Most people, including you, think that QR codes are highly technical and hard to create. But that is not the case in the present. Probably it is back to the days when QR codes are just starting to be popular. There are many QR Code generator services available over the internet that can help you how to make a QR code instantly. Notably, the smartest QR code generator is Hero.link.
In this article, we will walk you through the steps of how to make a QR code. Also, we will cover essential things you should know about it. Continue reading to learn more.
What is a QR Code, and How Does it Work?
A quick response (QR) code is a two-dimensional matrix barcode that stores data. Compared to barcodes, QR codes can store more information, including text, links, contact numbers, email, contact entries, calendar entries, and more. Notably, QR codes can store up to 7089 digits or 4296 characters, including special characters. In addition, it is essential to keep in mind that the more data a QR code stores, the larger it can get and the more complex its structure is.
Each squiggle and pattern of the QR code represents binary codes. When you scan QR codes using a QR code reader, the scanner decodes the binary code and interprets the data. Because the QR code is only a data storage representation, it does not save personal information other than the location, time, and operating system used to scan the data. Nowadays, since most smartphones are powered by artificial intelligence, their camera can scan a QR code and accurately read the data embedded in them. So, smartphone users don’t have to install a separate application to scan a QR code.
Brief History of QR Code
QR code was invented by Masahiro Hara together with his team of two back in 1994. The project started when a subsidiary manufacturing company, DENSO WAVE, required to need a better, quicker, and stronger barcode innovation to process more significant amounts of characters and help in the vehicle and part tracking.
Of course, the project had faced countless problems before succeeding. One of the challenges Masahiro Hara and his team is finding a way to make a two-dimensional code be read as fast as possible without compromising the accuracy of the stored data once the location detecting pattern's form was added. The pattern has to be unique, so Hara’s team spent the first half of the project’s time experimenting with the ratio of white to black areas. After a long time of experimentation, they found out that the perfect ratio is 1:1:3:1:1.
This ratio is crucial in identifying the black and white patches in the position detection pattern that allowed the code to be read regardless of scanning angle. To make it simple, using this unique black to white area ratio allows the scanner could scan the QR code from up, down, left or right, without affecting the accuracy.
Though QR codes are initially meant for manufacturing uses, they have become an open-source technology accessible to everyone.
Nowadays, QR codes are more complex yet deliver the same function. You can now customize and be creative when creating a QR code, making QR codes stylish.
Understanding QR Code Anatomy
Admittedly, many people are reminded of static white noise seen on old TVs when they see a QR code. QR initially looks like a pixelated black and white image. However, each square you can see in a QR code is a marker that serves an essential purpose in the code's information-sharing capabilities. Here are the critical parts of a QR code and their respective functions
- Positioning detection markers
-also known as the finder pattern, these three identical structures are located at the three corners of the QR code. Each pattern is built on a 3x3 matrix of black modules bordered by white modules surrounded by black modules. The Finder Patterns allow the decoder program to detect the QR Code and establish its orientation.
-alignment markings aid the decoder software in adjusting for minor visual distortions. Notably, more alignment patterns are added depending on the size of information encoded in the QR code.
-this alternating black and white modules in the QR code is critical in accurately configuring the data grid. These lines enable the scanner to determine the size of the data matrix.
-also known as format information, this section is consists of 15 bits and is placed near the position detection markers. This section stores information about the error tolerance level of the QR code. It also contains the masking pattern. This section also helps the scanner to scan the QR code instantly.
Data and error correction keys
-this part of your QR code is where all your data are stored. This section is also composed of error correction keys that allow the scanner to read the codes even up to thirty percent of the code is damaged.
The Quiet Zone
If you think this part of your QR code is useless, you are entirely mistaken. This white space in the edge of your Qr code offers structure to the code and optimizes its readability. The quiet zone is vital for the scanning device to distinguish the QR code from its surroundings.
Static Vs. Dynamic QR Code
QR codes come in various types. Though their appearance differs from each other, they all function in the same way. However, the most common type of QR code is the original version. Most businesses use this type of QR code. This version of Qr code is further divided into two types: static and dynamic QR codes.
Static QR Code
Static QR code, as the name suggests, stores fixed information. This means that the data encoded in this type of QR code are uneditable once the code is generated. Static QR codes are most suitable for personal use and are commonly used in employee IDs, event badges, and much more.
