How To Track Your QR Codes In Google Analytics

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How To Track Your QR Codes In Google Analytics

QR Codes are a simple and efficient way to direct your customers to where you want them to go. This could be to a landing page, a voucher or a social media page.

But you may have wondered: can engagement be tracked through QR Codes? And can you gather important data about user demographics like gender, age, language preference, interests, and so on?

How can you better understand how your customers or prospects interact with your content once they land on your page or website? You can use Google Analytics to do this, and add QR Codes as a source bringing in web traffic.

How do you set up QR Code tracking in Google Analytics? Read on and find out!

QR Code tracking: what it is and isn’t

QR Codes are a means to bring your audience from the physical to the digital world. Users simply use their smartphone cameras and scan the QR code without a third-party app.

Being able to track/sort the codes you’ve used based on scans, location, and engagement is incredibly useful.

This is all that QR Code ‘tracking’ entails. Data is collected at the point of scan in addition to when users interact with encoded QR Code content. These include metrics like scans per QR Code, location, device used to scan the codes, date and time, and so on.

Is QR Code tracking secure and non-invasive when it comes to privacy? Yes, absolutely.

Tracking simply means that you can see how your QR Codes are performing with relevant indicators. Information gathered relates only to scans and engagement levels — it does not mean that you can live-track the end-user!

How can you track a QR Code?

To have QR Code tracking enabled, you require dynamic QR codes.

Free online QR Code generators online create static codes — which means that none of them are trackable.

Dynamic QR Codes are trackable. You can measure how your QR Codes are doing and you can track them in Google Analytics.

Can you track QR Codes in Google Analytics?

There is a way to track your QR Codes within Google Analytics:

Generate UTM links with the Campaign URL Builder tool and create a QR Code for each link. Don’t panic! Let me walk you through how to do it below.

This is a basic way of tracking, and may not be the best option if you have lots of codes to track. But for most businesses, it is a great, and free method. You will need to create URLs with UTM parameters every time you wish to use a QR Code.

When UTMs are recorded on Google Analytics, it only takes into consideration the users who’ve successfully visited the landing page.

15-25% of users typically drop off after scanning a QR Code. This is because the prompt upon scanning does not immediately meet their interest or expectation.

As a business, however, you still want to understand the drop-off, know the users that didn’t follow through, and hone in on their interests.

QR Code tracking in Google Analytics helps you understand end-users better

When you connect your QR Codes to Google Analytics as a source of web traffic, you can understand the following:

User Behaviour:

  • Gauge interests of the user who has scanned your QR Code
  • Identify returning users from first-time visitors
  • Clearly understand the level of engagement with your QR Code content with metrics like duration of the session, click-through rates, bounce rates, page views, and so on.

End-user demographics:

  • Native language spoken by users
  • Country of residence
  • City/specific location
  • Age of users
  • Gender of user

The system used to scan the QR Code: 

  • Browser used
  • Operating system used
  • Service provider

Mobile used to scan the QR Code:

  • Operating system used
  • Service provider
  • Phone screen resolution

How to generate UTM URLs for QR Codes in Google Analytics

It really is a simple 4 step process:

  1. Create or sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  2. Open Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool and enter your campaign details. Define all the UTM parameters (source, medium, ID, name, content, etc) that you wish to track for your QR Code campaign.
  3. Connect the UTM URL with the QR Code(s) that you plan to deploy.
  4. Go to Google Analytics —> Acquisition —> Campaigns —> All Campaigns, and test-check if tracking data is being collected.

The process is fairly simple, I promise!

What does Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool look like:

Google Campaign URL builder for tracking QR codes

Campaign details that you would have to enter would include:

Website URL: URL of domain/page that you wish to link to.

Campaign ID: You can give your QR Code Campaign an ID — like ‘Spring Offer_22’.

Campaign Source: Where the traffic to the above URL is coming from —  in this case, it will be a QR Code or set of QR Codes.

Campaign Medium: Where you have used your QR Codes specifically: product packaging, banners, vouchers, and so on.

Campaign Name: What you have named your specific QR Code campaign to be. You also have the option to put your campaign ID here.

Campaign Terms: The specific keywords/terms you’ve included in your campaign.

Campaign Content: What the specific content of your QR Code campaign is. It could be CTAs, promotional material, discount vouchers, etc.

Here’s how it’s going to look once you fill in all the fields:

setting up QR tracking with Google Campaign builder

After this, you can copy the UTM link generated at the bottom of the builder and add it as the page that the QR Code directs to. You have the option to shorten the link too:

generated campaign link for QR tracking

Now, follow step (4) to test-scan and see if tracking data is being gathered in the ‘All Campaigns’ (under Acquisitions —> Campaigns) tab on Google Analytics.

This is what the process looks like for setting up QR Code tracking within Google Analytics through UTM links.

For more ideas as to how you can discover how your marketing is working book a call with Rachel Foord today

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