Top Cheap Branding Ideas

Branding is Essential for All Businesses, Here Are Some Cheap Tools

If you’re the owner of a small business or head up a local organization, you might think that branding is too expensive.  You’re probably using Word Art for a logo and comic sans font for flyers.  Professional branding is very expensive and companies that specialize in branding would have you think that it’s impossible for you to independently develop a brand.  However, that’s not the case.  I’ve gathered up some of the top cheap branding tools that will help you effectively market your business or organization.

LogoMakr

LogoMakr is a free logo making software available to anyone.  It’s a web-based program so all you have to do is click one of these links or go directly to their site.  Once you’ve reached their site, you’re ready to start designing your logo.  LogoMakr features thousands upon thousands of free clip art that anyone can use free of charge as long as they provide credit.  Additionally, for under $20, you can purchase your logo and use it without having to give credit.  LogoMakr is very easy to use and a must for any small business in dire need of a logo.

Snappa

Snappa is an online graphics design program with free and paid options.  The first few designs each month are free, however, you can pay a small monthly payment for the next few designs.  Snappa is super easy to use and the layout is very appealing.  Snappa allows users to create beautifully designed headers, graphics, and images.  These designs can be used on websites, social media, or print flyers.  Combine Snappa with a killer logo and you’re on your way to having a credible brand.

UTS T-Shirts

UTS T-Shirts is a custom t-shirt and apparel company based in Columbia, Missouri.  UTS allows users to design professional t-shirts, hats, and polo shirts using their online design program.  UTS is extremely affordable and custom gear makes any business or group look much more credible.

Coast-A-Message

A fairly new venture also based in Missouri, Coast-A-Message and their sister company Sleeve-A-Message enables any business or group to create fantastic custom designed coasters and coffee sleeves.  Using coasters in your office, at meetings, or at home.  Additionally, Sleeve-A-Message is a great idea for any breakroom.

What is SEO and Why is it so Important?

If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably come to grips that this whole internet thing is here to stay. With that in mind, your business probably has a website. If it doesn’t, good luck surviving without a website! Websites are essential to reaching your customers, providing support, and selling your products or services. Having a website isn’t as easy as throwing some text up on a flashy background. To effectively utilize a website, your website needs to look appealing, it needs to be user-friendly, and it needs to be easily accessible. The first two are the easiest. It’s fairly easy to design a basic and appealing website, however, getting the website to potential or current customers is a whole other story. How effective you are in getting your website out to customers will be determined by how you use SEO or search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization, more commonly known as SEO, is essential to distributing your businesses’ website to customers and establishing your business’ credibility.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is a free tool that, if used effectively, will drive traffic to your businesses’ website and increase its visibility on popular search engines. Search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo. By simply breaking down the phrase “search engine optimization” it’s actually fairly simple to understand SEO. Search engines, like Google, are how customers and clients search for a business or complete research. When you optimize something, you make it the best or most effective. Essentially, search engine optimization is effectively using search engines to market your businesses’ website. Though you can pay to advertise your business at the top or very bottom of Google, Bing, or Yahoo’s search engine results page, using SEO tools, you can boost your website’s visibility for free.

How to Use SEO Tools?

Using SEO tools can become a very difficult and intricate process. For most businesses, there are a few very easy tools that every can use. For example, just using consistent, unique, and smart keywords will boost your businesses’ website. Another simple and free tool is to properly use keywords and meta descriptions. A third example that’s essentially just common sense is to correctly format your businesses’ website.

After those first three very easy and free tools, it gets a lot more complicated. If you’re a very small business with a very small budget, it’s in your best interest to spend a few hours a week scouring the internet and YouTube for free courses on SEO tools. However, if you’ve got the money to spare, most businesses pay other businesses that specialize in search engine optimization, content marketing, and website optimization. Depending on how much or how little you want a firm to do for your business will determine how much you’ll pay to optimize search engine results.

Since this is just an intro to SEO, I’ll briefly explain some of the more complicated tools that can help you maximize your businesses websites with search engines. Most businesses, websites, and blogs use Google Analytics. Google Analytics not only provides businesses with detailed info about website traffic but also provides valuable information regarding keywords and demographics. A second tool is an application like MOZ. MOZ is a paid service that gives businesses owners, and website admins access to data regarding domain authority, links, and keywords. Finally, using backlinks are essential. Backlinks are links to your businesses website on websites with a high domain authority. Getting links on big time sites is always a challenge; however, sponsored content or offering something in return for using your links are an option to get links on a big time site.

I hope this quick intro will help guide you in your efforts to maximize your business’ visibility and credibility using SEO.