Uncover Hidden Leads with Google Analytics


The following article is about one of the best lead generation tips for B2B and it works based on of a lesser known report in Google Analytics – read futher. Please note that this is an advanced technique involving creating profiles, custom filters, custom reporting and the use of advanced filters. You should be familiar with all of them or learn how to use them before you start implementing it.

I will share how to uncover those leads who are coming to your website but are not contacting you (i.e sign up for a white paper, inquire about your products, etc). I am calling these leads the hidden leads. Intrigued?

Once you’ve identified a person from a certain company visited to your website searching for a  keyword related to your services/products), do your homework and discover a contact within that company, pick up the phone and talk with them.

Using Google’s Analytics profiles, filters and custom reporting you will:

  • be able to identify the companies who are visiting your site
  • discover which service(s) the “mystery buyer” is interested about

Your website is converting at a low 1-5% and you’re paying big bucks to drive quality traffic to your website, with SEO, PPC or banner campaigns. Some of the organic traffic will not be relevant since search engines may rank your website for strange search phrases. But what about the traffic coming from you highly targeted, core keywords like your service/product name (i.e. hospital management software)? What is happening with those 95 out of 100 people coming on your website, using your targeted keywords and not contacting you? Who are they?

This tip uses a Google Analytics report called Network Location. You can find it under Visitors–>Network Properties –>Service Providers

location of the service provider report within Google Analytics

Service provider report in Google Analytics

Step 1

Create a new profile for your GA account, since you are going to filter data and you don’t want to alter the original data.

Step 2

Add the following custom filters to the newly created profile:

Filter 1: Since I am targeting only leads from North America, I will include only traffic from Canada and US

include only NA traffic filter

Include only North American Traffic

Filter 2: Exclude some generic words used the most by common ISPs

GA fileter for generic words for ISPs

Exclude Generic Words used by ISP Organizations

For this filter I am using the following pattern, but you should use your own: network|earthlink|telecom|ip|pty|cable|communications|broadband|university|embarq|


You can you can add more filter words (use “|” as OR delimiter) by analyzing your Network Location report and searching for the organization name to check it it’s an ISP or not

Filter 3: Exclude specific ISP names from your reports

GA filter to exclude ISPs names

Exclude ISPs Names

Being in British Columbia, this is part of the filter I use, based on most popular ISPs here: shaw|communications|kintiskton llc|road runner holdco llc|comcast cable communications inc.|nib (national internet backbone)|telus communications inc.|rogers cable communications inc.|verizon internet services inc.|deutsche telekom ag

Again, you can and should add more filter words (use “|” as delimiter) by analyzing your Network Location report and identifying local ISPs.

If the ISP list is bigger than Google’s filter pattern limit of 1024 chars (and it will) you will need to add other filters with the same settings as filter #3, only that the filter pattern will be different.

Step 2

Create a custom report with the following settings

create custom reports in Google Analytics

Custom Report in Google Analytics

Then apply the report and have fun and with data. Each keyword will tell you the kind of service the hot lead is interested in. If you have too many unrelated keywords in the report use the advanced filters at the bottom of each report table, to look at specific keywords only:

advanced filter applied to the data

Advanced Filter to Include only certain Keywords

Step 4

Once you identified the company name and the services (keywords) they used to land on your site, use the platform of your choice to get business contact data for the decision makers.

jigsaw website screenshot


Step 5

Call and ask if he/she is not interested about the type of services you provide ;)

Note: there are web apps specializing in providing website “visitor ID” services – which basically work on a similar way, but I thought you might enjoy this neat trick for a week-end project.

Let me know how it worked for you!

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Traian is Director of Search Marketing at Pitstop Media Inc. He has more than 11 years experience in helping small and medium businesses generate and convert organic traffic from search engines. Connect with Traian on Google+. He is also the author of the Ecommerce SEO book.


4 Responses to “Uncover Hidden Leads with Google Analytics”

  1. Pekka Koskinen said:

    Dec 19, 12 at 8:37 am

    Nice post Traian. There are not many companies that take advantage of these hidden leads, partly because going through all the steps is pretty hard work. Still, there’s enormous potential in hidden leads, especially if you are selling a product with high value. We’ve built a freemium tool for automating a big part of this process. Take a look at http://www.wanapi.com and try it out.

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  2. Traian Neacsu said:

    Dec 19, 12 at 11:47 am

    Pekka, I will give the product a try. It seems interesting. I have a question though. Since GA is not providing them, where do you get the IPs of the visiting companies?

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  3. Pekka Koskinen said:

    Dec 20, 12 at 6:51 am

    Traian, we don’t need to have IPs of visiting companies, we are using the “service provider” names that you see in GA.

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  4. Anonymous said:

    Mar 19, 13 at 12:53 pm

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