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Google Search Leads vs LinkedIn Leads (2024 Update)

Your Digital Ally
May 19, 2024
8 mins read

Are you wondering which platform is a better option for your business: Google Search or LinkedIn Leads? This article will answer all your questions and doubts, diving into the unique advantages of each platform. While both can be powerful tools for generating leads, they cater to different audiences and serve different purposes. We'll explore the strengths and weaknesses of each, helping you determine which one aligns best with your marketing goals and target audience.

These are some of the questions that every business asks whenever they are searching for leads, whether it is B2B or B2C.

Which platform generates more leads for my business?

Selecting the most prominent platform for your lead generation is the most important part of any business. Each has its own pros and cons. Both are great choices, but they have very different purposes.

Google Search, being the world's most popular search engine, averages about 70% of the desktop search engine market share and over 80% of the mobile search market share.

Key factors to consider regarding lead generation on Google Search:

  1. Intent-driven Leads: People here often have high purchase intent, making them highly valuable in terms of conversion.
  2. Keyword Targeting: You can generate leads from highly relevant audiences by bidding on the right keywords.
  3. Performance Tracking: Allows businesses to monitor key performance metrics which helps in optimizing their campaigns for better lead generation over time.Whereas, LinkedIn, as the leading professional networking platform, offers unique advantages for B2B lead generation and targeted advertising. 

According to HubSpot (in a recent study they conducted), "LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3x higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%)."

The reason?

  1. Professional Audience: Over 1 billion professionals are making it an ideal platform for B2B lead generation.
  2. Content Marketing Opportunities: Having both paid advertising and organic lead generation through content marketing. Businesses can engage with their target audience to generate leads organically.
  3. Lead Gen Forms: It allows businesses to capture leads directly within the platform.

It’s proven that ‘Google Search’ will generate you a broad range of leads who are more intent-driven, and LinkedIn tends to provide more quality leads (mostly in the B2B space).

So, by carefully evaluating these factors you can optimize your lead generation strategy according to your desired outcome.

Google vs Linkedin Platform: What is more Cost-Effective?

The average cost per lead (CPL) in Google Ads is $66.69, whereas the average CPL on LinkedIn can range from $8 to $95 or more. These costs depend on various factors like:

  • Geography
  • Industry
  • Demand for products & service 
  • If the industry is a specific niche
  • Ad targeting & relevance
  • Ad format used

Again, as mentioned before, Google Search is best suited if you’re seeking to capture high-intent leads, while LinkedIn is ideal for those targeting a professional audience and looking to engage decision-makers in the B2B space.

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I have a Limited Budget, what should I choose? Google Lead Generation vs Linkedin Lead Generation?

This is the problem that most small businesses struggle with. That’s why it’s important to utilize what you already have.

Google’s PPC (Pay-Per-Click) model can be more cost-effective due to its ability to capture users who are actively searching for solutions. 

On the other hand, LinkedIn, while typically more expensive in terms of cost per lead (CPL), offers highly targeted advertising options, particularly for B2B businesses.

For businesses with limited budgets, a balanced approach is something you should go for.

Start with Google Search to capture the leads who are more intent-driven and slowly invest in targeted B2B lead generation. This will potentially help you to optimize your lead generation effort within the budget constraints.

Step 1: Sequential targeting

Start with Google Search to capture users actively looking for a product/solution… And slowly retarget these visitors on LinkedIn with your ads to nurture them further. This keeps your brand top-of-mind and moves prospects down the funnel.

Step 2: Content repurposing 

Use content that performs well on LinkedIn (such as thought leadership articles, case studies, and industry insights) in Google Search ads and vice versa.

Step 3: Coordinated campaigns 

Match your messaging and campaigns on both platforms. For example, if you are ‘running a webinar’, promote it through Google Search ads (use relevant keywords), after seeing some results use LinkedIn ads (targeting industry professionals). This will increase your attendance and engagement.

Step 4: Data integration

Use insights to refine targeting and messaging. Google Analytics can provide you with data on user behavior and conversion paths, while LinkedIn Campaign Manager offers insights into professional demographics and engagement. Combine both of these data sources and make more informed decisions.

Step 5: Customized lead nurturing

Leads captured from Google Search can be nurtured through personalized LinkedIn messages and content. For instance, after a user downloads a whitepaper from a Google Ad, follow up with a LinkedIn message offering a related webinar or consultation.

Step 6:Test and Iterate

Which leads are more likely to convert into paying customers?

The likelihood of leads converting into paying customers compared to both platforms depends on various factors including,

  • The nature of the business… 
  • Targeting specificity, and…
  • User intent. 

Google Search shows higher purchasing intent, as they are actively searching for a solution to their problem. This intent-driven behavior can result in higher conversion rates for Google Search leads, especially in industries where users are more likely to make immediate purchase decisions.

However, leads from LinkedIn, may have higher conversion potential due to the platform's focus on professional networking and targeting options, which allows businesses to reach decision-makers directly.

Additionally, the leads generated from LinkedIn tend to be more nurtured than Google’s.   

