QR Code Tracking: How to Track Scans & Create Trackable QR Codes

Sariyya Gurbanova

May 22, 2024

7 min read

QR Code Tracking

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QR code tracking is the process of monitoring and collecting QR code interactions. It is valuable for businesses as it helps assess the effectiveness of a QR code campaign and encourages them to make improvements based on the data collected.


QR code tracking operates through a simple mechanism: when a mobile device scans a QR code, it sends a request to the server to retrieve information about the scanned code. The interaction is then logged, capturing essential data such as the timestamp, location, and the type of device utilized.


To create a trackable QR Code, generate a dynamic QR code and integrate it into the marketing collateral, such as flyers and banners. It is important to note that not all QR codes offer tracking features. Dynamic QR codes are considered trackable, allowing users to receive valuable information about their code scanners. Static QR codes are untrackable, meaning QR tracking is not supported.

How Does QR Code Tracking Work?

QR code tracking operates through a simple mechanism: when a mobile device scans a QR code, it sends a request to the server to retrieve information about the scanned code. The interaction is then logged, capturing essential data such as the timestamp, location, and the type of device utilized. The scanning process is routed through an intermediary server when a dynamic QR code is scanned. The server acts as the data source for storing all scan information. The intermediary server redirects users to the designated destination URL.


To track QR codes, users must create a dynamic QR code; many different types of trackable QR codes are displayed anywhere, from printed mediums to digital landscapes. Users have the ability to scan the code on mobile devices. The QR code starts to record that information, including the location, device type, and browser, once the individual's phone scans the codes.


Tracking QR code scans allows users to collect helpful insights about the created QR codes, clearly providing a competitive advantage. QR code scan tracking enables businesses to optimize marketing efforts according to the newly found data. The data provided includes numerical data such as scan counts, geographic details such as city and country, and technological specifics such as operating systems.


Many companies take full advantage of A/B split testing, meaning they run two different marketing campaigns with alterations to understand the target audience better, which is done by incorporating QR codes, for example, by slightly changing the campaign's color scheme, icons, and call to action (CTAs). The method mentioned above helps measure which campaign is more effective. QR code tracking system uses QR code functionality to track and gain insights into the audience's habits.


How to Create a Trackable QR Code

To create a trackable QR code, generate a dynamic QR code and integrate it into the marketing collateral, such as flyers and banners. Enhance engagement by including a compelling call-to-action alongside the QR code. To monitor performance metrics, log in to the QR Code Creator account, navigate to the user dashboard, and select the specific QR code that needs to be tracked. Click on “Statistics” to track QR code scans and access detailed insights. Ensure that the functionality of the QR code is thoroughly tested to guarantee a seamless user experience before applying it to the marketing material.


Trackable QR Codes (Dynamic QR Codes)

It is important to note that not all QR codes offer tracking features. Dynamic QR codes are considered trackable, allowing users to receive valuable information about their code scanners. Dynamic QR codes permit users to change and modify the content of the QR code, for example, in case there is a typo, updated information, or any other necessary changes are needed.


QR codes with tracking capabilities let users collect statistics about their target audience and primary scanners. Some information inputted into QR codes include personal information, landing page, and QR code name, depending on the QR code type selected. Trackable QR codes take less space than static QR codes because fewer elements are embedded in the code.  The trackable feature allows business owners to collect data, measure success, better understand their audience, and optimize their marketing campaigns and business goals.


Dynamic QR codes never keep data; they only store a URL that takes scanners to the landing page. Dynamic codes are trackable because encrypted information is stored on a trackable QR code generator, allowing users to track scanners’ data. Dynamic QR codes are beneficial for instances when the data needs to be changed and edited frequently for marketing campaigns and various events, for example. The inputted information has the capacity to be edited, but the QR code remains the same.


Untrackable QR Codes (Static QR Codes)

Static QR codes are untrackable, meaning QR tracking is not supported. The content of a static QR code cannot be changed, edited, or tracked once created; however, static QR codes still offer several advantages; for example, they have no expiration date, so if the QR code creator account remains active, the QR code remains functional. There are no restrictions regarding the number of scans; it allows offline reading, so even without a wifi connection, scanners have the opportunity to access its content (given the QR code redirects users to a location that does not require a URL link).


Data is directly encoded into the pattern when creating a static QR code, meaning it is permanent, and there is no way to edit or update it unless a new one is generated. Static QR codes are not trackable and changeable since they directly embed the URL.

How to Track a QR Code

How to Track a QR Code.

Users have the option to filter the scans by hours, days, and months, allowing them to understand the flow of the marketing campaign.


How to Access QR Code Tracking Tool

To access the QR code tracking tool, follow the steps below.


  1. Go to QR Code Creator. Select which type of QR code needs to be created. Keep in mind that only dynamic QR codes are trackable, so choose one among them.
  2. Add necessary information. Users must input the required data, depending on the selected QR code.
  3. Customize the QR code. Modified QR codes are more likely to be scanned and grab others' attention. It is essential to test the QR code before implementing it into the marketing material; the dynamic QR code is editable, but this is mainly done to ensure that the best QR code printing practices are followed.
  4. Incorporate the QR code. Apply the QR code with the tracking feature to your printing medium or end product.
  5. Start dynamic QR code tracking. Users start to track the QR code once they have finished creating it. To open the ”Statistics” to the QR code, users must sign in and go to the user dashboard; under the Total Scans category, a link directs to the full list.