In addition, since they are hard-coded and cannot be altered, Static QR codes are not ideal for marketing. Notably, the Static QR code does not track scan information and will redirect the user to one URL only. Also, Static QR codes are typically very dense and are harder to scan.
Dynamic QR code
Meanwhile, Dynamic QR codes are editable. So, you can alter, update and edit the information stored in them. In addition, dynamic QR codes are less dense and are easier to scan than the static type. Dynamic QR codes also allow you to track data and change your URL or content at any moment, saving you time and money on printing.
While static Qr codes directly store fixed data, dynamic QR codes instead have a short redirection URL assigned to them. It means that the size of the date you will encode in a dynamic code will not affect its scale.
Dynamic Qr codes are pretty standard in optimizing marketing campaigns. It is because they can track and measure your campaign’s statistics, which is vital in marketing. Employing dynamic codes in your campaign allows you to determine when, where, and with what device a scan took place.
Why Use QR Codes?
Many businesses are already employing QR codes in their marketing campaigns, and it is for a reason. Here are some of the reasons why you should start employing QR codes in your marketing.
You can use QR codes in countless ways. This is one of the primary reasons why these interactive codes are almost everywhere. They can encode everything from basic business cards to complicated touchless payment systems. They also power WiFi authentication, event registration, and ordering systems.
When you understand a QR code, you'll see that the format is a bit of a blank slate. With QR codes, you can encode almost anything and send them to your audiences. Furthermore, the small size of the QR code makes it ideal for campaigns with limited space, such as brochures, infographics, and other offline and online adverts.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. QR code not only allows you to multiply your content but also enhances the quality of your content. By linking your audience to a landing page of rich content, you can ensure that your campaign is engaging and of high quality. Include images and videos on the landing page of your QR code, and you can surely see higher engagement from your audience.
In addition, QR codes make it convenient for people to access your page, which contains promotional rich media. Hence, they are more likely to interact and scan the Qr codes in the adverts you deployed. Further, this will give your business more leads and higher revenue.
Many businesses are spending a large amount of money with their printed campaigns like brochures, catalogs, ads, and signage. But, using a QR code to help, you cut off most of these expenses. Instead of printing bulk materials that cost you a lot, replace them with a QR code that redirects your probable customers to the same content. And since you can update and replace the content on the landing page, you do not have to invest too much time and money to provide the audience with fresh and new content.
.Every non-confidential detail of the people who scanned your QR code is tracked and recorded. This data will give you a clearer vision of who to target, when to target them, and where. So, you can ensure that you are walking on the right path. It will also increase the conversion rate of your campaigns as you can retarget these people as they already show interest in your products.
QR code tracking data also allows you to make a better change in your marketing. By looking closely at how your audiences typically interact with your encoded contents, you can determine the best way to drive them to make a pleasant action.
.Printed media is an excellent way to introduce your brand to the public. However, one of the most significant downsides of using offline media is its lack of interactiveness. It is the reason why QR codes are widely used in printed campaigns. Include a QR code in your printed adverts to make it easier for people to access your content. You can redirect your audience to a page on your website that contains deals, content, or rich media like video tutorials and more.
How to Make a QR Code?
Many people think it is complicated to create a Qr code, but that is not the case. The QR code creation process is actually simple. It is thanks to many excellent QR code generator services, including Hero.link. Without further ado, here’s the process on how to make a Qr code.
Step 1: Select a QR code service.
There are various QR code generator services out there. But you should choose the QR code generator service that is compatible with most QR code mobile applications.
Besides QR code readability and compatibility, it is also crucial to determine whether a tool you want to use can accurately track your QR codes’ engagement. As always said by many marketers, a statistic is useless if it is not accurate.
If you also require a link shortening service, it is best to know if your links shortening service also offers QR code generator features. Some Link engagement services like Hero.link also allows you to create and customize your own QR code for your marketing needs.
Step 2: Decide on the content you are promoting.
Once you already have a QR code generator service, your next step should be deciding on the type of content you want to show your audience once they scan the code.
You can encode several types of content in your QR code, including images, texts, social media profile links, app download links, contact details, URLs, and more.
Step 3: Enter your data.
After selecting the type of content you want to promote, a field or form will appear where you can type in the details of your content.
