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The Future of QR codes: How SiteDetour is Innovating the Industry

April 3, 2023
5 min read
Person holding a QR Code

A redirect is a tool used by websites for “rerouting” or sending a visitor to an alternative webpage. An example of a redirect would be when you type “example.com” in your web-browser, but are taken to a different website, like “new-example.com.”

URL redirects are an extremely common practice employed by webmasters and content managers to ensure visitors to their website are reaching their desired content.

When would I use a redirect?

  1. A page has been relocated within your site
    Let’s say your website has a page by the path “/t-shirts” – The “t-shirts” page has been a part of your website sitemap for years, and is one of your most frequently visited pages. Suddenly, you need to build out a more general page on your site that has t-shirts, and dress shirts. Your goal is to have the new page be accessible by a shorter, more general path, like “/shirts”. In this situation, you would want to use a URL redirect to ensure that traffic for the page “/t-shirts” is successfully rerouted to the new “/shirts” page of your website. Without a redirect in place, you could run the risk of visitors still accessing the old /t-shirts page, even though you want to drive all traffic to the new /shirts page. Due to the nature of SEO, it’s possible that there are many links throughout the Internet that still point visitors to the old URL, and it is the job of the URL redirect to ensure visitors still make it to the appropriate page.
  2. Your domain name is changing!
    Changing a website’s domain name is a drastic decision which must be handled with the utmost care. Let’s say your website has always been www.abc-brand.com. Due to a rebranding effort, you are changing your brand from “ABC” to “XYZ”, and thus your website’s URL will need to be adjusted to reflect the change. In this scenario, it would be critical that you 301 redirect all traffic requesting “abc-brand.com” to the new and improved “xyz-brand.com”. Furthermore, you would want to ensure that all pages within the abc-brand website are also redirected, like abc-brand.com/my-page being redirected to xyx-brand.com/my-page
  3. You have alternative domains that you wish to serve as “shortcuts” into your website
    It is a common practice for businesses to buy dozens of domain names that:
  • Are spelled similarly to their business name – consider “gogle.com” that redirects to google.com
  • Are variations of their name that visitors may otherwise know them as – consider “joes-tees.com” that redirects to the main business website, “joes-shirts.com”
  • Are shortened, easily typed versions of the primary domain name – consider “shirtsale2019.com” redirecting to “joes-shirts.com”. It is common to find this shorter, more memorable URL variation on physical advertisements because people are more likely to remember them. As such, a URL redirect would be used to reroute the alternative domain name to your primary domain name of your website.

How does a redirect actually work?

When you request a web-page from your browser, there is a server somewhere on the Internet that is receiving your request and responding with the appropriate content. Fundamentally, a redirect occurs when a web-server's response contains a special piece of data (an HTTP response header) instructing the browser to reroute the visitor to an alternative location.

The technical details aside, a browser works by requesting a URL and rendering the page that is returned by the website. If the website wishes the user to be redirected, the server will respond differently than if it was serving a page; it will send an extra piece of data indicating that the visitor should be redirected to a specified location.

Without going into too much of the technical details – a redirect is a behavior performed by a web-browser whenever it receives a response containing a flag (an HTTP header) to do so.

What are the types of redirects available?

301 Redirect

Commonly referred to as a “permanent” redirect.

Indicates to search-engines and web-browsers that the requested page has permanently relocated to a new location.

Note: permanent redirects are often cached by web-browsers like Chrome and Firefox. Therefore, it may be tricky to retroactively update a 301 redirects target location once it has been established. Any visitors who have already received the 301 redirect response for a URL will likely be served a cached response from their web-browser when visiting the same URL again.

Suggestion Only use a 301 redirect when you know that the target location will not change.

Common Uses

  • A 301 redirect is appropriate when a website is changing it’s domain name. In this scenario, the site should be 301 redirecting all traffic for it’s old domain name to the new website URL.
  • Another common use-case for a 301 redirect is for pages within your website that have been permanently moved to a new URL

302 Redirect

Commonly referred to as a “temporary” redirect.

Useful for general-purpose redirects within your website, where you do not want visitor’s to cache the redirect response permanently.

Suggestion Use 302 redirects for pages that have changed URL, but are subject to be updated in the future

Common Uses

  • A page is temporarily being moved to a new URL
  • Conditions where the destination location of the redirect is subject to change
  • Navigating the user away from a page during an error

307 Redirect

Uncommon due to legacy browser support

Used for technical scenarios when a visitor’s HTTP request method should be persisted when they are redirected. For example, if a user submits a form, the browser normally issues a POST request to the form’s action URL. If the server responds with a 302 redirect response, the client’s web-browser would typically issue a GET request when handling the redirect. However, if the server responds with a 307 redirect response, the client’s web-browser will POST request to the redirect destination. Please note, form-data is typically lost when redirecting via POST request.

When do I need a redirect?

The most common use-cases that would require a redirect are:

  1. Changing your domain name
  2. Restructuring website pathing, resulting in URL changes for content within your website
  3. URL shortening – having a shorter, more memorable alternative to your primary domain name.
  4. Sending traffic from additional/alternative domain names (Example: gogle.com redirects to google.com)
  5. Sending traffic from your DNS zone apex / naked domain name to your “www” sub-domain (Example: domain.com 301 redirects to www.domain.com)

Important considerations when redirecting a URL

  1. Ensure your URL supports HTTPS connections! Otherwise you may have visitors who are receiving broken links.
  2. When redirecting a specific path within your website, you may want to match paths based on a pattern or Regular Expression, as opposed to a single path.
  3. Seriously consider whether you should use a 301 or a 302, based on the information above.

