What is Network report in Google Analytics?
As you might already know, Google will never show you a website visitor IP address. This is because IP address comes under the ‘Personally identifying information’ category. But we get the data about the ISPs the visitors have used. You can access this information in ‘Network Report’ in Google Analytics. The ISP data not only show you the big network provider company names, but also the private service providers which are named with the business or organization.
For example, if your website visits are from US, you might probably see the names of AT&T, Verizon etc in the ‘Network Report’, and also there is a chance of seeing visits from any restaurants, universities etc.
This report comes in two parts: Service Provider and Hostname. Each has a lot of value to bring to your Google Analytics activity.
You can access the ‘Network’ data under Audience -> Technology
Why this Report is Useful?
As mentioned above, in ‘Network’ report you might see some organization names that are associated with the user IP location. There are many uses for this data, including:
- Understanding behaviour on site that has generated leads / clients.
- Finding new leads to get in touch with.
- Understanding who is already showing an interest in your product who you could then market to.
- Fine-tuning sales / marketing targets.
To find these businesses, you first need to get past the common ISPs, as these will not be of much benefit here. 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. Filter for service providers that exclude the common ISPs – like the Comcasts and Verizons.
Prepare a list of common ISPs in your country and add a filter:
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)
Imagine you run a company that offers online certification programmes to the gradute students. Perhaps universities and colleges, with a targeted segment of graduate students, is your source for prosepective visitors.How do you know if they’re visiting your site? How can you tell that an offline promotion conducted in any of the universities contributed website traffic?
Network report can help you in such scenarios. 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.