11 September 2013 - QUICK RESPONSE CODES - 'QR'


QUICK RESPONSE CODES

- 'QR CODE' -

G'day guys,

You have probably heard me mention QR codes on this blog before. So, what are they? They look like the diagram above, which by the way, is the one I have on my books, blog and website. Look on the right hand column of this page and you will see it. And, without sounding like a smartie pants, I was possibly the first Australian to include one on my books. Today I give some background information and suggest where you can have one made for you. Personally, I think you need to utilise every tool that is available to give you an edge. 


QR Code - far left side on the back of my first book. Notice how I
placed it side by side with the barcode, placing my logo between both. 

 We all know that one of the keys to great SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is making sure you keep your website updated, new and fresh. Whether you do this with a blog, or you change your homepage with new offers, coupons or new products, it serves to show Google that your site is “alive.” For many small businesses in particular, this is a real challenge.


So you already have great, fresh content on your site—what’s next? Do you know what is coming that may benefit your small business? Have you heard of QR codes yet? Here is a quick introduction:

What Are QR codes?

They look like this:


 They come to us from Japan where they are very common. QR is short for Quick Response (they can be read quickly by a cell phone). They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it in to your cell phone. You may soon see QR Codes in a magazine advert, on a billboard, a web page or even on someone’s t-shirt. Once it is in your cell phone, it may give you details about that business (allowing users to search for nearby locations), or details about the person wearing the t-shirt, show you a URL which you can click to see a trailer for a movie, or it may give you a coupon which you can use in a local outlet.

The reason why they are more useful than a standard barcode is that they can store (and digitally present) much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. The other key feature of QR Codes is that instead of requiring a chunky hand-held scanner to scan them, many modern cell phones can scan them. 

How does the cell phone read the code?

The cell phone needs a QR code reader, like this one from Kaywa. It takes literally 1 minute for someone with an iPhone or Android phone to find and install the reader.

 

How can you use QR codes to benefit search marketing?

 

We are only just scratching the surface of how they will be used. Here are a few examples of how others are using them.

A business card company showing how they are using them for businesses. 

Check out these videos:



How will Google see them?

If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.

Will your customers use them?

Today, few may use them, but those that do will certainly appreciate your tech knowledge, and those that don’t will certainly be inquisitive, which may open the door for conversation and a potential sale. Those that do use QR codes will definitely have a high tech know-how and may be more receptive to your presence on the web, your Twitter presence, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube etc.

 

 How could you use a QR code?

Your business, no matter how small or large, could use QR codes in a number of ways. You might auto generate one next to every product on your web site containing all the product details, the number to call and the URL link to the page so they can show their friends on their cell phone. You could add one to your business card containing your contact details so it’s easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.

Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads, your books etc containing:
  • Product details
  • Contact details
  • Offer details
  • Event details
  • Competition details
  • A coupon
  • Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
  • A link to your YouTube video

How can you get one?

I'd recommend you contact The Web Gateway via the following email: peter@webgateway.net.au 

They have done all of mine and their service is excellent. The Web Gateway also designs websites.  What else can they provide? Well, contact them if you have any website issues, but here are a few facts. From memory, I paid $50.00 AUD for each, which provided any or all of the following:


1. A customised QR code with colours, patterns and graphics e.g. your own logo

   2.  A dynamic QR code where you can change some of the details but don’t have to change the actual QR code image (very handy when you have your QR code pre-printed on business cards and stationery)

   3.  A QR code image supplied online in any or all of the following formats: png, gif, jpg, tif, bmp


Samples:




Clancy's comment: As I said, we need to utilise every tool to get over the line, and I think the QR Code is just one that helps us to market our wares. 

By the way, this is not an advertisement. I will not gain a single cent from The Web Gateway by way of commission. The purpose of this blog is purely informative - a public service. Interestingly, I've always called the Internet 'Gateway to the world'. So, get with it and slap a QR code on your business card, blog, website, book or DVD label.




I'm ...








 Think about this!