Using a URL Shortener to Create a More Readable QR Code
by Jesse Park
April 6, 2011

QR Codes are a great resource to create multi-channel engagement among your intended audience.  One common and beneficial actions of QR Codes is the ability to launch a webpage. QR Codes are most easily read if there is a short URL or less characters that create a higher density of information in the code. In today’s web environment, some special landing pages have really long URLs – here is where URL shortener services come into play. There are several good URL shortening services out there that are all free including: Bitly, Tiny URL, and Google.

Any of these services work well and some like Bitly provide tracking services of shortened URLs.  Although each one is slightly different, they generally work the same:

+ Go to one of the services mentioned above and type or paste the long URL into the field box shown

+ Click “Shorten” or “Make Tiny URL” button (whatever the service uses) and presto – you have a shortened URL!

+ Copy and paste this new shortened URL into a QR Code Generator (read here to get step-by-step instructions on how to create a QR Code) to create a cleaner, more readable QR Code.

One note worth mentioning is some QR code generators have built-in options to shorten the URL allowing you to not have to go back and forth between different websites.  This will become a more mainstream thing and will be very beneficial in helping create better QR codes. However, if you want to use a tracking service for the URL shortener (like the one Bitly provides) then you still have to go through your account at the service.

More Insights to Enjoy:

+ QR Codes Are Everywhere

+ How to Create a QR Code

+ Recommended QR Code Generators and Readers

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