How to Track QR Codes with Google Analytics

To track QR codes with Google Analytics, follow the instructions provided below.

  1. Create a Google Analytics account.
  2. Make a QR Code on QR Code Creator.
  3. Add tracking (UTM) parameters to the QR link.
  4. Start QR code tracking with Google Analytics.


Google Analytics QR code tracking allows users to get metrics from their QR code to their Google Analytics account. Google Analytics lets businesses receive details such as visitor demographics, user engagements, device type used, number of scans, scan time, and scan location. Managers have the ability to track multiple campaigns in one place with this program.


Google Analytics has a special site where users have the chance to generate a URL link with UTM parameters easily. Tracking parameters are added to the QR code URL link called UTM parameters, which add extra text to the link that is modified to show where the code was utilized. Use the UTM parameters to state the medium is a QR code (For example, www.website.com/page?utm_medium=socialmediaQRCode).


Now, when someone scans the code, Google Analytics records the parameter text, and users are able to see that the traffic came from the QR code.

To track QR codes with Google Analytics: Go to Google Analytics -> Reports -> Traffic Acquisition -> Primary Dimension Column -> Session Source.

Business owners have the opportunity to compare how QR code drives traffic to other sources with the help of Google Analytics integration.

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What are the Tracking Parameters for QR Code?

What are the Tracking Parameters for QR Code?

The tracking parameters used for QR code generator tracking are listed below.


  1. Total number of scans. A QR code generator and tracker shows the number of times a QR code has been scanned overall, including the total and unique number of scans.
  2. Unique scans. The number of scans made using different devices. Scans from the same device are included in the total amount of scans.
  3. Time of scans. QR code generator tracker lets users see the most active time of day when the QR code is being scanned. The data has the capacity of being categorized by hours, days, and months. Users have the ability to select a specific scan period as well.
  4. Operating system used. A QR code generator and a tracking QR code allow users to see which operating system is mainly used for scans, allowing them to optimize the landing page of the QR code.
  5. Scans by countries. QR code location tracking permits users to view which countries are most common among the QR code scanners, which is especially useful for global brands running large-scale campaigns.
  6. Scans by cities. QR code GPS tracking provides the city where the QR code was scanned, making it a helpful metric that allows businesses to understand which area to target the most. Percentages are also given in the QR code generator trackable insights to help understand the proportion of scans from specific locations, enabling users to understand where most scans are coming from and where to allocate their resources.
  7. Last scans. QR code tracking and reporting system provides users with the latest scans, displaying the time, country, city, browser, and operating system of the scanning device. The information has the capability to be downloaded as a CSV file.

What are the Benefits of Tracking QR Codes?

What are the Benefits of Tracking QR Codes?

Some of the main benefits of tracking QR codes are given below.


Performance measurement

The tracking feature allows businesses to understand better their audience and where exactly to invest their efforts. For example, a QR code used for social media outperforms the one on the product packaging. Companies understand which campaigns are more successful by analyzing the trackable QR code.


Data Analytics

QR codes tracking practices give valuable analytics about the customer segment and help identify the target audience and understand it better. The location feature, given in numbers and percentages and shown in descending order, is quite useful for global corporations that want to expand their reach and are looking for new locations to penetrate. The time category of the QR code tracker allows businesses to understand when the best hour to post and release QR code content is and optimize their campaigns based on the findings. The operation system statistics and device information give brands more direction when building their campaign, as it is good for content formatting and website optimization, helping enhance user experience.


Real-time insights

Tracking a QR code enables efficient data collection, meaning users get live insight into their campaigns. A QR code generator with tracking features provides factual and trending information about user interactions and behavioral patterns, allowing businesses to interpret the information they have gained to their advantage and update their marketing strategies. The obtained insights might be turned into valuable infographics and shareable CSV reports. QR Code Creator allows users to export the data as a CSV file, which can later be made into graphs and charts, helping visualize and interpret the data effectively.


Users who create a QR code with tracking capabilities have the ability to add campaign details like the start and end date, the type of printing medium being used for the campaign (flyers, ads, business cards, etc.), and the print amount to envision the campaign from a bird’s eye view. There is a reset button that allows users to start over and retain info from the beginning.


Adaptability

The feature mentioned above is an essential and unique feature of trackable QR codes, as it allows users to update their QR code destination without changing its pattern or creating an entirely new one.


ROI (return on investment)

Tracking a QR code allows business owners to determine the ROI of the QR code marketing campaign, which is calculated by subtracting the amount spent on the campaign from the revenue earned; however, sometimes, the campaign's primary goal is not revenue but engagement and brand awareness.


Allows A/B testing

Creating different QR codes with variations using contrasting pictures, logos, CTAs, copies, etc, allows companies to determine which code is more successful by checking the QR code tracker and comparing the number of scans received. Examining the results allows content optimization and more relevant and engaging content creation.


Improved marketing campaigns

Assess the performance of marketing campaigns and track how successful the campaigns are by tracking QR codes. QR code tracking improves marketing strategies by making necessary changes after interpreting the information gathered from the insights. It helps measure user engagement and establish what works and what doesn’t.

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Content Writer

Sariyya Gurbanova

Sariyya is a dedicated content writer at QR Code Creator, where she leverages her passion for technology and creativity to craft engaging and informative content. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for making complex topics accessible, Sariyya ensures that each piece she writes not only informs but also inspires. Her commitment to excellence and continuous learning drives her to stay at the forefront of industry trends, making her an invaluable asset to the QR Code Creator team.

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