Google Analytics Reports: Service Providers


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|
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

Jim Gianoglio is a Manager for the Analytics & Insight department. He works with implementation, analysis and training of Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Before focusing on analytics, he led the SEO campaigns of Fortune 500 companies in the insurance, retail and CPG industries. Things you didn’t know about Jim: he’s biked from Pittsburgh to Washington DC in 41 hours, roasts coffee beans and has done voiceovers for TV commercials.

  • I call this report “the poor man’s competitive analysis” 😀

    • Robbin

      I call this report, “The salesman’s best friend.”

      But Julien, you must have a reason for writing that, so do tell — Robbin

  • Joy

    This is a great idea! Thanks!

  • An extra tip: setup your product pages as goals, that way you can easily see what products they looked at. This will only work if you have a few products/services.

  • Great advice — this is a an excellent way of sifting through data and I can personally vouch for being able to find clients by looking at the service provider report.

    All we need now are contact names and phone numbers…but that would be a little TOO scary!!

  • I am so glad you brought this up! One example of how our company used this last year: the marketers asked us “What are the top east coast colleges we should specifically target for a new advertising campaign? We only have money to target a few.” Seeing as we had two years of historical data, we just looked at the top colleges and universities that had already, somehow, visited our website. Bam! We blanketed those campuses with table tents, sidewalk chalk, and ads in the schools’ papers. The marketers loved it, and told us the response was great 🙂

  • great post! I described this technique on my blog in January a little bit from a different “dirty” perspective –

  • Ben


    Awesome post! Why did they change this report from “Network Location” to ISP?


    It seems like more ISP’s than before – or maybe our traffic has just gone down 😉


  • Great post! The list of ISP’s to exclude was a good start – I added knology to my list.

  • Robbin

    @Ben, I didn’t write this post, Jim Gianoglio wrote it. But to answer your question: if you are a longtime reader, you may remember an old blogpost that I wrote, The seven deadly titles of GA, and that old one (network location) was one of them. My guess is that they changed it to enable the vast majority of users to understand what it meant.

  • Knowing the Service Provider would help you identify who to contact, that is a great report! Sophisticated text and numeric and date filtering helps it further.

    I would also like to combine that with some other dimensions and metrics i.e. “slice and dice” the different dimensions to see if there’ a nugget there. You could really start to know your customer better before you contacted them. More than 2 dimensions would be far more useful. I would also like to be able to correlate this to a CRM or personal spreadsheets. It would be possible if you could work with GA data in Excel. I often write about this kind of thing (using Excel with GA Data) in my blog. e.g. this is an introductory blog post:

Contact Us.

Follow Us



We'll get back to you
in ONE business day.
Our Locations
THE FOUNDRY [map] LunaMetrics

24 S. 18th Street
Suite 100

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


4115 N. Ravenswood
Suite 101
Chicago, IL 60613


2100 Manchester Rd.
Building C, Suite 1750
Wheaton, IL 60187