How to track QR code scans in Google Analytics 4

QR codes have become a common tool for accessing information and websites swiftly with a simple scan. As businesses utilize QR codes in their campaigns, tracking the performance and engagement of these codes is crucial for optimizing marketing strategies. In this article, we will explore how you can track QR code scans using Google Analytics 4 and provide step-by-step instructions on effectively tracking QR code scans and gaining valuable insights into your audience’s behavior. So, let’s get started.

What is QR code tracking?

QR code tracking refers to monitoring and analyzing the usage and performance of QR codes. It involves collecting data on various metrics to understand how people interact with QR codes and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Now, let’s discuss what QR codes are. QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that smartphones or QR code readers can scan. QR codes can contain various data types, such as website URLs, contact information, product details, and event details.

Scanning a QR code collects various data points, including the number of scans and the actions taken after scanning. This information is valuable for businesses as it provides a deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences.

By tracking QR codes, businesses can measure the success of their QR code campaigns. They can determine which QR codes generate the most scans and engagement, allowing them to identify the most effective marketing channels and strategies. This data-driven approach enables businesses to optimize their marketing efforts and allocate resources more efficiently.

Furthermore, QR code tracking helps businesses understand customer behavior beyond the initial scan. For example, businesses can track whether users visit a specific webpage, make a purchase, or take any other desired action after scanning the QR code. This information provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of the customer journey and helps businesses refine their marketing strategies accordingly.

Overall, QR code tracking empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions, improve customer engagement, and enhance the overall effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

Benefits of tracking QR codes

Tracking QR codes offers numerous benefits for businesses. Let’s explore and expand on some of these advantages with examples:

Performance Measurement: QR code tracking allows businesses to measure their QR code campaigns’ performance accurately. By tracking metrics such as scan counts, conversion rates, and engagement levels, businesses can assess the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. For example, a business can compare the scan counts of different QR codes used in a campaign to determine which generates the most interest and engagement.

Audience Insights: QR code tracking provides valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. By analyzing data on scan locations, times, and device types, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their target audience. For instance, a restaurant can track the times and days when customers scan QR codes on their menus to identify peak hours and adjust staffing accordingly. This data helps businesses tailor their marketing campaigns to resonate with their audience and improve customer engagement.

Campaign Optimization: With QR code tracking, businesses can optimize their marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions to improve campaign performance by identifying which QR codes generate the most scans and engagement. For example, an e-commerce store can track the conversion rates of QR codes placed on different product pages and optimize the design or placement of the codes to increase conversions.

Cost Efficiency: Tracking QR codes helps businesses allocate resources more efficiently. Businesses can optimize their budget allocation by identifying which QR codes and marketing channels are generating the most scans and conversions. For instance, a travel agency can track the scan counts and conversions of QR codes placed in different advertising channels and allocate more resources to the channels that yield the best results, reducing wasteful spending and improving return on investment.

Overall, tracking QR codes empowers businesses with valuable insights, enabling them to measure performance, understand customer behavior, optimize campaigns, personalize experiences, and allocate resources effectively. Businesses can enhance their marketing strategies by leveraging QR code tracking and driving better results.

How to track QR codes in GA4:

With Google Analytics 4 (GA4), you can easily track QR code scans and gain valuable insights into user behavior. This section will guide you through setting up UTM parameters for your URL to track QR code scans in GA4.

Step 1: Set up UTM parameters for your URL

First, Set up UTM parameters for your URL. UTM parameters are tags that you add to your URL to track specific information in Google Analytics. To track QR code scans, you need to add UTM parameters to the URL to which the QR code redirects. If you’re not clear about what UTM parameters are, that’s okay; here’s an article on UTM parameters.

The most important UTM parameters to track QR code scans are:

  • utm_source: This parameter identifies the source of the traffic, which in this case is the QR code.
  • utm_medium: This parameter specifies the medium through which the traffic is coming, such as “QR code.”
  • utm_campaign: This parameter allows you to group related QR codes under a specific campaign name.

For example, if your website URL is “” and you want to track a QR code scan, you can add the following UTM parameters to the URL: “”.

You can use the Google campaign builder or our Google sheet template to build your UTM parameter URL.

Step 2: Shorten URL

You can use a URL shortening service like Bitly or TinyURL to shorten your URL. These services allow you to enter your long URL and generate a shorter, more compact version that is easier to share and track. Simply visit one of these websites, paste your URL into the provided field, and click the “Shorten” button. Shortening URLs in QR codes simplifies the code’s design, making it easier for scanning devices to quickly and accurately read the information encoded in the code. This can help improve the overall user experience and increase the likelihood of successful scans, especially when scanning needs to be done swiftly or from a distance. Short URLs can also make the QR code visually cleaner and more aesthetically pleasing, enhancing its appeal to users.

