote a product that you offer should be hosted on your site. It helps both branding and SEO because all mentions of the event ultimately boost your website’s authority.
Creating landing pages doesn’t require nearly as many resources as creating websites does. This allows you to test different ideas and optimize efforts without increasing spending too much.
If you’re trying to figure out which events will be interesting to your audience, test them on landing pages first before committing to a website.
The most important factor in deciding whether you want to create a landing page or a website is the goals you set for the events. If the event you run is the product, it’s best to create a website for it. That way, you can grow it naturally as a business.
If the event is a marketing technique used to increase your brand recognition or sell a product, a landing page will suffice. It provides all the benefits of organizing an event without the overheads of a website.
Unless you want to scale the event you are currently creating and sell it as a product, you don’t need a website.
The choice between a website and a landing page comes down to the goals behind your event.
A landing page serves well for events that are related to the marketing campaign of another product. They work particularly well when matched with a targeted ad campaign, have little to no distractions, and focus on converting page visitors.
Websites are a good fit for events that are products themselves. They can be harder to set up and may require a lot of resources spent on marketing. The benefit of spending on marketing is that you have more opportunities to show your expertise, build your brand, and gain organic traffic.
If you’re not sure whether the event you’re running is going to be a success, test it with a landing page, and then upgrade to a website when it makes sense.