Google Analytics Reports: Service Providers

March 25, 2010
By Jim Gianoglio

Boring name, amazing report!

I have a new favorite report in Google Analytics (sorry Keyword Report – can we still be friends?).  This report can reveal some very interesting business opportunities, help you direct your sales force, and make your boss sing your praises. Are you ready for it?

Service Providers.

That’s the report. I know, it doesn’t sound sexy or powerful or elegant. But just take a look at what you can do.

Visits from universities

Imagine you run a company that makes removable insulation covers. Perhaps universities and colleges, with their vast boiler rooms and uninsulated valves and steam traps, are your gold mine. How do you know if they’re visiting your site? How can you tell if your direct mail or e-mail campaigns are working? Did that booth at the trade show really help?

Take a look at your Service Providers report for the answer. You’ll find it under Visitors > Network Properties > Service Providers.

Google Analytics Service Providers Report

At first glance, you may think I’m crazy. All you see are visits from service providers like Comcast, Verizon, Road Runner et al. But with a little filtering magic (Filter Service Provider: containing > universit|college) you immediately see the glimmer of gold.

Service Providers filtered for universities

Knowing that people from these universities are visiting your site (and digging into the data to see what pages they looked at, if they downloaded any white papers, etc.) can help your sales force focus their efforts and discover new opportunities.

*Disclaimer: Just because they’re visits from universities doesn’t mean they’re potential clients. It could just be a student doing research for a paper.

Visits from other businesses and organizations

This is all great if your interested in traffic from universities, but that won’t apply to everyone. If you want to see visits from businesses and organizations that are big enough to be their own service providers, there’s an easy way to do that too. Just like we filtered for service providers that contain the terms “universit” (to capture singular and plural versions) or “college” we can also filter for service providers that exclude the common ISPs – like the Comcasts and Verizons. My list of common ISPs is long (and growing) so I’ll share it with you here for you to copy and paste, and add to it as needed:

verizon|communication|isp|comcast|tele|internet|dsl|road runner|pool|service provider|embarq|address|vodafone|sprint|network|cable|alltel|wifi|telkom|bellsouth|
uninet|online|jazztel|easynet|clearwire|iinet|t-mobile|iunet|broadband|provider|
comunitel|earthlink|proxad|fastwebs|armstrong|at&t|abts|cybernet|rcs & rds|singnet|axtel|unknown

Once you filter to exclude these service providers, you get a list of the businesses/organizations that visited your site that your company may be interested in dealing with. (Bonus hint – use your secondary dimension to show the region or city of the visit, source, keyword or landing page)

Google Analytics Service Providers filtered to exclude common ISPs

Advanced Segments

The easy way to set up these segments of visits to your site is with Advanced Segments. Just add the dimension “Service Provider” with the condition  “Matches regular expression” and the value of “universit|college” (minus the quotes).

Advanced Segements for Universities

For even more insight, add an “and” statement to include just new visits by selecting “Visitor Type” as the dimension, “Matches exactly” as the condition and “New Visitor” as the value. Now you have easy access to a segment of traffic that is coming from a university for the first time. Be aware, that if a visitor visits your site from multiple computers at the university (office, library etc.) they will all show up as “new visitors” in your GA.

Once you have your advanced segments set up, it’s easy to set up a scheduled report to be emailed to you. This gives you a quick look on a daily or weekly basis of the new visits from these important segments.

One final note – if you are using an advanced segment to look at a report, you won’t have the ability to use secondary dimensions. For example, if I’m looking at the Service Providers report with an advanced segment to filter out common ISPs, I can’t use the secondary dimension to also show the region. Here’s Google’s explanation of why advanced segmentation is disabled for certain reports.

Fortunately, you can work around this by using advanced filters (as shown in the above image).

Your Turn

Do you think this is useful? How can you envision using a report like this for your company or client’s company? Please share in the comments!

verizon|communication|isp|comcast|tele|internet|dsl|road runner|pool|service provider|embarq|address|vodafone|sprint|network|cable|alltel|wifi|telkom|bellsouth|uninet|online|jazztel|easynet|clearwire|iinet|t-mobile|iunet|broadband|provider|comunitel|earthlink|proxad|fastwebs|armstrong|at&t|abts|cybernet|rcs & rds|unknown