If you’re a B2B (business-to-business) operation then a highly coveted insight is knowing precisely which businesses have visited your website. There are various companies that currently offer this service at a premium, but did you know that you can actually obtain this information for free using Google Analytics?
The Analytics report that allows you to access this information can be found in the Service Provider report, which can be located by navigating to Audience > Technology > Service Provider.
How To Use The Service Provider Report To Find Leads
Firstly a quick explanation into how the Service Provider report works. The report lists the Internet Service Provider which your visitors were using when they visited your website. When you first look at the report you might wonder why this is a valuable lead-generation exercise, given that the first ten results are likely going to list only the Internet Service Provider of your visitors. But read on.
Successful businesses that are worth their salt will typically, at some stage, see the value in registering a leased broadband line for themselves. Doing so provides the business with a more stable line that is less likely to impact operations that involve an internet connection (less face it – that’s most businesses, then).
And so herein are the joys of the Service Provider report, because companies with a leased broadband line will typically register their new line under the name of their business. And – you guessed it – the name of that business will appear in the Service Provider report when that business visits your website. Huzzah
Simply navigate to the report and sift through the list of service providers, looking for any ISP names that do not appear to be an actual internet service provider. Depending on how much traffic your website receives, this may or may not be a laborious task to begin with.
What I recommend doing to begin with is setting your date range to a month’s worth of data only, and skipping straight to the results from no. 30 (page 3 of the results) onwards. This will take you straight past the common ISPs used in the country you target to the lesser known – hopefully registered – ISPs. Look through the list until you see a business name which does not appear to be an Internet Service Provider. These will typically be business-to-business visitors which have generated fewer than five sessions to your website, so feel free to create a filter that includes only traffic with fewer than five sessions (this will vary from website to website – you should experiment and not make any assumptions).
Below we can see an example of leased line data for a B2B website, showing the various companies who have visited their website.
Another thing you can try is to type in the industry or service into the search filter, to try and locate specific niches. For example, I could type in “retail” into the search filter, and see which retail-related business names appear.
This is high quality lead generation at its best – these businesses may not have contacted the website, so the data can be sent to the sales team and a highly targeted sales email, brochure and follow-up call can all be arranged, contacting the business accordingly. This is a much more effective way of sales people getting their foot in the door of a prospect compared to a cold call, given that the prospect has already shown signs of interest in your product or service. The sales team can also spend time researching and reaching out to the best contact, via LinkedIn for example.
Below shows a slightly different example, this time from a successful blogger who regularly receives traffic from various promoters looking to carry out business/PR opportunities with the blogger. The blogger can, if they so wish, choose to reach out directly to any such companies who didn’t get in touch with them, and offer them services directly:
The only limitation with this form of analysis is if you are a business that specifically provides services to ISPs or IT service companies (who will occasionally show up as an ISP if they manage the prospect’s network). If this is the case then your analysis will be problematic, if not downright impossible I’m afraid to say. Hopefully, however, you do not cater specifically to these types of businesses.
I recommend that all B2B businesses use the Service Provider report to compile a monthly list of all identifiable businesses who have visited your website, and then send this to your sales team each month without fail. If a business arrived on your website from PPC, then you can also provide the search query alongside the business name using a Secondary Dimension, as this may provide the sales team with more detail as to what area of your business the company was searching for. For example, if your business provides PR services, then the search term entered by a prospect might have been “PR for music industries” – the sales team can then send a targeted email to the business with music PR services being the main focus.
Advanced ISP Filtering
If your website generates a lot of traffic, then I recommend creating a segment that excludes Service Providers with a name that includes words such as network, internet, telecom, vodafone, cell, 3g, 4g, 5g, cloud, etc. This will help to exclude some of the more common ISPs that aren’t using a recognisable leased line. You can then simply run the segment whenever you need to analyse your ISP data for lead generation to filter out all of the chaff.
Here’s how you do that:
- Click on the blue All Segments button at the top of Analytics
- Click on the red New Segment button.
- Navigate to Conditions in the left-hand column.
- Click on the Include filter and change this to Exclude.
- Where it says Ad Content, click on this and type in “service provider”, until the “Service Provider” dimension appears, then select it.
- Next to the text box, click on Contains, and change this to Matches Regex.
- Input a list of service provider keywords, separating each one with the pipe symbol | make sure to not use one at the end of string/last keyword as this will force the segment to not work.
- The segment now says that we will exclude all visits which include the common service provider names.
- Give the segment a suitable name. I’m going to call mine “exclude common ISPs”.
- Click on Save, to save and activate the segment.
Here is what your segment might look like:
With your segment active, you might wish to note down other ISPs that you want to exclude, and continually add these to your segment. Over time, you’ll simply be able to activate the segment to exclude all the useless ISP data, leaving you with only the juicy leased line data. ISP data varies considerably from country to country. For example, the main UK-based ISPs are O2, BT, Orange, Tiscali, etc., whereas in the USA you will have Time Warner Cable, MCI Communications, AT&T, etc. Make sure that you exclude all of these common ISPs from your segment so that you can suitably clean up your Service Provider report. The more you run the Segment and identify ISP providers and other stray communications networks, the cleaner your lead generation activities will become.
Other forms of ISP labels may appear in Service Provider report, and these will typically be the names of locations, cities, towns etc. I think these are free, roaming wi-fi hotspots that you get in certain locations, but don’t quote me on that. In any case, you won’t find these useful for lead generation, so feel free to exclude these in your segment, too.
Feel free to leave a comment with any questions and I’ll be happy to help you carry out your own lead generation using the Service Provider report. Good luck!