qr code sampleThis post is for those that are already familiar with what QR codes are. However, to quickly touch on the exactly what it is… it’s a two-dimensional bar code. QR means “Quick Response”. The code allows its contents to be decoded by devices like mobile phones that can scan and then quickly open website links right on the phone automatically.

So… You have created your QR code, but you don’t know how many people actually scan it and visit your site. In this post we will cover how to create a QR code that can be tracked in Google Analytics so you can measure how many website visitors you receive because of  your QR codes.

If you create a shortened URL for your QR code, you will be able to more easily identify the referral traffic in your Google Analytics data. This makes reporting data a lot easier. First, you will need to have the website address (URL) of your QR code. If you have already created a QR code, but don’t have the URL, it will be almost impossible to track the activity from the QR code.

The best way to track your QR code data is to first use the Google URL Builder.

google url builder example

Example: Google URL Builder

This tool will allow you to create your URL, define the Campaign Source, Campaign Medium and Campaign Name. Building your URL with this tool will also allow you to track exactly how many people scanned your QR code and which phones they use, how long they stayed on your website, and much more.

short switch example

After you build your URL using the Google URL Builder, you can now use a URL shortener to crunch it down to size. The hidden benefit to using a URL shortener is that some services allow you to edit the link after it has been shortened. Google’s URL Shortener does not allow you to edit the URL once it has been shortened, however, something like Shortswitch’s URL shortening service does let you edit afterwards. This will allow you to redirect the destination of the QR code in the future if ever you want to change the purpose of the specific QR code you’ve already created!

* UPDATE: Shortswitch.com will automatically create a QR code for each URL that you shorten. So, this process gets even easier. You don’t have to go out and find a third-party QR creation tool this way.

For more information on creating a QR code, visit: 5 Unique Uses for QR Codes to get ideas for how to use them.