Saturday, December 24, 2011

QR Codes - 5 handy tips to help you

f you are a trendy urban dweller (or even if you just have access to
regular news or magazines), you will have seen the huge growth in the
use of QR Codes recently.

If you haven't used one yet, or if you're unsure of how they can help,
then its probably worth me mentioning a few things that I've found
out:

1. Creating one is easy
You don't need specialist software, there are several sites that let
you create one for free. Personally I use http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
Don't worry, the QR code is not dependent on the site you use to create it.

2. Each QR Codes is unique to a piece of text (typically a URL).
As no 2 QR Codes are the same, there's no real chance of you getting
the wrong web address when scanning one.

3. QR Code scanners typically store the address.
This means that despite hearsay, you CAN put them on adverts destined
for the underground (e.g. In the free papers & magazine), but you are
relying on your user reopening their scanner app at a later stage when
they have a data connection.

4. The shorter the URL, the better
The more text a QR Code has to store, the more complex it becomes.
This may be an issue if the QR code is then badly printed, scanned
from a distance or snapped through think / dirty glass. If you have a
particularly long URL (including any sub-directories, file names,
analytics tracking references, etc) then you can get around this issue
by using a URL shortening service such as tinyurl.com or bitly.com

5. Track as much as possible
In coordination with your website analytics package,make sure you can
identify when visitors to your site come via a QR code (e.g. if you
are using Google Analytics, they you will probably give the Campaign
Source as 'qrcode' in the Google Analytics URL Creator).
Tip: If you have several locations where your QR Code is shown, then
it is possible to identify each unique location. However be careful
that you are not creating codes just for the sake of it.

6. Measure the impact
Although its pretty obvious to mention, ensure you understand the
value you get from creating & promoting QR Codes.
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