A while back I made a $67,080 sale with the help of an under-utilized feature in Google Analytics that displays companies that have visited your website. There doesn’t seem to be one universal name for this feature yet. It could be called ‘Service Provider’ filtering and has also been called Reverse IP by some. For the sake of this article, I’ll reference this feature as Reverse IP.
Using Reverse IP allows you to see many, if not most of the companies that come to your website right inside Google Analytics.
Its helpful for a number of reasons:
- You or your sales team can call the companies that are in your target audience,
- You can learn what types of services your prospects are interested in by observing what page they landed on,
- You can learn how your marketing is working by observing what ‘Medium’ and ‘Sources’ used to get to your website (ie. direct, organic search, social media, etc.),
- You can learn what competitors are going to your website.
Setting up Reverse IP is simple and takes 4-10 minutes to do. In this article, I’m going to show you step by step how to do it.
First a little background. The service providers and company names that Google is able to provide show up as raw data in your Google Analytics under: ‘Audience -> Technology -> Network’.
A screenshot displaying the ‘Audience -> Technology -> Network’ pathway to get to the unfiltered set of service providers and companies that have been to your website.
A screen shot of the unfiltered service providers and companies in your Google Analytics.
The issue with this data is its not filtered so you’ll spend a lot of time going through large ISP names (ie. you may see Verizon, Comcast, Rogers, etc.) and other more obscure names that aren’t exactly what you are looking for which is essentially company names visiting your website.
So with that said, in the rest of this article I’ll show you exactly how to filter down this large list of unfiltered data into a tighter list of companies that have visited your website.
On your Google Analytics reporting screen, click ‘Customization’ at the top and then click ‘+ New Custom Report’.
A screen shot of the Customization index page. Click ‘+ New Custom Report’ to begin setting up your custom Reverse IP Report.
Create a title for your Reverse IP tracking. This can be any title you want and its what you’re going to see as a row in the Customization index page once you’re done setting up this report.
A screen shot of the ‘Title’ section when setting up a custom report in Google Analytics.
Next, you’ll want to choose a name. For this section, pick any distinctive name you wish. You may wonder why there is a ‘Title’ section and ‘Name’ section as at first glance having both may appear redundant. There’s a name and title section because for more advanced reporting, you may setup multiple sub-reports within your main report. Therefore, the individual names are what distinguishes your individual sub-reports. For the sake of setting up your report for the first time, choose any name you wish in this section.
A screen shot of the ‘Name’ section when setting up a custom report in Google Analytics.
In this step, you will choose between how you wish your data to be displayed. You may choose between three options: ‘Explorer’, ‘Flat Table’, or ‘Map Overlay’.
A screen shot of the ‘Type’ section when setting up a custom report in Google Analytics.
You can obtain the same data with slight nuances between the three types. For the sake of setting up your first report, I recommend choosing the ‘Explorer’ type. To this day, ‘Explorer’ is still the display type I use for the reverse IP reports for my companies.
In the Metric Groups section, you will choose which web analytics data (ie. Session Duration) you’d like to know regarding each company visit.
You can be very flexible in this section on what is displayed. Here is a set of six metrics I recommend to get you started:
- Pages / Session
- Avg. Session Duration
- % New Sessions
- Bounce Rate
To add a metric, click the ‘+ add metric’ button and begin typing in the metric you wish. Once found, click the metric and it should be added to the group.
A screen shot of the drop down pane that appears when you click ‘+ add metric’ within the Metric Groups report.
A screen shot of six sample metrics you can use within the Metric Groups section when setting up your Reverse IP Report.
The next section down is called ‘Dimension Drilldowns’. This section is crucial because it’s the section where you setup the company visitor data to be displayed in the way you need.
What you’ll want to do is click ‘+ add dimension’ and search and find ‘Service Provider’. You may also choose additional metrics to be displayed underneath the primary Dimension Drilldown metric you choose (more on this to come below).
A screen shot of the Dimensions Drilldowns section.
A screen shot of searching for the ‘Service Provider’ metric within the Dimension Drilldowns section.
A screen shot of ‘Service Provider’ selected as a metric within the Dimension Drilldowns section.
Once you’ve selected Service Provider as the main metric to display, you may choose if you wish to have a sub-metric displayed. If knowing how these visitors get to your website is important, I recommend you choose ‘Source / Medium’ as the secondary metric.
In this screen shot, ‘Service Provider’ is selected as the primary metric in the Dimension Drilldowns section and ‘Source / Medium’ was selected as the secondary metric.
Now you’ll reach the ‘Filters’ section.
