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Thursday, February 17, 2011

What is a QR Barcode?

What are QR codes?

First of all they look like this: 


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 onto your cell phone. They are used mainly through various forms of advertising.

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 standard barcode has limits to the amount of information it can store. QR codes can store a substantial amount of information on them, 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 Code_it. It takes literally 1 minute for someone with an iPhone or Android phone to find and install the reader.

How do you generate a code?
You can easily generate a QR code using a site like Code_it or you can use the Open Source code to generate codes for you if you have a smart developer on hand.
How can you use QR codes to benefit search marketing?
We are only just scratching the surface of how they will be used. We have added one to every business listing in our directory. Here are a few examples of how others are using them.
A business card company showing how they are using them for businesses:

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 its easy for someone to add you to their contacts on their cell phone.
A business card company showing how they are using them for businesses:

In print that links the user straight to a website: (Sorry they aren't in English but they are very simple to follow!)

Skip to halfway in this video to see some examples:

Add them to any print advertising, flyers, posters, invites, TV ads etc containing:

·         Product details
·         Contact details
·         Offer details
·         Event details
·         Competition details
·         A coupon
·         Twitter, Facebook, MySpace IDs
·         A link to your YouTube video

Want to know more about QR codes? Check out www.codeitbarcodes.com