Getting creative. Making the most of your Vividloom logo.

Using Vividloom to create a free logo is really simple. We’ll start by generating a few ideas for you based on your company name and the industry you work in. You can then pick your favorite and if you feel we are not one hundred percent there yet, we’ll generate hundreds of variations for you. You can customize fonts, shapes and colors. Next, we’ll look at the finer details and customize the logo until it is exactly what you are looking for. That’s it. You’re done. In three easy steps, boom, you have a logo!

Ok, but if it’s so easy, it means anyone can do it. So how can I take my logo to the next level? How can I use Vividloom to get that edge on my competition? Isn’t that what a designer is for?

Because your logo is the primary symbol of your identity, we know how important it is to get it just right. We appreciate designers and the amount of time and practice they put into understanding and applying the principles of good design. It’s complicated stuff and takes years to learn and master. We also know that you might not always have the time to find a designer. Sometimes it’s a case of time or budget.

It’s a daunting task for any business owner to have to learn color theory, design elements and principles, composition and hierarchy, typographic theory and stylization in order to create their own logo. Therefore, to make things a little easier, we’ve put together a condensed version of some of the most important things to consider when designing your logo on Vividloom, in order to give your logo that extra je ne sais quoi. Here are our top five tips:

Rotate it

This is something that even most designers don’t always think about. A logo’s symbol can be a powerful visual, but it needn’t be ‘the right side up.’ Sometimes, a gentle nudge or turn can help balance your logo, creating symmetry or just make it feel right. This is especially worth trying if your symbol is circular in shape! Think of Pepsi’s symbol and how it is slightly rotated to the left. It just gives the logo that something extra.

Scale it

Another good one it to think about proportion. Specifically, the proportion or ratio of your text (wordmark) to the symbol. Often, we see creators scaling either the wordmark or the symbol up too much and so engulfing the other element. A good rule of thumb is that the symbol is usually larger than the wordmark. Also, you’ll want to work in thirds. So, the wordmark would be two thirds the size of your logo (or just slightly less). This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it is something to consider if your logo will need to work at smaller sizes (as an app thumbnail, for example).

Position it

Layout and hierarchy are often tricky principles to get right, but they are also immensely important aspects in any logo arrangement. Typically, the logo’s symbol is positioned either on top or to the left of the wordmark. However, a logo’s symbol does not always need to follow this layout. A handy trick is to think about the concept behind your logo and brand. For example, if you’re a deep-sea diving company (let’s say your brand name is ‘Down Under’) it could be a neat idea to position the symbol under the text. Maybe you’re a meditation brand named ‘Soul Calm.’ Perhaps balance and symmetry are important values to your brand. In this case, why not try to place the symbol between the words, soul and calm.

Stack it (or don’t)

This is another layout consideration. This time, let’s take a moment to consider where your logo will ultimately be displayed. If your company operates primarily online, you’d need to consider how your logo would function in both horizontal and vertical formats, for both desktop and mobile views. Think about it, if your logo is designed in such a way that it can only be displayed in a horizontal format, it might take up too much space on your home page in mobile view. On the other hand, if it only works as a ‘stacked’ logo (we use this term to mean a logo with the symbol atop or below the wordmark), it is going to make the header of your desktop site too high and thus take up an unnecessary amount of space. For this reason, we recommend ‘unlinking’ your symbol and wordmark, so that it can work either horizontally or as a stacked logo.

Color it

We’ve left the best for last! Color is arguably the most important aspect of any logo (or design for that matter). What’s more, the human eye can see and distinguish between over 10 000 000 colors. This is incredible, but it can also make choosing the appropriate colors for your brand difficult.

Colors have meaning but they also evoke emotion. For example, red represents good luck in China, whereas in South Africa, it’s a color of mourning. Moreover, in the U.S., red is often used to stimulate our taste buds. Red is also a very intense color and is often used to evoke love, passion or anger. On the other hand, greens and blues generally tend to be more calming and typically represent health, growth and serenity. Yellow is considered a happy color (kids usually gravitate toward yellow) unless you’re in Germany, where it might suggest greed or envy.

Another aspect to color is how to pair colors in a harmonious way. There are so many ways to approach this, but we’ll give you a few things to consider.

