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

Last updated: January 5, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

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. Let's go a bit more in depth:

  • Navigate to Reports > Sources.
  • Look below the bar graph, but in particular review the Paid Search information - Click on number under the Contacts column; doing so will prompt you to a page listing contacts bucketed under the Paid Search source.
  • Select any contact, and once you are on the contact's profile, click on the View All Properties link 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).