What type of Keywords should I use to drive the most leads on these platforms?

Let’s start with Google Search. Keywords that are driving the most leads are those with high volume and strong commercial intent.

For instance, at ProLinkage we offer digital marketing services so we might use keywords like "SEO services," "social media marketing," and "PPC management" to drive the most leads on Google Search. 

These keywords target users actively seeking digital marketing solutions, with an opportunity to capture high-intent leads.

In contrast, LinkedIn has a more subtle approach to reaching the desired audience.

Instead of relying solely on keywords, businesses can target users based on their professional attributes, including job title, industry, company size, and seniority level. 

For example, ProLinkage could also target users based on job titles such as "Marketing Manager," "Digital Marketing Specialist," or "Chief Marketing Officer" within specific industries like technology, e-commerce, or healthcare.

Leverage both platforms strategically according to your requirements, you can maximize your lead generation method.

However, there is also a way to rank over 2900 keywords organically you can read here.

The market is very competitive, how should I stand out?

For most businesses, standing out takes a lot of work.

In Google, competition is ruthless due to the large volume of advertisers bidding on popular keywords. On the other hand, LinkedIn is generally more expensive, and the competition here is different than Google (here it’s mostly about who is getting more ‘attention’).

So how could you stand out in this sophisticated market?

Before doing any keywords and market research or launching any lead-generation campaigns answer these questions.

What is your Unique-Selling-Proposition (USP)?

Differentiate your business from competitors, what makes your product unique?

Are you targeting a specific niche?

Instead of competing on a broad front, target any specific niche where you can provide high-quality value.

Are you building a strong relationship with your customers?

Provide exceptional service to create loyal customers

Are you focusing on quality leads?

Instead of trying to compete on volume (which is good if you’re starting out), concentrate on generating high-quality leads that are more likely to convert into customers

Are you nurturing your leads?

You can't expect your leads to become customers right away, especially if you are selling a complex or high-value product or service. Nurture your leads until they are ready to buy from you.

Are you measuring and improving your results?

Track and analyze your lead generation performance, and identify what works and what doesn't.

How can I avoid some common pitfalls?

This is more of a matter of understanding your audience, but here are a few things you need to consider:

  1. Do not ignore the NEEDS of your audience. One mistake that every business makes is that they only focus on selling points, and isolate themselves from their target audience. Even with excellent lead generation tactics, users won't convert if they doubt your ability to solve their pain points. Take time to understand your audience’s problem and how you can help them. 
  1. Not targeting the entire buyer journey. Not every lead is at the same buying stage. Some are ready to purchase, while others can only be interested in content about your product or service. Tailor materials to their stage to move them closer to conversion.
  1. Not excluding audiences. If you fail to do this it can negatively impact your conversion, waste ad revenue, and lead to misperceptions towards your business. 
  1. Overlooking the importance of GDPR requirements. 
  1. Not using lead generation forms in paid ads. LinkedIn and Google lead gen forms are highly useful for collecting data and using it to target more specific niches in the future.
  1. Not following up. As the old saying goes “The money is in the FOLLOW-UP”. As a business, you want to build relationships with your customers. Follow up with your lead at every point of their journey

What metrics should I track?

  1. Return on investment (obvious but some businesses focus on the wrong things)
  1. Speed to lead (how quickly a salesperson can respond to a new inbound lead with a phone call, email, or other mechanism.)
  1. Lead volume 
  1. Lead quality
  1. Lead conversion rate (% of your lead went from one stage of your funnel to another)
  1. (CAS) Customer acquisition cost 

What are some of the new trends? 

Both Google and LinkedIn have different trends and updates every year, here are some of the trends that can help you generate quality leads:

AI Marketing

  • Use it to predict customer behavior…
  • Preferences…
  • And even when they are most likely to make a purchase. 

Straightforward and personalized messaging

  • AVOID using confusing or vague language (for instance., “a streamlined solution that promises valuable results”)...
  • Unnecessary jargon…
  • Or any empty claims.

Omnichannel lead generation

  • Reach out to potential leads wherever they are, be it on social media, search engines, or other platforms

SGE targeting (this one is for Google)

  • Users can learn more about a topic without having to CLICK on individual results.

For example, if you Google the best construction equipment, SGE will create a page like this:

This feature encourages companies to create all types of content to rank for all kinds of queries.

Conversational content

  • Upfront and Thoughtful in your messaging
  • Focus on long-term satisfaction rather than immediate conversion, whether the lead is new, researching, or a repeat customer
  • Use conversational content in blogs, landing pages, and emails to rank well in Google's algorithm and maintain user interest

Final thoughts?

Both LinkedIn and Google are powerhouses in lead generation, you can leverage one or the other (or both) to get leads.

However both have their strengths and weaknesses, so ultimately, the best option is to examine your company’s needs and situation and make the decision based on the information provided in this article. 

If you’d like to learn more about how we help businesses to achieve digital success and help them rank in search engines, contact us online or send us an email today at to speak with someone on your team.

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