You can find gold in the unlikeliest and unsexiest of places. Case in point, the humble and easily-ignorable Service Provider report in Google Analytics.
Even Google Analytics itself finds it easy to ignore the Service Provider report, so much so that it hides it under the Network report, making it doubly easy to miss:
Poor guy, right? Even everyone's least favourite report Behaviour Flow has its name above the door.
But I digress.
What Is Service Provider, And Why Should You Care?
Service Provider is the name of the ISP that visitors to your site are using when they connect up to the internet. Most people on most sites will likely show up under the name of their home or business ISP, and usually the Service Provider report tends to mirror the dominant ISPs in a given territory.
However, larger organisations often have their own networks that declare differently in the Service Provider report. So if they're accessing your site, they'll declare themselves when they do so.
Have a poke around in the Service Provider report and you might find something like this:
Allianz isn't an ISP (at least, not at the time of writing this post). They're an insurer.
So what this report means is that someone, or more than one person, from Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd., came to my website on four occasions, and at 08:50 session duration, they hung around for a fair old while.
For B2B marketers, this could be pretty significant. If you're trying to sell to Allianz then you'll likely want to know what they've been viewing, and you might want to pick up the phone to continue your discussions with them.
Getting More Data
The Service Provider report is a neat report, but we can make it neater.
Let's say we want to know which companies are clicking on our AdWords ads. Wouldn't it be great if this was possible?
Wouldn't it be greater still if we could match a visit's Service Provider with its AdWords keyword, and some other details?
There's Always A Better Way
Step forth, Custom Report! (You can download this report right now by clicking here.)
For this Custom Report, we're going to start with a Flat Table, which lets us stack 5 dimensions together.
Never one to do things by halves, I'm going to recklessly use all five. I'm going to take the Service Provider, the Keyword, the Search Query (the search term that triggered the AdWords ad), the user's City location and the Count of Sessions, so I can get an understanding of how many times people have been on my site.
For the metrics, I've chosen some fairly generic things. Nothing too exciting -- so let's move on.
The report also includes a filter to remove sessions where the keyword was either (not set) or (not provided). This is just to remove the "not provided" organic search and the "not set" non-search sessions to clean up the report and remove some noise.
So What Have We Got?
Open up the report, and you should see something like this:
Most of the entries are likely to be like mine -- popular ISPs in your country. Telstra and AAPT are both big ISPs in this part of the world.
McCann Erickson however isn't an ISP -- it's an ad agency, and quite a big one, and it looks like they might be interested in the stuff we've been advertising.
This Might Start To Feel A Little Creepy
Let's bump a bit closer. Let's see how McCann have been engaging with us.
In the Advanced Filter box, I'll type McCann's name in...
...and now we can see their sessions over time:
Sneaky. I feel powerful.
They've been searching for business training courses sydney, and it looks like their engagement is pretty good at 30 seconds... but they're not converting, nor are they moving from my wonderful landing page (maybe it's too wonderful, and I should look at making it less wonderful.)
Either way, I'll know to get in touch with people I know at McCann and if I don't know anyone at McCann, I'd better make sure I get to know one soon.
Pay attention to the Count of Sessions column, as this tells us how many times the prospect has been on our website. We can use this as a sort of faux-CRM as we can stack sessions together and see how interactions change over time.
Roll Your Own
Grab the Custom Report report right now by clicking here, and play around with customising things.
Hope you find it useful!