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How Will QR Codes & Their Relationship With Blockchain Transform SEO?


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Do you ever wonder what the bridge between the ‘offline’ and online media world would look like?

It looks a little something like a pixelated square box with decipherable data – but rather than awkwardly describing it, you can take a look below!

This paper-based hyperlink which connects the physical and online world is known as a Quick Response (QR) code. And for the past decade plus, it’s a form of tech that has changed the nature of information dissemination, now able to communicate anything from URL’s to entire products and services with a simple scan of your mobile’s camera.

But how does this form of information condensing, and its combination with a future-forward technology like blockchain in marketing, influence how businesses communicate to their audience?

SEO Sydney explains how QR codes, and their materialisation of real-world data built on a blockchain, are a useful SEO instrument for marketers.

What Are QR Codes?

QR codes are 2D matrix grids that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters represented by data layers of 1 or 0 (light or dark), and are used in print publications and advertisements to deliver information in a compact way by being instantaneously read. They are easy and free to generate and can be done via automatic QR-code-generating websites. These codes are not too different from traditional bar codes but they are able to contain much more information.

How Are QR Codes Used?

These codes to many peoples’ surprise are not a new invention. The QR code system was pioneered by the Japanese company Denso Wave in 1994. This system was originally used to track vehicles during manufacturing through a high-speed scanning method.

Even though these codes emerged as early as the 1990s, major reputable businesses have only just recently begun to use QR codes in advertising and promotion strategies (e.g. Mc Donald’s and Ralph Lauren).

QR codes in marketing | SEO Agency Sydney

Quick response codes allow physical advertisements such as brochures, posters and billboards to direct users to mobile landing pages that comprise of more information and interactivity on the offering than can be afforded on the printed page.

Why Use QR Codes?

These 2D codes can re-invent your SEO strategy and boost its performance, here’s how:

1)    User Convenience. QR Codes provide an easy one-step process to direct users to a website, campaign, video or other information.

2)    Increased page traffic. These codes swiftly redirect mobile phone users to a webpage and encourage people to act.

3)    Media Integration. QR Codes can be integrated with a wide range of marketing materials (e.g. print collateral, direct mail, billboards and more) to combine different information in one place.

4)    Device independent. All the web pages QR codes are linked to, can be viewed on all popular smartphone software (iOS and Android).

5)    Measurable analytics. The actions linked to QR Codes are traceable with web analytics or other tools for marketing campaign measurement.

6)  Competitive Differentiation. Companies currently employing QR codes in their marketing campaigns strategically set themselves apart from competitors as this is still perceived as an innovative strategy.

7)    Inexpensive. QR Codes cost nothing to produce and can be automatically and instantaneously generated by imputing a URL into a QR code maker.

8) Broad user demographic. Consumers of a large age group are utilising them (age group: 22-55).

These benefits best apply on shorter URLs, which are converted to lens-readable QR codes. Lengthy URLs do not facilitate scanning readability, especially when shrunk to fit a poster or print ad. This is illustrated below, with a complex QR code on the left and more simple comparison to the right.

Effective QR codes versus non-readable QR codes | Sydney SEO Agency

Now that we’ve outlined the simpler strategic functions of QR codes, let’s dive deeper.

What is the Future of These Codes? Unexpectedly, it’s in Blockchain!

Blockchain is known most for its underlying mechanism in cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, but has continually found uses in other industries, as issues of data security and autonomy become increasingly scrutinised by users concerned about credibility in online spaces. The existence of blockchain in marketing serves as a direct address of this worry, as a technology that is inherently protected against fraud or tampering.

How a blockchain works | QR Codes| Sydney SEO Agency

As in the image above – a blockchain serves as a public record or ledger, which stores a history of data or interactions based on pre-existing protocols (rules or guidelines that determine when / what information is exchanged from one to another), and can only be legitimised by being agreed upon by all participating nodes. In layman’s terms, individual changes on the blockchain aren’t possible unless a majority consensus from all members is reached, making attempts modify data for personal gain near impossible. 

Presently, QR codes are widely used for authentication, payments, contact information exchange and much more. For instance, SafeWallet the decentralised cryptocurrency wallet, is launching a new QR code-based user identification system that will replace mnemonic phrases and private keys.

So, how can this combination of tech influence search behaviour from users in the future, as well as alter the way businesses communicate products or information to their target audiences?

Maintaining Trust and Legitimacy – Blockchain in Marketing

The birds eye view of this process is the following:

QR authentication process for payment | QR codes | Sydney SEO Agency

Taken as a specific example, Wechat pay and Alipay are major players in this new form of payment which utilises QR codes. This brings the dawn of an open protocol system which is less regulated by banks, in the case of a cryptocurrency. Through utilising digital tools such as QR codes, member management of their own data is kept simple – while ensuring that its integrity stays protected by the public ledger.

WeChat and Alipay payment QR codes | Sydney SEO Agency

How Can This Function Apply to Blockchain in Marketing?

Google is an intermediate closed protocol system which ceaselessly collects and sells users’ information to advertisers and other industries. As the largest index of webpages and browsable data in the world, however, it’s near impossible to control for the legitimacy of all hosted sites – giving way to algorithm changes like the Core March Update, or 2011’s Panda Update as a means of combatting low quality content. With a blockchain’s ability to ensure credibility in information, fundamental criteria like E-E-A-T in establishing trustworthiness or authority become much more quantifiable – and measurable as a result, as a potential SEO signal that could be targeted.

Establishing this embellishment upfront can be difficult, with this being said – the idea of blockchain-enforced data security can be a highly abstract concept to describe for prospective users curious about a business’ practices or legitimacy. The use of QR codes, in this case, aims to package this concept in as user-friendly a way as possible.

Denso’s case study in integrating blockchain-built QR codes into real world products dives into this line of thought – by branding a service, practice, product or brand feature as being completely authoritative, companies would be able to build rapport with this technology by communicating its adoption in the business in SEO efforts. It’s an undeniable signal that the search engine would recognise with fundamental value – that users, who have a potential need for a brand’s services, could invest in its products with a guaranteed certainty that they will get what they pay for.  


Closing Thoughts – The Potential of Blockchain in Marketing

We are globally moving towards a blockchain based search engine (BBSE) in conjunction with an identity coin (cryptocurrency) and QR code identification system. A BBSE comes with the promise of consumer data usage as without the need of controlling or owning individuals’ information to display better and more personalised search results.

To conclude, this will signal a transformation process for numerous companies across different sectors. Numerous organisations will benefit from incorporating QR codes in their SEO strategy and marketing campaigns, as well as introducing blockchain in marketing to facilitate their daily business procedures.

For more SEO-related content, check out SEO Sydney – the experts in all things SEO today!

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