First of all, work with different color harmonies. You can stick to a monochrome (one color) logo like Starbucks, Target, AirBnB or Yahoo!, or try to introduce a neutral color (blacks, whites, greys or beiges) as a secondary color to ground the primary color (think of Nikon, KFC, BMW and Amazon). If you’re trying to communicate fun, creativity or playfulness, you could make use of primary colors (red, blue, yellow and sometimes green) like Google, PlayStation and Microsoft. Alternatively, you could go for complimentary colors (colors that sit at opposite ends of the color wheel if you’re looking to create a bold or striking logo like FedEx or Firefox (Complimentary colors pair either red and green, blue and orange or yellow and purple). Or, work with analogous colors (colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel) if you’d prefer to go for something more harmonious, calming and modern like Calm or Headspace (analogous colors couple reds and oranges, oranges and yellows, yellows and greens, greens and blues, blues and purples or purples and reds). There are many other options, with brands such as NBC and Instagram even embracing a spectrum of color.

There are of course many other things to consider when designing your logo on Vividloom. Because the number of options are endless, it can get overwhelming. However, if you stick to the simple tips mentioned above, you’ll no doubt end up with a solid, well-designed logo.

All that’s left to do is to get stuck in and have fun creating your logo!


10 Differences Between Old & New Link Building Techniques

When it comes to building links to your website, things have changed. A few shifts have been gradual; others have been immediate, drastic, and revolutionary. In its quest to produce highly relevant results through a variety of algorithms, Google has been changing the link-building demographic online… and that, in turn, has affected the way we go about building links.

We’ve moved from directories to guest blogging and other new approaches, so it’s discouraging to observe some SEO people who still pursue many of the old tactics. And it’s not just about a few outdated techniques; it’s also about how a new method should be applied because that affects the way Google understands and ranks your website for the keywords you target.

At its core, links still power the rankings. That much is clear, and it’s going to stay that way for a long time.

How you build links is what is going to matter. That’s why we need to make sure we know the blaring differences between the old-school and the new techniques of link building.

1: The philosophy of anchor text and keyword phrases

In the past, anchor texts that were going to link back to your website were mostly keyword phrases that you were targeting. If you were looking to rank your website at the top for something like “budget seo seattle,” you sought links from a variety of websites, and the anchor text on every one was going to be “budget seo seattle.”

That was an easy way to game the system, so Google put a bullet through it. We now know that if your keyword phrase is used as the anchor text in a lot of different places, you’re going to trigger a flag for unnatural links in the algorithm, and your rankings will likely fall.

This doesn’t mean this old tactic has to go out the window. You’ve got to vary the anchor text while keeping it relevant. The optimal percentage for a particular keyword phrase as anchor text is unknown, and is probably a moving target. But I’d recommend no more than 2% of your total inbound link profile having the same keyword-rich anchor text.

2: Quantity / quality of the backlink

Google’s link tracking algorithm started out as a simple, yet smart tool to assess the importance of a website. Count the number of links pointing to this source; if it’s high, this means the website is recommended, credible, and trustworthy.

Again, this was an easy thing to game. Despite having made several changes to the algorithms, it still remained a burning point that the quantity of backlinks matters. At this point, it still does.

But what matters far more is the quality of each of the links you earn. This has been a fact of the algorithm for a good while, but it’s only now — in response to things like AuthorRank and Panda updates for content analysis — that the quality of the links is being analyzed more strongly.

3: Context [or lack of it]

Until recently, you could publish 40 articles on Ezinearticles or any other reputed article directory, and in the next few hours, your ranking would shoot up. Google has fixed that to make sure that kind of gaming doesn’t happen. That has caused the decline of article directories, but the deeper message here is context.

If you run a flower shop website, it makes sense that you would naturally get mentioned on websites that address flowers and flower shops. If you are also able to secure links from a real estate company that ranks high for a lot of real estate-related keywords, that shouldn’t make your website an authority.

This lack of context was once the rule, and people were able to use this lapse to secure high-quality backlinks and rank high for no good reason. That has changed. Google has built smarter tools to value links that come up from related, contextual websites rather than those from an unrelated niche website.

