How does HubSpot determine the search term that was used in a paid search visit?

Last updated: November 17, 2017

Applies to:

Marketing Hub: Basic, Pro, Enterprise

After a visit is categorized as a Paid Search visit, HubSpot looks at the referring site, in particular the value passed in the "q" parameter to determine what was the search term the contact used to find your site.

  • In your HubSpot Marketing Basic, Professional, or Enterprise account, navigate to Reports > Analytics Tools
  • Select Traffic Analytics.   

  • In the Sources tab, look at the Paid Search information.
  • Click the number under the New Contacts column. This will prompt a slide-in modal on the right listing contacts bucketed under the Paid Search source.
  • Select any contact. Once you are on the contact's profile, click View all properties located in the About card on the left-hand side.
  • Search for the contact property named First Referring Site - This contact property contains the contact's referring site.
  • As detailed below, within the parameters of the referring site, the q= parameter details the search term the contact used to find your site.
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  • However, please be aware that there are instances when the referring site does not provide such information.
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  • If the q= parameter isn't present in the first referring site, HubSpot will next look for the utm_term value in the URL to determine the keyword used. If this is not present, you will see the visit sub-categorized as Content network (Adsense or other).

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