Google Analytics Might Be Lying to You

Mar 14, 2022

The internet is changing. We’re changing with it.

As the internet has matured it’s harder and harder to sort through the mountains of information to find actual helpful opinions. I don’t want a list of the “10 best project management tools.” Because now I still have to research each of those 10 to figure out which one is right for me.

On top of that, there are all sorts of aggregators, re-directs, and general SEO tomfoolery that seems like it actively makes good information HARDER to find. I don’t want more steps, I don’t want to have to evaluate a source and if it’s credible, I don’t even want to search Google, if I’m being honest. It’s just a little too wide open. 

What I want is someone to tell me “We picked this tool for this reason.”

Sharing on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Slack are the new Google

So instead of going to Google, I go to my LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends, and peers on a private Slack channel for Storybrand guides and ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS.

The opinions of people I know are the most significant factor in what I look at, and are highly influential in the final decision I make.

The reality is, this is how almost EVERYONE does their research now. From big decisions to little decisions, we’re asking the folks who we respect, like, and trust to give us their honest to goodness recommendations. 

Sure, you’ll look at review sites, but we all know they’re filled with affiliate links and suspect that someone is gaming them with fake reviews. So we don’t trust them as much as the people we know.

In actuality, this isn’t anything new, right? We’ve been doing a version of this since commerce started. Sure, the salesperson selling you the plow back in the day is going to pitch you on what THEY want you to buy, but you’ll probably go ask the farmer down the street first. Why? Because you already have a relationship, you already know he won’t steer you wrong, and frankly the trust is there. We’ve always gone to our network for advice.

The big change is that it’s easier than ever to go to your network for advice.

Most Google searches are post-intent. The searcher is already aware of a problem, believes there is a solution, and is actively searching for it.

The reality is that if you’re in the B2B space (like us, and most of our clients) then your Google Search Console results are only going to tell part of the story. Yes, they absolutely will give you traffic numbers – and those numbers ARE still important, but they’re not going to tell you everything you need to know about how they found you. 

People have much more access and interaction with other people who share their job title than they did even 3 years ago. Private groups on Facebook, Slack, and Discord have exploded. These are places where ads can’t go, and attribution software can’t see. So word-of-mouth reigns supreme. Just like it always has. 

Google isn’t going away. It’s just time to add some new tools to the toolbox

That’s why we’ve spent so much time in recent months developing our strategies in these areas. You’ll see us active on Facebook groups, joining applicable Slack channels, and utilizing all the connections that LinkedIn has to offer. It’s not that we’re leaving Google (spoiler alert: it’s here to stay, people), but it would be foolish to deny yourself access to the very people you’re trying to connect with. 

To us, that’s what these places represent: opportunities at an audience that is trustworthy, ready to help, and easily accessible. That’s who WE want to be to our potential audience as well. So if you see us on one of these sites, please reach out! We’d love to hear from you. 

And If you are not factoring “dark social” into your buyer’s journey, you aren’t seeing their actual journey and you’re going to make all kinds of miscalculations about what is working – and what isn’t. 

Don’t think of this as a goodbye to Google Analytics, think about it as a way to relieve the stress you’re putting on your search engine results. You’re ready to diversify – the good news? There’s never been a better time to get started.

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