4: Artificial /unnatural links

Google’s Penguin updates almost killed paid links. The artificiality of paid links is one of the main reasons such tactics don’t survive very long.

An artificial link is a backlink you’ll get on websites that do link exchanges. A natural link, on the other hand, is one that crops up in a piece of content that the website publishes. Incidentally, people do try to buy links and make them natural (and this is what the subsequent algorithm updates will be looking to fix).

But for the moment, it’s clear that Google values links that appear amid rich content — in other words, natural links.

5: Using the brand

When referring to Google+, Eric Schmidt once quipped that anonymity is not really good in the world of search and social features (like Author Rank, for instance). The idea applies to your brand too, especially when you are linking back to your website from a variety of places.

Google is also looking for brand names as anchor text so they can figure out who’s the actual authority being mentioned. In the past, this really didn’t matter, but today, if your link-building strategy doesn’t include ways to procure valuable links that contain your brand’s name, you could get yourself in trouble for unnatural or manipulative link building.

6: Authority

This point resonates with #2, but when speaking about quality, what truly matters is the authority of a website that has a link pointing to yours. Quality of the linking website has always mattered, but now it matters more.

What’s even more important is the authority it has in a particular niche. While this has something to do with quality, we do see a lot of websites with comparatively thin content and low value enjoying the status of a niche authority. It can be strategic to take these authority websites into account with your link building strategy.

7: [Lack of a] social angle

In the past, social was regarded as useful for nothing more than a potential viral hit or for namesakes. Things have changed so much recently that Google and other search engines are now acknowledging that social is a strong measurement for a variety of values like authority, popularity, relevance, and most important, quality.

If your link building strategy doesn’t leverage things like retweets, shares, mentions, and the general social angle, it probably won’t negatively affect you, but it does mean you’ll be missing opportunities to rank higher. In competitive niches, this could mean the difference between winning and losing.

8: Less is more

Older algorithms that dealt with links didn’t usually discount spam links, but Google has since come down harshly on these links. In the past, link builders only had to worry about bringing in as many quality links as possible; today, you’ve got to be very careful about who links back to you. Spam links can get you banned even though you might not have generated those links at all.

Tools like the Link Disavow Tool have been introduced to give you a strong defense against spam links and spam link-building practices. No one really thought it would come to this, but it’s a blaring difference between old and new link building strategies. “Less is more” is definitely the philosophy to adopt when you’re building quality links.

9: PageRank means relevancy

It’s not entirely clear how important PageRank is these days, especially since there’s been a lot of chatter about PageRank facing retirement in the near future. And in this context, while SEO experts used to look at PageRank to judge whether it was worth getting a link back from a particular website, that attitude has completely changed. (If you’re still doing it, now’s the time to switch.)

Since the focus is now on quality and authority, along with social signals, the traditional PageRank approach to link building can be a waste of time. Today it’s more useful to look at the authority and the community around a website before zeroing in on it to “earn” link-backs.

10: Building versus earning

Perhaps the most conclusive comment would be what Rand Fishkin said about today’s link-building practices. It’s no longer a matter of link “building”; that sounds artificial and forced. Today’s link-building techniques are link-“earning” techniques: there’s more of a natural flavor to the activity as opposed to the older, artificial methods.

Basically, you can sum this up in two concepts:

1) produce something really, really useful; and

2) embrace the community of users, consumers, competitors, and other players in your niche

This way, you’ll earn links naturally, and find your brand mentioned in articles, reviews, and elsewhere.


How to Analyze User Behavior on Your Site for Better Conversions

Conversions are the bottom line for most online businesses. Search engine optimization can get you traffic, social media marketing can strengthen your brand relationships, and content marketing can filter leads, but if none of those readers and visitors convert, you’re stuck without a line of revenue. In some cases, it’s better to have a low amount of traffic with a high percentage of conversions than a high volume of traffic and a nonexistent conversion rate.

But the best-case scenario is always high traffic volume and a high rate of conversion, and this guide is designed to help you achieve that goal. A low conversion rate could be a symptom of any number of fundamental problems, usually at the design level or with the navigability at your site, but the only way to improve that conversion rate is to pinpoint the root of the problem, and for that, we need data on user behavior.