As we rapidly move into the digital age, QR codes are becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday lives. They are in restaurants, on product packaging, in advertising – the list is almost endless. But as their usage becomes widespread, the need for more advanced and dynamic QR code systems grows. This is where SiteDetour comes in, revolutionizing the QR code industry with innovative solutions that make QR codes smarter, more flexible, and incredibly useful for businesses.

The Evolution of QR Codes

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, were originally designed in 1994 by a Japanese company, Denso Wave, for tracking components in automobile manufacturing. Their ability to store large amounts of data and their ease of use soon made them a hit beyond the manufacturing sector, expanding their usage into various industries.

The fundamental principle behind a QR code is simple: it's a type of barcode that, when scanned using a smartphone camera or a QR reader, provides instant access to the information embedded in it. This information typically leads to a website, but it could also be text, a phone number, or other data.

In their early years, QR codes were static, meaning the data they contained was permanent. If the owner wanted to change the information, they would need to create a new QR code. This limitation made them less flexible, but with the advent of dynamic QR codes, this all changed.

Dynamic QR Codes: A Game Changer

Dynamic QR codes are a significant step forward in the evolution of QR codes. Unlike their static counterparts, dynamic QR codes have editable content. This means that even after the QR code is printed or displayed, the owner can change the destination URL without having to create a new code.

Dynamic QR codes have dramatically expanded the utility of QR codes. Businesses can now use a single QR code for multiple campaigns, edit the URL to redirect users to different pages based on various factors, and even track data analytics to gain insight into the QR code's performance.

SiteDetour: Innovating the QR Code Industry

As the use of dynamic QR codes grows, there is a need for robust platforms that can manage these codes effectively. SiteDetour is one such platform, providing a reliable, scalable, and innovative solution for businesses.

SiteDetour offers a robust visitor targeting engine, allowing businesses to personalize QR code destinations based on various factors like geolocation, time of day, device type, and more. This level of granular control helps businesses deliver a personalized experience to their customers and maximize the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

One of SiteDetour's unique features is the ability to create an unlimited number of hosted QR codes, each capable of being continually updated to scan to new destination URLs. This flexibility empowers businesses with the ability to scan to distinct locations based on their own business rules and logic.

How SiteDetour is Making QR Codes Smarter

With the SiteDetour platform, businesses can create QR codes that do more than just link to a website. Here's how SiteDetour is making QR codes smarter:

Real-time Personalization: SiteDetour's audience builder allows businesses to customize the behavior of their QR codes based on granular targeting logic. This means that businesses can deploy personalized campaigns that deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Flexible Design and Customization: SiteDetour allows businesses to easily configure the look and feel of their QR codes. They can manage the color, appearance, and even embed their own logo within the QR code graphic. This adds a level of branding to the QR code, making it more recognizable and impactful.

Dynamic Updating: One of the most powerful features of SiteDetour is the ability to seamlessly update the underlying target URL of the QR code at any time. This means that a business can change where the QR code leads without having to change the physical QR code itself, providing an unprecedented level of flexibility and convenience.

Advanced Visitor Segmentation: SiteDetour enables businesses to segment their visitors based on various criteria like geolocation, device information, date & time of request, and much more. By understanding who their visitors are, businesses can tailor the user experience to meet their specific needs and preferences.

Real-Time Traffic Analytics: SiteDetour provides instant access to traffic trends and analysis. By understanding how their QR codes are being used, businesses can make data-driven decisions and continually optimize their marketing campaigns for better performance.

SiteDetour: The Future of QR Codes

In today's digital world, QR codes are more than just a convenience - they're a crucial part of effective marketing and customer engagement strategies. As they continue to evolve, the need for more advanced, dynamic, and versatile QR codes will only grow. SiteDetour is at the forefront of this evolution, offering innovative solutions that are changing the way businesses use QR codes.

SiteDetour's platform not only provides robust QR code hosting but also integrates with a real-time visitor targeting platform. This unique combination allows businesses to deliver highly personalized experiences to their customers, improving engagement and increasing conversion rates.

By providing tools for real-time personalization, visitor segmentation, dynamic updating, flexible design, and comprehensive analytics, SiteDetour is shaping the future of the QR code industry. Their platform empowers businesses to create smarter, more effective QR codes that drive results.

In the future, as QR codes become even more prevalent, platforms like SiteDetour will play an increasingly crucial role in how businesses engage with their customers. Their ability to provide dynamic, personalized, and data-driven QR codes makes them a critical partner for businesses looking to succeed in the digital age.

Conclusion

QR codes have come a long way since their inception, evolving from static data containers to dynamic, personalized marketing tools. With platforms like SiteDetour, businesses can leverage the full potential of QR codes, creating engaging, effective campaigns that resonate with their customers.

The future of QR codes is bright, and with innovators like SiteDetour leading the way, we can expect to see even more exciting developments in the years to come. As we look to this future, one thing is clear: QR codes are more than just a trend - they're here to stay. And with SiteDetour, they're smarter than ever.

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