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I am helping out an organization on sparked which wants a landing page on which a video will be embedded along with some descriptive . However I am not sure if it is advisable to have a landing page for the organization with only the video and some text on it as the home page would convey everything (and they already have a very nice home page).

Based upon my understanding landing pages are usually built for products where the user lands on the product landing page and from there can navigate to the main company page if needed .

Hence landing pages seem to be call to action pages ,but for a non profit organization,wont it be advisable to have the video and other stuff right on the home page where they have all the information about them along with the donate button etc since the donate button is often the main call to action element and all other elements on that page must drive the focus towards the donate button

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General recommendations is to make the landing page as similar as the "ad" that brought them there. Also clear-to-actions. Probably duplicate with ux.stackexchange.com/questions/16036/… –  Naoise Golden Jan 18 '12 at 9:39

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It depends on the situation and the design however to speak generally.

The word landing page (to me) indicates a specialized page designed for a specific purpose that will have a specific call to action which will (most often) lead into a specific area for a site.

A common use is targeted keywords, in google AdWords for one example, that target a specific group or type of people. This landing page is designed just for them with a video and description that will best convert them to the call to action, be it signing up for a news letter, donating, buying a product, whatever the situation may be.

I think your gut is right that they should not just replace all the content on the homepage with only a video and a small blurb, but if designed for this purpose it could work well. However, this assumes it stay generic and is targeting the broader audience, and those who may already know the organization's mission and are looking for something specific on the site.

You don't want to diminish the usability of the site as a whole in the endeavor. But the elements you described can be included in a home page. One example being Homestead where a video and descriptive are the main content of the page, but do not diminish access to learning about individual products, signing in, etc.

In contrast one of their landing pages greatly changes the interface to simplify it and focus on the sales pitch. You cannot login from this page etc. It is not for general use, it's a landing page for a specific sales pitch.

hope that helps.

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Yes you should use a landing page to give an overview of your cause. According to the 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report :

With “very effective” at 43% percent and “somewhat” at 49%, this breakdown shows that, across the board, dedicated landing pages are clearly effective. This, however, only tells part of the story. Marketers spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best ways to drive traffic to landing pages. Should they pay for listings or purchase email lists to drive traffic, or is it better to rely on organic methods for driving traffic?

Also found on found in an article on Hubspot

Why are landing pages so critical? Too many companies send their advertising, email, or social media traffic to their homepage. This is a huge missed opportunity. When you know a stream of targeted traffic will be coming to your website, you can increase the likelihood of converting that traffic into leads by using a targeted landing page. For example, imagine you have a Google AdWords PPC ad running for one of your best keywords. Even if you advertise how great your company is (a boring offer for any company) and someone (amazingly) clicks through on that ad, do you want to send them to your homepage? When they land on your homepage, what are they supposed to do? What do you want them to do? Once you figure out what you want the visitor to do, make it easier for them to do just that. Send them to a landing page that prompts them to complete that action. You'll see the effectiveness of your online marketing improve dramatically.

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Great stats on landing pages. However, the OP is asking whether a landing page should replace the main page of a site. –  dnbrv Jan 18 '12 at 15:06
    
@dnbrv Not quite, but "Is it advisable to separate the landing page from the home page of a non profit organization?" –  Matt Rockwell Jan 18 '12 at 15:09

A landing page is the page where a visitor "lands" upon clicking on an advertisement link. It's purpose is to get the visitor excited about the cause or the product and to convert them to the next stage of the marketing funnel. That's why it's content relates only to the advertisement campaign followed by a loud and clear call-to-action.

A page with just a video with some text related to it and the infamous Click to continue or Skip intro that is shown to a visitor who goes to the main URL (e.g. www.mynonprofit.org) is called a splash page. Such design is horrendous UX because it's confusing, it creates extra effort to get to the content, and it serves the goals of the website owner not the user. This will hurt the NGO because fewer people will get to their homepage to see the Donate button.

The second part of your question was whether NGOs can use landing pages in general. Yes, they can. The most common use case is annual fundraising campaigns. In that situation, paid ads lead to pages designed specifically to increase donations rather than educate visitors about the NGO's operations.

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