Getting the Traffic

The more data you have to work with, the more accurate your analysis will be. Getting a decent flow of traffic is going to be your first step if you’re starting from scratch.

Once you have a month of data or more to analyze, you can start looking at user behavior to determine the obstacles that are preventing user conversions.

Define Your Conversions

There are several different “types” of conversions—for example, an e-commerce site might define a successful conversion as someone who purchases a product, but a B2B service-based company might define a successful conversion as someone filling out a contact form. However you define your conversions, you can set up a way to track it in Google Analytics.

Head to the Admin tab, and click on “Goals” under the View tab. Here, you’ll be able to create, track, and manage goals within the system. There are several pre-formed templates you can use to define user conversions, such as “place an order” for e-commerce sites, or “create an account” for sites that require signup. You can create as many goals as you’d like within the system, and access them to determine your actual conversion rates.

Under the Reporting tab, you can access your Goal data under the Conversions header on the left-hand side. You can even set a goal value and determine how much revenue or potential revenue your conversions are winning you.

This data will objectively tell you whether your conversion goals are being met. Different companies can expect very different conversion rates, so what constitutes a low conversion rate for you may not constitute a low conversion rate for a different industry.

Still, conversion rates can always go higher, and your user behavior data should be able to give you some direction on how to improve your campaign.

Behavior Flow

The Behavior Flow section (found under the Behavior header in Google Analytics) will give you the most insight into how your average user navigates your site. It might look a little complicated at first, but if you work with it long enough, you’ll start to easily derive meaningful patterns. For example, you could find that your average user starts out on your home page, travels to your blog, and then eventually finds his/her way to a signup form for your email newsletter.

The Behavior Flow can tell you whether or not something is wrong with your traffic funnel. For example, let’s say your content marketing strategy is strong, and you rely on the authority and value of your content to convince people to ultimately convert. Most of your conversion lead-ins are found in the content of your blogs. Therefore, if your Behavior Flow demonstrates that most of your traffic comes into the homepage and leaves without ever visiting the blog, you need to close the gap by connecting your home page to your blog, or by stepping up you calls to conversion on the home page.

Audience Overview

First, I’m going to assume that you’ve already performed enough market research to reliably know who your core target audience is. The entirety of your site—especially your calls to action—should be written and designed toward this target demographic. If you haven’t done this, you might want to start.

Otherwise, let’s say you have a great understanding of your target audience. Head to the Audience header in Google Analytics and check out the Overview and Demographics subheadings. Here, you’ll be able to get a good idea of the types of users who are visiting your site, including age, gender, and geographic location. If these metrics don’t match your target audience, you’ve just found your conversion disconnect. You can correct this by altering your traffic acquisition strategies or by revisiting your core target audience, and realigning it closer to your actual traffic makeup.

Heat Maps

This is especially useful for dedicated landing pages. If you’re interested in seeing where your users are looking on your site, a heat map can tell you. For example, the heat map at Crazy Egg will demonstrate exactly where your users are scrolling and hovering their mouse pointers, giving you an indication of whether your landing page is capturing any relevant attention.

If your users aren’t paying much attention to your signup fields or your call to action, it could be because your call to action isn’t prominent enough. Try embellishing it with bolder colors, a bigger size, or even a series of pointing arrows to emphasize its presence. Conversely, if users seem to see everything on your page, it could be that your offer isn’t strong enough to encourage conversion. Experiment with changing up your offerings, such as adding an additional free gift or discount in exchange for a successful signup.

User Surveys

There are a handful of factors that could affect user conversion that have nothing to do with the behavior data you can find in Analytics. For example, if your design is hard on the eyes, users could be instinctively turned away. If your form contains too many fields to fill out, users might be too apathetic to bother filling them all out.

If you’ve already reviewed the best practices for landing pages and conversions, the best way to pinpoint your disconnect is to conduct a handful of user surveys. Pull a handful of select users—perhaps customers you already know well—and ask them to go through the typical web visit process. Ask them what they like and don’t like about their experience, and use that qualitative data to make adjustments to your strategy from there.

