Solar Powered QR Codes

How could you use QR codes?

Emart, sometimes called the Wal-Mart of Korea needed a way to increase traffic and sales around lunch time.  Their solution was to create a 3-D sculpture that produced shadows in the form of a QR code only at mid day.  Customers were delighted.


Google Places: Do You Hide Your Address?

Is your local business listed on Google Places? Do you serve your customers at your business location? If not, you should NOT show your address. This seems opposite to what we previously understood. Doing so will likely lower your ranking, but not doing so could get you de-listed.

On March 22nd the official Google Places Quality Guidelines were updated to include the following language:

If you don’t receive customers at your location, you must select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option within your dashboard. If you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.

For further clarification, Google defines the following business models and what you should show:

Type A
Your business is brick-and-mortar and serves all customers at its location. Show your address.

Type B
Your business is home-based and serves some customers at your home and some on the road. Show your address and use the Service Radius tool.

Type C
Your business is home-based and does not serve any customers at your home. Hide your address.

Read more:

Improve Your Ranking in Google Places

A new company, Bizible studied ranking factors in Google Places.

Top 5 Factors For Improving Ranking For Pages In Integrated Results
Integrated results are those associated with pins on the map.

1. The Places page category matches a broader category than that of the search (search for “pizza”, Places category = restaurant).

2. The search category appears in the business name (“Rocky’s Pizza” for a “Reno pizza” search).

3. The search category appears in the “at a glance” section.

4. Google reviews improved ranking. Five or more helped the most.

5. Having photos.

Other Factors For Improving Ranking For Pages That Are Not In Integrated Results

Having the search city in “at a glance”.

Having the search category or a synonym in in review content.

Having the search category or a synonym in the business description.

The primary category matches the search category.

Having a secondary business category that was a broader category than the search category. i.e. secondary category is “restaurant” when searching for “Reno pizza.”

Owner verified improved page ranking.

For more on this study:

Business Use of mobile Increasing

Business Use of mobile devices is increasing. More small businesses are using mobile and smart phones to promote their businesses and bring more customers. Even the RGJ has taken note.

4 Tips on How to Make your QR Codes Even More User Friendly

QR Codes in themselves are already user-friendly because they help your offline customers connect with a business’s online presence. By simply scanning a code they are able to connect online to a website, landing page, a video or other web presence instead of writing or memorizing a URL address. However there are some ways a business owner can make their QR Codes even more user-friendly and increase conversions.

1. Make them very visible in your offline marketing material so that they stand out and are easy to scan. For example store front stickers should be about 1 ft square or more so that they can easily be seen from a distance. If you put codes into your newspaper or magazine ads, they should be positioned in a central area of the sales copy and not off in a little corner. A QR code in itself is a call to action to do something so make sure it is not invisible and difficult to scan.
2. Make your QR Codes visually stimulating and eye-catching by using color. Instead of just sticking to the plain black and white, you can try using other colors. For example, you can use your business colors or colors that relate to the theme of your marketing message. This packs more visual punch and creates more curiosity from your customers.
3. It is always safe to assume that not everyone knows exactly what QR Codes are. Despite their obvious benefits, QR Codes have not caught mainstream attention like they have in Europe and Japan. Therefore it is best to educate people so that they know what to do when the see your QR Code. You can include instructions that explain that one needs to download a free QR Code reader from their mobile app store and then use that to scan the code using their mobile phone camera.
4. Finally one should make sure that the destination pages are mobile friendly. If your website or landing pages are not mobile friendly, it will be difficult for mobile users to read the information on their small mobile screens. The same goes for videos. Upload them to YouTube that already has mobile friendly versions of all uploads rather than just hosting the video yourself. Facebook and Twitter are already mobile friendly so any directs to them will be readable.

These 4 tips should help you make your QR Codes more user-friendly and improve your sales.

Local Marketing and QR Codes


Welcome, and I don’t understand why this looks the way it does, but I’ll go ahead anyway.

I suppose that this might seem a bit too elementary.  But, a business needs customers.  And getting customers usually entails some form of marketing.  

Do you remember when we would actually look for a business or service in the Yellow Pages?  And can you recall the last time you have actually used the yellow pages, – other that as a paper weight, that is?

Today a large portion of any marketing occurs on-line.  It may even blend online and offline techniques.  Mobile marketing is becoming a lot more important.  Customers don’t even acces the web using computers.  Their contact comes via their mobile devices, such as cell phones, and tablets, i.e. iPads.

That mobility brings another change to the business that thought that a web page might be what they need to do next.  Now the quickest way to communicate with the next prospective customer is with QR codes, a sort-of two dimensional bar code.  

I intend to cover some of the aspects of local marketing using QR codes, including the benefits and pitfalls of QR code marketing.

More on this later.

To demonstrate, scan this image using your smart phone.