How to create a QR code that’s trackable in Google Analytics

Learn how to create a QR code and track it in Google Analytics.

Digital Marketing

In this short tutorial I’m going to show you how to create a QR code. That in itself might be new to you but the interesting part is how to then track the usage of that QR code in your Google Analytics account. This can be a great way to take your digital marketing into the real world.

If you’re running an event you might like to print a QR code on a banner, poster or on a flyer of some sort. With a QR code on your print work, users can quickly access your website using their smartphone. That’s nice in itself. The trick is when you’re creating the QR code, use some simple parameters and the traffic to your website will show up in Google Analytics.

Let’s get started.

How to create a QR code

There are lots of services around that let you do this. Most of them don’t cost you. Get started with this tool

Ensure that you click the little world icon, that will make a QR code that links to a website. It should look like the screen capture below.

That’s all there is to making a QR code but you’re not done just yet.

How to link the QR code to Google Analytics

If you just type in your website address it will work but what we want to do is hook this up so that all traffic that comes from the QR code will be tracked in Google Analytics. To do this we need to add some special parameters to your URL (website address).

Here is the magic:


These are what we call URL parameters. Add them to the end of your address like this.

Now you might like to customise this a little. The one on the end for example ‘TradeQRCode’. You could change that to the name of your event, or some other string that makes some sense to you. The important thing here is no spaces (if you know how to URL encode strings, go for it, otherwise no spaces).

Once you enter your URL and parameters, the tool will create a QR code for you. Here’s my sample one, go on whip out your phone and try it!

Cool huh?

Ensure you’re careful with the QR file. Don’t distort it or resize it too much. Use it to print on your brochure, posters etc..

How to find your traffic in Google Analytics

The final part of the puzzle is where to look inside Google Analytics to see the traffic. Look inside the Acquisition section, open up Campaigns and you can choose Source or Source/Medium. Check the screen capture below.

Learn how to create a QR code and track it in Google Analytics.

The data will be available in other part of Google Analytics too but this should get you started!

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