Raising your conversions rates is one of the best digital strategies you can implement. If you’re successful, you’ll essentially increase the dollar value of every web visitor you earn. With a solid conversion rate under control, all you’ll need to do is gradually ramp up your content and inbound marketing strategies, and your revenue will grow proportionately.


10 Types of Social Media Posts That Convert Followers to Customers

There is a wide range of opinions on the practicality of social media marketing. There are the social media loyalists, who insist that social media marketing is the most innovative and important new marketing medium around, there are the naysayers who insist that social marketing is a fad and no real business would use it, and there are countless gray-area business owners in between.

It’s inappropriate to view social media as an all-or-nothing platform. Simply claiming an account and doing nothing won’t help you a bit. Posting regularly and engaging with your audience can help you build a following—but what then? What is the value of having 10,000 Twitter followers or 10,000 Facebook likes if none of those followers end up making purchases with you?

In order to capture true value from your followers, you’ll have to take further action. You’ll have to make the types of posts that engage your followers directly and call them to action on your website:

1. The Product Highlight.

The product highlight is one of the simplest types of converting posts you can take advantage of, and it’s one of the first most businesses consider. The format of your highlight is up to you, but the function of the post is to introduce a new product or service to your follower base and highlight the most important elements of it. For example, if there’s a new dress available on your e-commerce platform, you can post a flattering picture of it and briefly describe the unique benefits of the dress. It’s a way of making a direct appeal to your users, and attracting those who otherwise might not see the individual products you sell.

2. The Consumer Review.

If you have any followers who like your brand but haven’t made a purchase, a consumer review can push them over the edge. In socially connected digital world, the highest level of trust a brand can achieve is the approval of a peer. For example, if a follower sees one of his/her friends post a review of a given product on social media, he/she will be far more likely to make a purchase. On your own social media profiles, you can use this to your advantage—cultivate real user reviews, and post clips of them to your audience directly!

3. The Exclusive Discount.

Exclusivity is a powerful tool for two reasons. First, it makes the deal seem better, simply because fewer people have access to it. Second, it makes each of your followers feel more connected to the brand, like a clique. Your exclusive discount doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary—something like 10 percent off can be just as effective as anything else. The key is to let your users know it’s an exclusive deal, and not provide that offer through any other channels. This post will call your users to immediate action, and increase their loyalty to the brand simultaneously.

4. The Special Offer

The special offer is similar to the exclusive discount, but there are many more options you can play with. For example, you can offer a free sample product to new fans in exchange for filling out a brief questionnaire. This is a common Facebook tactic that gets people to submit their information, ultimately resulting in a conversion (if acquisition of information qualifies as a conversion for your company) in exchange for something small. If your conversion goals are more tied to actual purchases, you can use something like a “buy one, get one free” offer to attract more purchases.

5. The Giveaway.

The giveaway is another tactic that has a dual effect on your conversion rates. The setup for the giveaway is up to you, but the bottom line is that you’re going to give away something valuable for free to one or more of your social media followers. You’ll select these winners from a pool of participants. It will cost a bit of money to front the giveaway item, but there are two critical effects for this type of post: first, you’ll get people more engaged with the brand. By taking action in a giveaway-style scenario, they’ll feel more connected to the brand and they’ll be more likely to take action in the future. Second, seeing the giveaway item will prompt people to purchase one for themselves once they learn they haven’t won.

6. The Social Incentive.

The social incentive can work in the context of other social posts—for example, it could work in conjunction with the giveaway or with the exclusive discount. But the goal here is to get your users to share one of your central posts. Hashtags are a useful tool for this, but the mechanism for social sharing is up to you. Getting your customers to engage your brand through social sharing will make them more likely to take action in the future, and will also serve as peer validation that makes your brand more trustworthy to other followers.

7. The Call to Need.

Rather than doting on a specific product or leading people to a specific page, sometimes it’s more advantageous to speak to a specific customer need. Look at why your customers would want a product rather than what they would want—and you can use user surveys to uncover this information. However you go about it, address the need specifically in your post. For example, if you’re selling windshield wiper blades, rather than showcasing the highlights of your new wiper blades, you can introduce them with something like “Are your wipers leaving streaks in the rain?”