For instance, if you choose to promote your contact details, you will be prompted with a set of fields where you can enter your email address, phone numbers, associated message, and more, depending on the service you are using.
Typically, if you promote an online page, you just need to paste the link to your destination page.
Note that the data you should enter in your QR code should match the purpose of your campaign.
Step 4: Customize your Codes
Once you have entered all your necessary data and granted the tool to generate a QR code, you will have a typical black and white QR code. But, it should not be the end of your creation process.
You can opt to customize your QR code. You can change its color so it will match your brand or the theme of your campaign. You can also add a call-to-action extension design to your Qr code so it can be more effective.
You may also add a logo to your QR code so that it will become one of your brand’s assets.
Note that some customization may affect the readability of your QR codes. So, it is better to generate an uncustomized version to have a backup if the custom QR code is not working.
Step 5: Run a QR code test
In everything that you do, an error may occur. So, it is best to run a test before the actual implementation. It is the same when it comes to QR codes. You can check if your QR code is working just by simply scanning it using your mobile device. If the code is successfully scanned, then it is working.
The next thing you should check is the information it will show you. It is a must to ensure that the QR code will show accurate information. You may not want to waste advertising campaigns just because you did not check if the QR code shows accurate content.
5 Best Practices in Utilizing QR Codes
- Add a Call to Action
Adding a clear call to action is the best practice every marketer should not forget.
Since there are a lot of QR codes out there, make sure that your audience will understand the function of your code. So make sure to include a context to your QR codes by putting in a call to action to your QR code which will help the audience have a clear expectation of the landing page.
For instance, if your QR Code links your target to a content or a deal, you can put a call to action like “Scan to Learn More.” It will help them understand what they should expect when they scan your QR code.
Notably, QR codes with a clear call to action generate more scans. It is due to the fact that people hate wasting their time scanning a random QR code, which they do not recognize what is for. But, through a call to action, the audience gets to know if the content of your QR code interests them and is most likely to scan the code consciously.
- Optimize Your Landing Page’s Mobile View
One thing is for sure; people will scan your code through their mobile devices. No one has too much time to scan the QR code through a desktop. So, you must optimize the mobile view of your landing page.
You may not want to lose your probable lead for revenue just because your landing page is not optimized for mobile access.
- Add Logo to Your Code
Every time you will put a QR code in your adverts is a branding opportunity. So make sure to customize your QR code to make it a part of your brand.
Adding your logo to your QR code helps your audience be confident that your QR code is legitimate and is safe to scan.
In addition, on-brand QR codes generate more scans than regular QR codes. It also has a higher conversion rate.
- Track Progress
Tracking your QR code’s progress will help you determine whether your campaign is succeeding or failing. This will provide you with information on the performance rate, allowing you to make necessary changes or better future projects.
Tracking the QR codes you've created provides you with plenty of metrics that aid in your understanding of QR code scanning activity. You'll be in a great position to respond to it if you have such rich and real-time data. That entails making adjustments and improving the performance of your QR codes.
In addition to making adjustments to your campaign materials, it will also help you understand your audience better. It provides you with a safe amount of information about people who show interest in your services or products. This will help you maximize the conversion rate of your adverts by giving you a clearer vision of whom to target, when to target, and where to target them.
- Run a QR Code Test
For sure, you don’t want to render your adverts and campaigns useless due to not working QR code or landing page. So, it is a must for you to run a QR code test.
One of the handiest aspects of doing a QR code test is that you can immediately determine whether or not a QR code is functioning or working by simply scanning it. If your code works well, you can confidently employ it in your adverts.
If you are to make some changes to your landing page, it is still vital to retest your QR code regardless of how minimal your changes are. It will help you determine whether the changes affect the code scannability and the overall look of your landing page.
Here are some of the questions you can ask to guide you in testing your QR codes.
- Does your QR code scan smoothly, given that you followed the QR code design guidelines?
- Does it scan from the distance I specify (in the instance of putting QR codes on billboards)?
- Is it leading to the accurate information you've entered?
- Is it functional when scanned with different devices?
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about QR codes answered.
What is a QR code?
A QR code is an abbreviation for Quick Response code. It functions similarly to a bar code but may store far more information. It's a two-dimensional data matrix, not a series of bars, and it can carry up to 7,089 numeric characters or 4,296 alphanumeric characters. As a result, they are far more adaptable than ordinary bar codes.
