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

Last updated: September 20, 2018

Applies to:

Marketing Hub
Basic, Professional, 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.

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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