Sheffield Marketing Agency

Seven Creative provide the full spectrum of digital marketing services including web design and development; SEO services; social media management; copywriting; and much more...

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  • Highest quality web development to support your business and get your phone ringing

    Highest quality web development to support your business and get your phone ringing

  • Call us today on 0114 383 0711

    Call us today on 0114 383 0711

Web design

Web design

A good website could make your business. A bad one may ruin it. Get it done right, first time! Call us today on 0114 383 0711
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SEO services

SEO services

If your site could do with a good boost up the search engine rankings to start working for you, give us a call today
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Social media

Social media

Using the social media channels to their potential can get you in front of the right people quickly and efficiently
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Contact us

Contact us

Call Seven Creative today for find out how can help your business really take off by harnessing the power of the internet
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Back to Basics: What is Content Marketing and How Can it Benefit your Business?

content marketing

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase ‘content marketing’ being thrown around in the last few years; but do you really understand what it means? Everyone knows that the ultimate goal of marketing is to grow a business, increase sales, and therefore increase profit. So where does the ‘content’ come in?

Content marketing grows a business by creating and sharing information with your target audience. This content may educational, insightful, or simply entertaining; and by engaging with people through this content, they will be more likely to buy your products and services.

The Content Marketing Institute sums it up nicely:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Why is Content Marketing Important to Your Business?

In order to understand why content marketing is important to a business, it’s useful to describe the four steps of the buying cycle (as outlined by Forbes Magazine).

Awareness. Prior to awareness a customer may have a need, but they are not aware there is a solution.

Research. Once a customer is aware there is a solution, they will perform research to educate themselves. For example, a car buyer will try to find out what different types of cars exist, and which one will fit their needs.

Consideration. At this point the customer starts comparing different products from different vendors to make sure they’re getting a high quality product at a fair price.

Buy. Finally, the customer makes their decision and moves forward with the transaction.

Traditional Marketing vs. Content Marketing

So, traditional marketing is perfect for the latter 2 stages, in so much as it allows customers to educate themselves about the solution, and provides them with the information to compare products. But content marketing goes that little bit further; it enables companies to raise awareness of solutions, and educate consumers about products that they may have never thought about before.

Content marketing allows potential customers to get to know your company before you’ve even met them. They can find your content, find value in it, and by the time they pick up the phone or send an email to make contact, they’ve already made the decision that they want to work with you. The trust has already been established, meaning that high pressure sales tactics are no longer needed. Customers are already well into the sales cycle by the time they contact you. Genius, right?!

Content Marketing, Social Media and SEO

The benefits of content marketing don’t stop there. Content marketing supports other digital marketing channels by providing additional content that can be shared on social media. It will also have a positive effect on your SEO as it will generate natural inbound links, and build up good content on  your website or blog that will be found by search engines.

Expert Content Marketing Company in Sheffield

Are you too busy to get to grips with content marketing, or don’t have time to manage it in-house? Here at Seven Creative, we’re content marketing specialists, and we can help. We can write engaging, informative content on your behalf; content that potential customers will find interesting, engaging and useful. We’ll even share it across your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for you, increasing the return on investment from your social media. Give us a call on 0114 383 0711 or email us at contact@sevencreative.co.uk to find out how we can help to grow your business with content marketing today.

Why Is Organic Facebook Page Reach Decreasing?

Organic reach on a Facebook page refers to how many people you can reach for free by posting to your Page. But as many people who manage a Facebook page may have noticed, the organic reach of posts has declined significantly over the last few months.

Here’s What Facebook is Saying

facebook page marketing

Brian Boland of the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook published an article recently in response to the influx of questions from users regarding their concerns about the decline in organic reach for their Facebook pages.

He said: “My colleagues and I at Facebook understand that this has been a pain point for many businesses, and we’re committed to helping you understand what’s driving this change so your business can succeed on Facebook.”

So, Why is Organic Facebook Reach Declining?

Boland explained that the organic reach is declining due to the increased competition for spots in the News Feed. The more content that is being created and shared every day, the harder it is for businesses to gain exposure in the News Feed.