8. The Individual Callout.

Another way to prompt users to action is to call them out on an individual basis. If a follower responds to something you’ve posted, show your appreciation for it. If a follower comments on your page and shows interest in a specific product, give them more information. Giving that level of personal attention looks great for your brand, and will go far to help drive users to finally make a purchasing decision.

9. The Time-Sensitive Deal.

The time-sensitive deal is exactly what it sounds like. When your followers feel like they’re under the pressure of the clock, they’re going to be more driven to action. Sales that last 24 hours or products that are only available for a week can immediately drive more traffic and more conversions—the trick is to post about the deal progressively, so your users can see the time actively running out.

10. The Content Pass-Off.

Of course, the power of conversion doesn’t rest solely on social media. For many business owners, it’s easier to write content that leads to a conversion onsite. If that’s the case for you, you can use your content as the anchor site for your conversions, then post a link to it through social media.

With these 10 types of social media posts, you can convert your army of followers to an army of real, purchasing customers. You may find that some work better than others, but through trial and error you should be able to find the right posts to translate your follower numbers to numbers that truly matter—bottom-line revenue. Just remember that your followers are people, and if you want them to stick around, you’ll have to keep nurturing the community organically.


35 Impressive Negative Space Logos

Negative space when utilized successfully can be stunning. Shrewdly unpretentious yet capably immediate, it is a technique that can take a smart thought and make a design otherworldly. One of the better instances of a basic usage of negative space which says a ton is the FedEx logo.

In this post, we’ve put together the best negative space logos that are exceptionally powerful.

20 Negative Space Logo Designs
20 Negative Space Logo Designs

How to Make Sure You’re Not Publishing Duplicate Content

You’re probably already well aware of how important it is to upload fresh and relevant content to your site on a regular basis. It increases website traffic and inbound links, increases brand awareness, and increases conversion rates.

And if you’re doing it right, it’ll help your site rank higher in the search results. To put it simply, the more online presence your business has, the more successful it’ll be.

There are many other benefits to updating your site often besides search rankings, though. It helps with user integration and branding as well. For instance, if you’re fully connected to all the most widely used social networking platforms (like Facebook and Twitter) and constantly putting your business in front of existing and potential clients, then this will benefit your company in the long run.

It’s vital to use a blogging format in order to upload new content on a frequent basis to the actual website. One reason blogging can be so crucial to your company’s success is because of the SEO benefits.

Google favors sites that have fresh, new content — as long as it’s original and helps readers find what they’re looking for. That means you need to make sure that duplicate content isn’t being published on your site.

Tools to use in order to avoid publishing duplicate content

The most important thing to consider when uploading content to your site is that each and every article is original. If your site has duplicate content, you run the risk of having that content get de-indexed by Google. Too much duplicate content could result in harsher, site-wide measures, along with a negative impact on your traffic and sales.

You may have duplicate content appearing on your site and not even be aware of it. If you have hired a writer to post content to your site, there’s a chance that the person may not be producing original content for you. This writer could well be posting identical copies of the articles you commissioned to a variety of other websites.

But don’t worry. There’s a great tool you can use to make sure that all your content is 100% original: Copyscape. Copyscape uses innovative technology that can tell you in a matter of seconds whether your content is original, or if it has been stolen. Simply type in the URL of your website on the homepage, and it does all the work for you.

They also offer an additional service called Copysentry, which will send you e-mail notifications to alert you when duplicate content is found in relation to your site. This is great for those who wish to keep an eye on the company, but don’t have the time or resources to do it alone.

Even though there may be someone in your company whose role is to manage blogging activities, it’s still nice to stay in the loop yourself, and receive the warnings directly. Remember that people can easily make a mistake and fail to identify duplicate content properly and explicitly; the speed and thoroughness of computers and search programs make identification of duplicates a lot more certain.

I recommend upgrading to Copyscape premium and you have an option to check whether or not a piece of work is original before you even publish it on your site.


To sum up, it’s important that you regularly upload awesome new content to your site in order to boost growth and exposure. All your content must be original, however, or you’ll risk a duplicate content penalty.

Software programs such as Copyscape can assist you in making sure your site avoids the publication of duplicate content, as well as letting you know when others may be stealing your content.