Google QR Code Generator – Plus Google Analytics Tracking! – In 9 Simple Steps

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Google QR Codes – done right, they’re great. 

 

Done wrong, and you’re completely wasting your time.

 

Think I’m just exaggerating? Maybe just kidding? I’m not – you can really lose potential customers fast by getting this wrong.

 

I’m not going to let that happen to you. Plus, I’m going to not only show you how to get QR codes generated – for free and done right, but I’m going to give you a HUGE bonus: – I’m also going to show you how you can simply and easily track EVERY TIME someone scans your QR code!

 

First, let me show you a perfect example of QR codes gone wrong, check this out:

 

My girlfriend and I were driving through a neighborhood we really like a lot the other day. A house for sale made us stop – but there was no flyer out front for us to take, just a sign with no details.

 

But there was a QR code!

 

So we whipped out our smart phones and scanned the QR code and prepared to get all the juicy details on this house for sale…

 

…and then, we landed on… not a page with info about the house, but the home page of the Realtor selling the hourse – but wait, it get’s worse: it wasn’t even a mobile site we could navigate to try to find the home for sale!!

 

So we gave up. Now think about this: this Realtor stands to make many thousands of dollars from selling this house. We’re ready to buy. But we were frustrated and lost confidence in this real estate professional.

 

Now, setting aside the fact that we could call the real estate agent, visit their home page later on a laptop etc., we were immediately unimpressed and under-whelmed.

 

Are you doing that to YOUR customers? Don’t! Here’s how to use Google’s QR Code Generator, PLUS track every time someone scans your code and visits your site in Google Analytics, in 9 simple steps!

 

1. Copy the full URL of the page of your site you want people to land on when they scan your QR Code.

2. Go to http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578 and paste in your URL – this is Google’s URL Builder Tool for Google Analytics Tracking*

*Not sure how to do this? – I’ll cover it in a future blog post soon.

3. Copy that new URL with the Google Analytics URL Tags.

4. Go to Google’s URL Shortening Tool at goo.gl and paste in your new URL  and click on “details” to the right (it will be at the top of the list of your new URLs on this same page.

5. On the “details” page you’ll see the QR code at the right – underneath that you’ll see a URL in green; copy that and paste that into the URL address bar of a new browser tab (you’ll see just the QR code now).

6. Right click on that QR Code image, and choose “save image as” – save to your computer, like your desktop, somewhere you’ll be able to find easily (it will save as a .png file).

7. Open an image editor or use an online image editor and save the file as a JPEG (.jpg) file.

8. Now use that image on your flyer, brochure, or whatever you want!

9. ***Make sure the page that people will land on is a mobile-friendly version of your site! – If you use WordPress, you can use a mobile plugin like this one to instantly make your website mobile-friendly, and you site visitor’s smart phone will automatically detect it.

 

Now, go forth and create QR Codes – and, don’t forget to check the “campaigns” tab in your Google Analytics to see how visitors behaved once they landed on your site.

 

Any suggestions for improvements? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below.

6 Responses to Google QR Code Generator – Plus Google Analytics Tracking! – In 9 Simple Steps

  • Wow… that is the longest, most complicated way I’ve ever seen!

    Here’s a shorter way to get a QR code.

    1. Go to http://bit.ly
    2. Put in the URL to where you will send people
    3. bit.ly creates both a shorter link AND your QR code for you. Just download the jpg it creates and use it.

    SO much easier. And the link is trackable. AND the URL can be customizes to add whatever YOU feel it should say.

    Just saying…

    Charlie Seymour Jr

    • Internet Marketing Brain says:

      Hi Charlie, thanks for your comment and your alternative method.

      The upside to your method from my vantage point is the brevity of steps and that you can customize the URL (but I believe that’s only with bit.ly-pro, correct?). But a customizable URL is not even seen on a QR code image, correct?

      When you say the link (or in this scenario, QR code) is track-able, it is, but you only know that the link was clicked. With the method I suggest (including the GA URL tagging), you can not only see how many people clicked the link / scanned to QR code, because of the Google Analytics (GA) URL tagging step before shortening the URL, you then can discover how exactly people behaved on your site in Google Analytics! – and that information is the real gold.

      Think of it: imagine you have 10 or more QR codes in the world: how do you know which one’s are doing well for you? Nope, you can’t simply say the one that gets the most clicks wins because without seeing if those click-throughs (scans of your QR code, to be more specific) convert or otherwise take an action you consider a goal or conversion on your site, you have no idea which QR campaigns / placements are a waste of your time and which are producing results at your site such as engagement, form completion, purchase, downloads, etc.

      Now what if you have 100 or more QR codes in the world… You’d want to know what’s performing well for you.

      Or, what if you’re, for example, spending money creating nice flyers or brochures… I think the point becomes clear that the extra minute or 2 you might spend using my method will give you web analytics data that will give you much better information than how many times you QR code was scanned (or link was clicked).

      Finally, try the steps I’ve outlined – if it takes you 5 minutes to do, something is wrong, this is a very fast procedure. Sure, maybe the first time or 2 it might seem cumbersome or lengthy, but once you do it, it’s actually super-fast and easy to do.

      Not everyone will purchase a bit.ly pro account so they can customize URLs, but that is a nice feature for a link. For a QR code with no visible URL to click, it doesn’t matter much, and goo.gl is free, a price a lot of people like, especially in this economy.

      Finally, I do suggest doing Google Analytics URL tagging for links, QR codes, etc. whether one uses goo.gl, bit.ly, or any other URL shortener.

      Hope that helps, and thanks again for your comment and alternative method!

      David

  • Garret S. says:

    Is it a must that you setup Google Anayltics account prior to using this method? As of now I login to my google account so i can view the link history in goo.gl and link “details” Whats the advantage to setting up the Google Analytics with my google account…?

    • Internet Marketing Brain says:

      Hi Garrett – thanks for your question; it’s not *mandatory* to have Google Analytics (GA), but here’s the thing:

      Sure, you can see that someone clicked on your shortened URL using only goo.gl, BUT – and this is the beauty of GA – in GA you can see what the person who clicked did AFTER clicking, and that’s where the real juicy info comes in.

      You see, post-click in GA, you can see how people clicking on various different QR codes (or other sources of website traffic, for that matter…) behaved on your site. Did they look at one page and leave? Did they spend time on your site? If you have goals configured in GA (and you should!) then you can also see which traffic sources are converting (convert being a generic term for taking a specific action you want them to take on your site, such as fill out a form, download a whitepaper, or even (gasp!) make a purchase.

      Knowing that someone clicked on your goo.gl-shortened URL is great, but being able to see visitor behavior post-click is where the real juice is, and means one can then make data-driven decisions. Imagine you had a QR code in a brochure, on a business card, or 15 other places – how do you know what QR is driving quality traffic? Which efforts should be increased and which should be phased-out? You can’t know this by sheer number of clicks.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      David

  • Paula R. says:

    If my understanding is correct, you still have to put the tracking code associated with the website onto your page so GA will work, right? And for each website that you are tracking. (we are tracking multiple real estate listing pages for a real estate agent’s website). I was really happy to see the number of clicks listed on the goo.gl page when I used the goo.gl URL shortener, but then sad that it didn’t transfer over to GA (without the tracker right?).
    Thanks for your help!
    Paula

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