You’ve seen them before. Those weird black and white checker boards on the corner of SEPTA stop billboards, on soda bottle labels, and near the register at Starbucks. They look pixelated, like an old video game, or a piece of abstract art. The checkered image isn’t explained – it just exists, as though you should already know what it is.
These squares are QR Codes, which stands for Quick Reader Codes. What is a QR Code? QR codes are the bridge from real world to the online world.
They were invented in a car factory in Japan to keep track of cars as they were assemled. QR Codes work like bar-codes, but they can hold more information. All you need is a smart phone with a camera, and app like i-nigma, Barcode Scanner, or RL Classic, to read the code. These QR codes usually take you to the advertiser’s website, but they can be used for a wide variety of SEO strategies.
So if you have a smart phone with a camera, you can see how it works now.
If the app works, you should see this post on your phone (unless you are reading this on your phone, in which case you’ll have to try it on the nearest QR code). It’s that simple. Now, when you’re out, you can scan any interesting ad with a QR code, and get more info immediately.
The most popular use for QR Codes is to link it to your a company’s homepage, or a page giving more detailed information about the advertisement it’s on. As a business owner, you can see which advertisements bring in the most QR Code traffic. This kind of information is vital to your marketing strategy, and it’s the kind of information you never could have gathered before the internet was in everyone’s pockets. Here are 3 interesting uses for QR Codes:
- Link QR Codes directly to your Social Media pages. Take a user directly to a “like” button on Facebook, a “follow” button on Twitter, or a video on Youtube.
- Design QR Codes into a physical product, and link your customers to more information about that product, customer service, or an online store to buy more of your wares.
- Print a QR Code on a direct mailer as a call to action.
QR Codes are a great way to get potential customers to your site. Don’t leave this easy-to-use technology out of your marketing strategy.