Step 3: Generate the QR code

Now, create a QR code for the shortened URL. Several online tools allow you to generate QR codes for free, an example is the QR code Generator. Simply enter the URL you want to track and generate the QR code.

Step 4: Test your setup in GA4 DebugView

To verify the effectiveness of your QR code tracking setup in GA4, you can utilize the GA4 DebugView feature. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Go to your GA4 admin page and click on DebugView

Step 2: Utilize a QR code scanner app on your smartphone or device to scan the QR code.

Step 3: Check the DebugView page for any incoming events associated with the QR code scan. Now, look for the event name for the QR code scans to ensure that the event triggers correctly and accurately captures the UTM parameters. If you see the event and the UTM parameters in the DebugView, your QR code tracking setup in GA4 is functioning correctly.

The Debugview image below shows that the UTM-tagged URL QR code( we created above works when scanned. 

Testing QR code scan tracking in GA4 DebugView report
Testing QR code scan tracking in GA4 DebugView report

If you don’t see any events or the UTM parameters are missing, double-check your UTM parameter configuration, ensure the QR code is working, and redirect to the URL with the UTM parameters.

By conducting a test in GA4 DebugView, you can validate the successful tracking of QR code scans and the accurate capture of UTM parameters in Google Analytics.

Track QR code data in GA4 reports

Now that we are sure the QR code is working, let’s see how we can find the QR code data in GA4. We can see the data in standard GA4 reports or by creating an Explore report. Let’s go through the steps below.

GA4 Standard Reports

You can track and monitor the performance of your QR code by using the User Acquisition or Traffic Acquisition reports available by default in Google Analytics 4. You can add a secondary dimension, such as the source or medium used as a UTM parameter, to show the performance of the QR code scans.

Seeing the data of QR code scans in Google Analytics 4 standard reports
Seeing the data of QR code scans in Google Analytics 4 standard reports

GA4 Explorations

With GA4 Explore, you can use any dimensions and metrics available in GA4 the way you prefer. To track the QR code scan data, create a blank explore report and add the dimensions such as the source and medium; then, you can also include metrics such as event count, total users, active users, new users, etc. Save the report and use it to track your QR code performance.

Tracking QR scans in GA4 Explorations
Tracking QR scans in GA4 Explorations

Do you need help tracking QR codes?

Don’t let valuable data from your QR code campaigns go to waste. Contact our data analytics agency today to learn more about how we can help you track and analyze QR code scans and unlock the full potential of your marketing efforts. Our team of experts specializes in implementing advanced tracking solutions, such as tracking QR code scans in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and providing comprehensive data analysis to drive actionable insights for your business.


In conclusion, tracking QR code scans in Google Analytics 4 is a valuable tool for businesses to gain insights into their marketing efforts. By ensuring that the destination of your QR codes is a UTM-tagged URL with GA4 tracking implementation, you can easily track and analyze the performance of your QR codes, allowing you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns.

With the ability to track QR code scans, you can determine which codes generate the most engagement and conversions. This information can help you identify successful marketing channels and campaigns, enabling you to allocate your resources effectively.

Furthermore, you can better understand user behavior by integrating QR code tracking with Google Analytics 4. You can track user demographics, session duration, and other valuable metrics, providing a comprehensive view of your audience’s engagement with your QR codes.

By leveraging the power of GA4 and implementing the tracking techniques outlined in this article, you can unlock the full potential of your QR code campaigns. Use the data to refine your marketing strategies, optimize user experiences, and drive better results.

Remember, tracking QR code scans is just the beginning. Continuously monitor and analyze the data, adapt your strategies on the insights, and stay ahead of the competition. With the proper tracking and analysis in place, you can make informed decisions and maximize the impact of your QR code campaigns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a QR code be tracked in GA4?

You can track a QR code in Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 provides the capability to track QR code scans whose destination is a webpage by ensuring the destination URL is UTM-tagged and has GA4 tracking implementation.

How to track QR codes in GA4?

To track QR codes in GA4, simply set up UTM parameters for your URL, shorten the URL Entrances and then generate the QR code by using any online tool. Ensure the destination webpage of the URL has GA4 tracking code installed.

Can I track an existing QR code in GA4?

No, you cannot track an existing QR code in GA4 as the URL is not a UTM-tagged URL.

Can I track QR code scans for free?

You can track QR code scans for free using Google Analytics 4 (GA4). GA4 is a free analytics platform by Google that allows you to track various metrics, including QR code scans. By tracking the QR code’s landing page with GA4 and ensuring the URL is UTM-tagged, you can monitor your QR code’s performance without incurring additional costs.

Can I track how many times a QR code is scanned?

You can track how many times a QR code is scanned using GA4. Simply create a UTM-tagged URL, shorten it, and use it to create a QR code. Finally, ensure that GA4 tracks the destination URL. GA4 will record and store each scan of the QR code.

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