A screen shot of the Filters section when setting up your Reverse IP Report.
You’ll remember at the start of this article I stated that the problem with the data in ‘Audience -> Technology -> Network’ is that its unfiltered raw data and displays largely non-actionable information for sales such as which ISPs have visited your website. In this section, you’ll filter and remove ISPs and other names you don’t require. This is helpful to shorten the list and display more relevant data that is actionable.
First, click ‘+ add filter’ and search, locate, and select ‘Service Provider’.
A screen shot of searching for ‘Server Provider’ as a metric in the ‘Filters’ section when setting up your Reverse IP Report.
Next, choose ‘Exclude’ and ‘Regex’ in the two drop-down boxes.
In this screen shot, you are setting up ISPs and other irrelevant service provider data to be filtered out of your final Reverse IP Report.
Specifically, Regex stands for ‘regular expressions’ and in this field you can start listing out the names of ISPs and other names that you know aren’t company names that are actionable for you or your sales team. You separate each one with the vertical bar character (“|”). An important word of caution – when ending your Regex list, don’t include a vertical bar after the last word as I’ve observed this causing an error in reporting in the past.
In this screen shot, specific ISPs are being filtered out in the Regex section from the final Reverse IP Report.
To know what names you should put in this field visit the raw ISPs that have been to your website by opening another tab and going back to ‘Audience -> Technology -> Network’ within Google Analytics. I recommend you open another tab to do this so you don’t close down the work you’ve done accidentally.
Next, depending on the type of business, you can also filter by country so that you only receive company data from that country. One word of caution here though – larger companies sometimes use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which may have a company in your target country visit you but their Service Provider data is being displayed from a different country where their corporate headquarters may be. Therefore, if you select specific countries and a visitor’s VPN is hosted in another country, that visitor data may get filtered out.
In this screen shot, it depicts searching for ‘Country’ as an additional metric you may add to your filters if you wish to display only companies from certain countries in your final Reverse IP Report.
In this screen shot, it depicts sample Service Providers to not include in your report and countries to include.
In this step, you reach the last part of setting up your reverse IP reporting. If you’re setting up Reverse IP for only one company, then choosing your company from the drop down and clicking ‘Save’ will do.
In this screen shot, you can apply your Reverse IP Report to the Google Analytics accounts you wish to and save.
If you’re an agency, or if you have multiple views within your account, then you can apply the reverse IP reporting across all views by selecting ‘All views associated with this account’. If you wish to select specific domains within one account, click the drop down and choose the specific domains you desire.
Once you click ‘Save’ you should be brought to your newly built report. Congratulations!
Now that you have your reverse IP reporting setup, if you want to access it at any time, you can click on ‘Customization’ in the top menu nav of your Google Analytics, click on the report as per the title you gave it (Step 2 above), choose a date range set you wish to observe, and voila!
A screen shot of a finished Reverse IP Report in Google Analytics.
Here are some additional takeaways that will be helpful:
- Some company names will not show up within Google Analytics for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons can include:
a. They are a company but using a residential / consumer account with their service provider,
b. When creating their internet services they may have selected a different company to go by (a numbered company, a parent company, etc.),
c. They may use a VPN that is hosted in a different country that you may accidentally have filtered out (Step 7).
- If you ever want to modify the work you did go to ‘Customization -> Actions -> Edit’.
- If you notice some irrelevant listings showing up in your reverse IP data, you can continually update your Regex list to exclude the names you no longer want to see in the reports (Step 7). You do this by simply adding more groups to your Regex list in the Filters section and dividing each by a vertical bar (“|”).
- If you want to see how the companies in your Reverse IP Report found your website, you can click on the individual company names in your report and you’ll get the source and medium (you set this up in Step 6).
- There may be times when you want to see what page these companies landed on when getting to your website. To access this data, go to your Reverse IP Report, click Secondary Dimension, and type in ‘Landing Page’.
A screen shot of how to view what landing pages the companies in your Reverse IP Report first landed on when visiting your website.
Setting up Reverse IP in your Google Analytics is another tool in the social sellers tool kit to assist with your market intelligence and selling. It landed a $67,080 sale for one of my companies and if you commit to looking at this report each work day and taking action on leads where appropriate, it can benefit you greatly too.
Do you have any questions for how to setup your Reverse IP Report? Or do you have any tips that can help other readers of this article? If so, please share your questions or tips below.
And would you like to bypass the above and use a paid reporting service? Try out Visitor Queue [Affiliate Link]. I know the owner there personally and starting at only $16 / month, they’ll provide daily reports to your company that lists the companies that had visited your website the previous day.