Monday, May 30, 2011

Quick Response Codes: How QR Codes Can Help Bloggers Generate Additional Traffic

The Rohrschach-type blob you see at the top of my right sidebar is the permanent QR code for this blog. The significance of this feature will be addressed in this post; the idea for this post came from the Beginnings New blog, which illustrated how QR codes are being appended to stories in the New Era magazine. I've now learned that LDS Media Talk also discussed this issue on May 28th.

Search Engine Land provided an explanation of QR codes back in October 2009. They are used to take a piece of information from a transitory media and put it into your cell phone, or, more specifically, a smartphone. They are more useful than a standard barcode because they can store and digitally present much more data, including url links, geo coordinates, and text. To read QR codes, the cell phone needs a QR code reader, like this one from Kaywa. It takes about one minute for someone with an iPhone or Android phone to find and install the reader.

The two most painless ways to generate QR codes are either through the Kaywa Code Generator or the Google Url Shortener:

-- Kaywa Code Generator: The most seamless method. If you want to create a QR code for a website, select Url, type in the website address, pick the size (recommend Small if you intend to post the QR code in your sidebar), and click Generate. The QR code will be immediately presented to your left; copy-paste the code to the destination of your choice. You can also create QR codes for free text, phone numbers, and SMS.

-- Google Url Shortener: Paste your url in the indicated block, then click Shorten. Then click on Details, and the page with your QR code will appear. However, you will not get copy-paste code; instead, you have to highlight and copy the green link under the QR code and paste it into a browser. This is the only way to generate a clean QR code that can be saved as a JPG file.

You can also use Open Source code to generate codes if you have coding experience or have a smart developer on hand.

In addition to the other uses, website operators and bloggers can use QR codes to generate additional traffic in two ways:

-- Cell phone users can scan the QR code containing your url and send the url to a multitude of sources. In addition to generating a QR code for your blog, you can also generate QR codes for each individual post of your blog as well, embedding the code within the post. The following video, although in a foreign language, shows how the cell phone operator captures the QR code image:

-- Upon adding QR codes to your blog, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engines 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.

At present, QR codes are not yet widespread. But usage is increasing, and your use of them may trigger curiosity, leading to conversation and, if you operate a business, a potential sale. Others who already use QR codes may be more receptive to your presence on the Web.

The QR code for this particular post is embedded below:


1 comment:

Blogger said...

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