Being able to get information quickly is becoming the trend for Americans, so it’s no question why quick response (QR) codes have exploded onto the scene. For those who are unfamiliar, these little codes were created in Japan in 1994, and they quickly spread to the U.S. because there are quite a few benefits:
- Direction: They are a great way for advertisers to direct people to a company website or social networking page. All that a consumer would need to do is take a picture of the code with his/her smartphone, and he/she will be taken directly to wherever the company set the code to go (usually a company website).
- Convenience: This eliminates the need for a pencil and paper or making consumers take a picture of the actual ad. Instead of recording the website URL, you just take a picture and you’re there. After all, who doesn’t love taking pictures?
- Cost: QR codes are also free and easy to create for businesses. By simply visiting Kaywa QR Code, a company can create a code in just a few seconds. Although you can pay for custom QR codes if you need a special size or certain amount of data, the vast majority of companies can get by just fine with the free versions.
- Creativity and Branding: There are also ways to get creative with QR codes by changing the colors and putting a logo inside the code. Some companies in Japan use huge QR codes on the sides of buildings, and authors even put them into novels for added imagery. In other words, it doesn’t always have to be advertising.
- Effective: And the best news of all: they work. According to Rev Local, “QR code scanning increased 39 percent between the first and second quarter of 2012 worldwide.” Therefore, these codes are only expected to grow more effective each and every year.
The real question, however, lies in the SEO benefit of these codes. With SEO at the forefront of many marketing department’s minds, you have to ask yourself: Will QR codes affect my SEO?
How QR Codes Affect an SEO Strategy
First, it’s important to consider what SEO really means and how the two are related. SEO is all about bringing the right people, people who are going to convert, to your company website. Because QR codes are generally used in print advertising as opposed to online advertising, it’s hard to make the case that they are helping to optimize for a search engine; however they do help you draw in the right kinds of visitors.
Second, you have to consider your website and how it will transfer to a QR code. A QR code is generated by taking into consideration the characters in your URL (or whatever it is you want to encode) as well as a rate of error correction. In less technical terms if you have a very large website, you will have a very large QR code, which isn’t desirable.
Third, it’s important to realize that if what you’re trying to encode is too large, you will not be able to shrink your code. Therefore you have to really put a lot of thought into what you are going to code. Try to put the least about of data into your code, and you should be successful. You can visit Search Engine Land to learn the specifics about making sure that your QR code is a reasonable size.
Do you feel that QR codes have helped your SEO in any way? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and while you’re pondering what to write down, check out the QR code I’ve created for this post!