Tracking QR Codes In Google Analytics ‑‑ Easy As Pie.

August 18, 2011

Sometimes the simplest things go unnoticed. Recently, a client informed me that they were going to start including QR codes in their print marketing and did I know of a good tracking program. About half an hour into researching the right solution for them, I had an epiphany/head-meet-desk moment when I realized that they were already hooked up with GA and could easily track a QR campaign in their existing account. Here’s how!

Google Analytics URL Creator

Thoughtfully, Google provides a fool-proof way of creating unique urls with urchin tracking modules (or UTM) parameters appended to the URL so that you can track the QR campaign in Google Analytics. Here’s a screen shot of the setup:


Now shorten that LONG URL

After you create the URL, plug it into your favorite URL shortener. Why should I? You may ask. It’s true, it does add another step to the process, but it’ll be well worth your while. See, the more characters a url has, the more information needs to be embedded in the QR Code. This means that the actual QR Code ends up being much more dense, for lack of a better word. That means it’ll be harder for a mobile device to scan it.

When you’re making QR codes for print advertising purposes, it’s likely that that QR Code isn’t going to take up much real estate. That makes this denseness issue even more important. Plus, using a URL shortener like is super quick and easy.

Dense, hard to scan QR Code

Open, Easy To Scan QR Code

That Shortened URL Into Your Favorite QR Code Generator!

I like to use QRSTUFF because you can download hi res versions of the QR Code that will print nicely. Save the file and give it to your publisher and every time someone scans that flier you will be able to sort by Campaign in Google Analytics.