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Making QR Codes Campaigns Work: Creating an Optimized Mobile Site

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QR codes are very flexible that you could get it to resolve to just about any Web site, text, video and information you want it to. You could use these codes to have people download your latest applications or follow you on Twitter or Facebook or just about any other social networking site.

 

Some companies, however, made the mistake of pointing their QR codes to their company Web site. This is not a bad idea per se, but you have to make sure that your Web site is optimized for viewing on mobile phones. We have seen QR codes going directly to a Web site that is optimized only for desktop users, with too many elements that are both unnecessary and very large to fit into smaller screens.

The easiest way is to convert your existing site into a mobile site using applications such as Mobify, MoFuse or Mowser. It makes good sense, however, to still check the resulting mobile site to see if the elements are rendered perfectly on a smaller screen. Some of these application will alter images, formatting and other things on your site to make your Web site look better on handset monitors, so it’s best to check.

If you are on a tight budget, you can use Google’s service at http://www.google.com/gwt/n. The only downside is that the URL it creates is relatively longer than the usual URL… But then again, with QR codes that is NOT a problem!

However, for a more professional look and feel, you might want to design a mobile Web site from scratch. So how do you build an optimized Web site? Here are some tips.

1. Use a mobile CSS. Stylesheets are a great way to control how your pages look without having to input the codes repeatedly into the page. What’s more, you can specify different stylesheets depending on what the browser is using at the moment. A simple declaration such as instructs the page to use a different stylesheet when viewed on mobile devices.

2. Set widths in percentages. Because different mobile devices have different screen sizes, it does not make sense to use fixed width or pixels when setting width lengths. Fluid layouts ensure that your page automatically adjust to the screen size.

3. Tame down the elements. Your Web site might have ad boxes, images and a lot of other unnecessary elements. In creating your mobile site, keep the content and elements down to a minimum. With this in mind, avoid using large images in your mobile site, while text should be short and concise. You should also avoid adding interactive elements on a mobile site as requiring input from your mobile users might mean frustration on their part.

4. No Flash, please. While newer handsets have added Flash support to their arsenal of features, most of the older smartphones just cannot handle Flash content. To ensure that your mobile site reaches the widest audience possible, avoid using Flash.

5. Make links easier to click. Remember that a mobile site may be viewed on a touchscreen smart phone. It’s best to make linked text or images big enough to accommodate fingers.

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