A breakdown of Google and LinkedIn ads

As the leading desktop search engine tool with a market share of 85.5 per cent, it is easy to see why Google Ads could be considered the best paid advertising platform for digital marketing campaigns. However, LinkedIn Ads are becoming increasingly important for B2B marketers, and challenge the thinking that Google is always best.  

Phillips Group analysed both platforms in order to establish which would be the right platform for your digital ad campaign.  

Google Ads 

Google allows you to advertise across their entire advertising network, including within the search engine results page (SERP) and displayed across owned or partnered sites like Google Maps and YouTube.  

 Where your ad lands on the SERP or partnered site is dictated by Google’s Ad Quality Score, which, in turn affects cost per click (CPC). 

 Ad Quality Score is primarily based on three factors:  

  • Expected click-through rate – this relates to the likelihood of your ad getting clicks based on the historical performance of similar ads.  
  • Ad relevance – this relates to the overall alignment between the ad and the user’s search intent and evaluates factors such as keywords used in the ad.  
  • Landing page experience – this relates to the user-friendliness of the webpage you are directing your audience to in your ad. 

Ads with higher quality scores may receive better ad positions and lower CPCs, making them more cost-effective for advertisers. 

See the different types of Google Ads you can run.  

Audience reach  

Google has 4.2 billion users, which means you need to invest time in understanding your target audience demographics and geographics, along with the keywords that will resonate with them.  

 If you don’t spend time narrowing down this field, you risk people outside of your target audience clicking on your ad, rapidly depleting your advertising budget while not converting leads or sales. 

Segmentation and buyer intent 

Google has a wealth of historical user browsing data to use to segment your audience based on their behaviours, including but not limited to: 

  • Affinity segments – tap into people’s passions, habits and niche interests
  • Demographics and geographics – target by age, location and gender
  • Life events – grab your audience’s attention at key milestones in their lives
  • In-market – use their recent purchase data

On Google, you’re finding buyers with intent. You’re capturing their attention when they’re already searching for related products, information or services. You are addressing their needs – front and centre. 


Google Ads are thought of as low-cost ads, with an average CPC for Search Ads at $0.63 and $2.69 for Display Ads.  

While Google is generally cheaper across the board, some industries are particularly expensive on Google, including Consumer and Legal Services, with an average CPC for display ads sitting at $6.40 and $6.75 respectively 

A Google Ads use case 

You are a chemist introducing a new over-the-counter drug to combat the effects of motion sickness.  

 Advertising on Google, with the right digital strategy and tactics, will put you directly in front of an audience searching for a solution to motion sickness – an audience with intent.  

LinkedIn Ads 

LinkedIn Ads can only run within the social media platform itself, so your audience will have to have a profile. Ad space is also competed for through bidding auctions and ads are prioritised against others targeting similar audiences, based on engagement, relevance and the price you pay.  

 See the various types of LinkedIn Ads available. 

Audience reach   

LinkedIn’s user-base is far lower by comparison, but by no means ineffective, with 930 million professionals and businesses across the globe. Four out of five users are thought of as decision-makers within their organisations, so it’s the ideal platform for targeted B2B marketing.  

Segmentation and buyer intent  

LinkedIn collects highly personalised information on its users including location, current and previous job titles, skills, education and industry-specific interests.  

LinkedIn Ads allow you to capture this audience segmentation data in order to create highly-personalised and targeted ads.  

As LinkedIn is a social media platform, users are there to be social, and don’t necessarily have buyer intent. However, advertisers can leverage the professional/business context of the platform to promote their B2B products/services and create buyer intent through the right targeting.  


LinkedIn display ads are more expensive than Google, with an average of around $5.26 CPC, although a cheaper alternative can be found in InMail ads, with an average of $0.80 per send.  

A LinkedIn use case 

You are a Brisbane-based property development company and you need to hire an in-house graphic designer. They must have a high-level of experience working with similar clients and be willing to work in-house. A well-targeted LinkedIn sponsored job ad would likely capture the attention of the niche audience you need.  

Key takeaway 

Google Ads’ strength lies in its wide reach and audience segmentation based on search intent. It’s ideal for capturing buyer demand in a B2C setting. LinkedIn Ads offer precise targeting in a professional context, making it an ideal platform for B2B marketing to address a range of products, services and business needs. 

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Phillips Group have expertise in developing and executing data-driven digital advertising campaigns. Get in touch with us today.