John T O'Farrell's Commentary On The Digital Space and Online Marketing

Google Analytics: Little Things That Can Give A Big Reveal

Google Analytics’ Service Provider report can provide a view into your target audience like no other.  While all marketers, no matter what their business, can gain value from this report, those positioned to gain the most from it are in the B2B space.

The technique outlined below really works and I've been able to to identify multiple Fortune 500 prospects who clicked on paid search ads I was running.  The insights we were able to assemble through analysis was instrumental in successfully competing for and winning the business from some of these companies.

The Service Provider report allows you to see what internet service provider (ISP) the traffic to your site is delivered on.  Verizon, Comcast and AT&T Services are examples of big ISPs that you will likely see on your report.  However many companies act as their own ISP and this will be reflected in the report as well. These company based ISPs are what we are interested in and will leverage..

How does this help you?  Two ways.

First, from a channel perspective, you can see if the companies you are targeting are coming in through any particular channel.   If you’ve targeted “XXY Corp” do you see “XYC Corp” in the report when the traffic is isolated to paid search or any other channel?  The point is if you see “XYZ Corp” you know the channel was effective in bringing in the target audience.  Not seeing “XYZ Corp” does not mean failure. “XYZ Corp” may use a commercial ISP (such as Verizon) masking who they are or there may be other factors like the audience inside of “XYZ Corp” you want are all work from home. The report can confirm good news, it can’t confirm bad news.

To do this you need to isolate down to a particular channel by creating or modifying a custom segment within Google Analytics.  For example if you wanted to isolate paid search from Google you would set a segment filter to: Source /Medium "Exactly Matches"  "google / cpc" 

Second, you can flip this on its head and do a very granular review of the web pages and content that your target audience has viewed.  Assuming you have confirmed that “XYZ Corp” has in fact come to your site, you can create or modify a segment that limits all reporting to only traffic originating from the “XYZ Corp” service provider. 

Isolating by ISP provides the full reporting power of Google Analytics directly at one company. What pages are most interest, how long did they stay on any particular page, what part of the country they are from, what keywords did they use in internal searches, etc.  Plenty of data here to paint a very good picture of “XYZ Corp” to share with a sales team.

To do this you need to isolate down to the particular Service Provider by creating or modifying a custom segment within Google Analytics.  For example if you wanted to isolate traffic from “XYZ Corp” you would select: Service Provider "Exactly Matches"  "XYZ Corp".

Now that I have piqued your interest, the Service Provider report can be found in Google Analytics under Audience >> Technology >> Network >> Service Provider. 

The service provider report is not unique to Google Analytics, most other web analytics program offer this reporting function as well.