Where did QR codes come from?
Masahiro Hara and his two-person team devised the QR code in 1994. The project began when DENSO WAVE, a subsidiary manufacturing firm, needed a better, faster, and more robust barcode innovation to handle more significant characters and aid in a vehicle and part tracking.
Is it safe to use a QR code?
Yes, QR codes are safe. However, spammers and hackers can use them to link people to a malware-infected website, so it’s a good idea to be smart about the QR codes that you are scanning. If they seem to be from a questionable source, treat them like any other unknown link!
For marketers, it is best to customize and add a logo to your QR codes. It will help you generate more scans as they look more trustworthy and legitimate.
What are the benefits of using QR codes?
QR codes offer a wide range of practical applications. You may utilize the feature for more convenient purchasing experiences, while businesses rely on QR codes as a cost-effective approach to communicate with their target audience.
And since QR codes are highly flexible, marketers can employ them in many ways in many of their campaigns--whether offline or online. In addition, employing QR codes in your marketing campaigns also allows you to track their effectiveness. It also helps you understand your audience well by providing their non-confidential info, including demographic profiles. This date will help you leverage your marketing campaign and determine the necessary changes you should employ.
Can I create my QR code?
Yes, there are a lot of online tools that will help you create your own QR codes. Note that most free QR code generators only allow you to generate QR codes and not customize them. We recommend using the smartest QR Code online tool that allows you to customize your own QR code for marketers.
How flexible are QR codes?
QR code’s flexibility is the primary reason why many marketers opt to utilize it in most marketing campaigns. They have a built-in error correction feature, which allows you to be creative in creating your QR code without compromising its scannability. And so, you can customize your QR codes to match them with the theme of your campaigns. Notably, some of the common ways to make QR codes are changing their color and adding a logo to them.
How can I track a QR code?
There are two ways you can track your QR codes. The first is through your QR code service provider. Most QR code provider has a built-in analytics tool that allows you to track the performance of your generated codes. Most QR code generators only give you access to the tracking records if you subscribe to their premium plan.
The second way to track your QR codes is through Google Analytics. You can set a UTM parameter to the custom you will encode to your QR code. The UTM parameter you set enables Google to record every scan details of your codes, which you can access through the Google Analytics dashboard.
What sorts of businesses use QR codes?
Literally, all businesses can utilize QR codes. Since QR codes are versatile, you can employ them in your marketing or day-to-day business processes. For instance, marketers typically employ QR codes to direct the audiences to a web page or an online shop page. Meanwhile, offline businesses like restaurants use QR codes to replace their printed menus. QR codes can be used in many ways by many businesses of all niches.
Can a QR code have errors?
Not all QR Codes can be scanned successfully. If you encounter problems when scanning a QR code, you may occasionally alter your reader's error correction rate; however, most readers automatically error correct up to a maximum of 30%. Errors can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
-Codes that are huge or extremely little
-Codes from a long distance
-Codes that have been smeared or otherwise disfigured
-Codes with an excessive number of design elements
If your code is having issues, consider eliminating any design aspects and starting from scratch. If you want to be creative with your QR code design, continue to test your codes via trial and error until you find the right combination of design and usefulness.
How are QR codes structured?
The main reason for the complexity of QR codes is the wide range of relevant details encoded in them. Qr codes contain information about versions and formats, data and error correction keys, timing and position patterns, as well as the quiet zone. This information represented through pixels plays a crucial role in the accuracy and scannability of the code.
Should You Start Using QR Codes for Your Business?
QR codes integration into ordinary human activities is constantly increasing year after year. With the advancement of technology, you as a business owner now have more alternatives and flexibility in progressing your marketing. It also demonstrates that it is unlikely to become outdated anytime soon, rendering all of your enhancements antiquated. It will only be a matter of time until everyone realizes they need to learn how to scan them.
With all the benefits QR codes can offer, it is sure to bring a massive impact to your business. It helps you simplify things, which will help you increase your potential leads for higher revenue. And it does not require you much training or investment. QR codes are one of the valuable marketing tools you can employ to help you catapult your business and marketing plan.
Suppose you need to create a QR code to employ in your campaigns, do not hesitate to use the smartest and most powerful tool, a.k.a Hero.link. Get Started today and learn more about our QR codes and short links services.