Google Ads vs linkedin ads: Which Platform Prevails? A Deep Dive Analysis

Published14 August, 2023

In today’s ultra-competitive world of digital marketing, an effective advertisement takes on the role of a silent, continuous working sales representative, tirelessly serving your business interests online 24/7. The battle for your ad budget allocation sees two bigwigs going head to head: Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads. It’s important to remember that according to a report from Statista, businesses are projected to invest over $451 billion in digital advertising in 2021 alone. Google and LinkedIn, when combined, make up a significant chunk of this total. The question that most businesses grapple with is: How do you decide which platform is right for you?

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Introduction to Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads

Google Ads, with an impressive 90% of the world’s total search engine market share, is a titan in the sphere of digital advertising, serving ads across Google’s search and display networks, YouTube, and its partner sites. Alternatively, LinkedIn Ads, seen as the preferred choice for B2B marketers, captures a unique audience pool of around 600 million professionals from different corners of the world.

A Brief About Their Origin

Google Ads, originally known as Google AdWords, has been in the market since October 2000. It started with a pay-per-click system where advertisers would bid on specific keywords to appear in the Google search results. On the other side, LinkedIn Ads launched its ad platform in 2008, providing companies the unique opportunity to target professionals based on their job profiles and industry affiliation.

Benefits of Each Platform

Every advertising platform comes with its unique perks, and Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads are no different. With Google Ads, businesses can reach a broad audience due to Google’s large user base, and there are multiple ad formats and channels available. LinkedIn Ads, on the other hand, provides a highly targeted reach, giving advertisers access to data about users’ job roles, industries, and company size.

Limitations of Each Platform

Despite their benefits, both platforms also have limitations. Google Ads can be complex to navigate due to its vast scope, and without precise targeting, your ad can appear to irrelevant users. LinkedIn Ads, while offering potent targeting capabilities, lacks the scale and breadth of Google and may come with higher costs.

Analyzing the Potential Reach

PlatformPotential Reach
Google AdsA massive 90% of all internet users worldwide
LinkedIn AdsApproximately 12% of the global internet-user populace

Google’s expansive reach outstrips all other platforms, marking it as the superior choice for businesses with a diverse and wide audience base. Conversely, LinkedIn promises a more focused, professional audience, making it ideal for demand generation amongst specific, professional networks.

A Comparative Look at Cost Per Click (CPC)

According to data gathered by WordStream, the average Cost Per Click (CPC) for Google Ads floats between $1-$2 on the search network. In contrast, LinkedIn’s average CPC ranges higher, typically near the $2-$5 mark.

Understanding the Audience Targeting Capabilities

  1. Google Ads: Known for its elaborate audience-targeting options – it provides demographic, geographic, and interest-based targeting, and allows for advanced remarketing strategies.
  2. LinkedIn Ads: Offers unique professionally-driven targeting features that focus on job title, function, industry, and more. It also facilitates Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategies.

When it comes to precise audience targeting, particularly in B2B business models, LinkedIn offers unique capabilities to advertisers. However, Google’s scope and flexibility make it a more versatile option, delivering well to both B2B and B2C sectors.

Interesting Features of Both Platforms

Both Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads offer unique features to enhance the success of your ad campaign. Google Ads is known for its immense configurability and customizability that allows advertisers to create ads that match their business needs. Apart from text ads, you can create image ads, mobile ads, video ads, and more. LinkedIn’s unique feature is its ability to deliver ads based on professional persona targeting which helps in precisely reaching the business contacts and leads.

Insight into Analytics and Reporting Capabilities

Both platforms come equipped with robust analytical and reporting features for a comprehensive overview of ad campaign performance. Analytics and reporting from Google Ads is extensive, making it an ideal fit for businesses that hinge greatly on keyword performance for Returns on Ad Spend (ROAS). On the flip side, LinkedIn stands out for its demographic reporting capabilities, assisting B2B marketers in acquiring a granular understanding of their audience base.

Conclusion: Comparing Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads

In the ultimate showdown between Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads, there is no clear-cut victor. The ideal platform for your advertising campaign relies heavily on your business model, target audience demographics, available budget, and overarching marketing objectives. While Google Ads takes the cake for extensive reach and a potentially lower Cost Per Click (CPC), LinkedIn is the reigning champion in terms of precise professional audience targeting and B2B marketing initiatives. For a truly robust marketing strategy, it may be worth employing both platforms, leveraging the distinct strengths each one brings to the table.

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