Facebook’s News Feed is designed in such a way that it shows the content that it deems as most relevant to each individual, rather than all the possible content that they could be shown. Therefore, although the average number of stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log in is 1,500, the News Feed displays only about 300.

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm

But if you’re anything like me, this might annoy you somewhat! I want to be shown all my news, in chronological order, from all of my friends, and from all of the pages I like. Is that too much to ask? According to Boland, it is, and he states that this ‘real time’ approach has limits. He explained: “People only have so much time to consume stories, and people often miss content that isn’t toward the top when they log on. This means they often do not see the content that’s most valuable to them.”

In response to those who would prefer to see everything, every piece of content from every friend and page, Bolan stated the following: “In our tests, we’ve always found that the News Feed ranking system offers people a better, more engaging experience on Facebook. Additionally, given the amount of content in the average News Feed, using a real-time system for content would actually cause Pages’ organic reach to decrease further.”

Is Organic Reach Dropping Because Facebook is Trying to Make More Money?

Isn’t this the question on everyone’s lips?! Bolan’s response to this is as follows: “No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.”

Using Facebook Effectively for Your Business

After this flat ‘no’ from Bolan, which understandably many are sceptical about, how can you move forward to use Facebook effectively for your business? Despite the clear indication that the more you pay, the more your fans see, Bolan insists that organic content still has value on Facebook. Bolan said: “Pages that publish great content — content that teaches people something, entertains them, makes them think, or in some other way adds value to their lives — can still reach people in News Feed.”

Social Media Management Sheffield

As experts in social media management Sheffield, Seven Creative would love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you want to see a complete, unfiltered, real-time Facebook News Feed, or are you happy with the way that the Facebook algorithm arranges your content? Have you seen a decrease in the organic reach of your Facebook page recently?

Business Blogging: The Benefits, And Why You Should Be Doing It Too!

benefits of business bloggingDid you know that businesses that blog have 55% more visitors to their website?

Business blogging is a great way of increasing the online visibility of your business so that you can be found, and seen, on the internet. In other words, it’s a sure fire way to get your business out in front of people looking for your products and services online.

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Just like social media or email marketing, blogging supports the growth of your business by driving traffic to your website and creating the opportunity to convert that traffic into paying customers.

Being found in search engines is incredibly important for businesses. And for every blog post you publish, you are creating another opportunity for your website to appear in search engine results for the queries people enter into them. On average, blogging produces a massive 436% increase in the number of pages indexed in the search engines, therefore the more indexed pages you have, the greater your chance of being found.

Share Original Content on Social Media

Blogging will also help you get discovered on social media, as you’re creating content that can be shared on your social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You’ll slowly build up a repository of content on your blog that is not only original, it’s also perfect for sharing on the above channels, widening your audience.

Establish Authority and Build Credibility

Business blogs are a fantastic way of sharing your expertise and your knowledge. Good blogs answer common questions that their leads and customers may have; so the more useful, relevant information you share in your blog posts, the more credibility you will gain. Let’s face it, people are far more likely to buy products or services from businesses they feel like they already know and trust.

Get a Blog for Your Business

So we’ve established that there are many benefits of blogging. But if your business isn’t blogging, and you’d like to get up to speed, we can help. Seven Creative has set up blogs for lots of businesses, and our in house team of content writers Sheffield can produce original, interesting content on your behalf! For more information, contact Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711 or visit our website for more information.

63rd Birthday of the Peak District National Park Celebrated by Google Doodle

peak district google doodleAs a digital marketing agency offering social media management, SEO services and web design in Sheffield, it’s always a lovely surprise to see what Google has in store with the latest Google doodles.

We love this morning’s doodle, which celebrates the 63rd birthday of the Peak District and Britain’s first national park.

The doodle features the sun rising behind a gritstone tor called the Salt Cellar, which has been formed over the centuries by years of erosion from the elements. The sun forms the second ‘o’ in Google, and the colourful illustration of the rolling hills features two walkers exploring the rugged landscape.

It goes without saying that we are massive fans of the Peak District, Sheffield is a fantastic city and it’s great to have such a beautiful national park right on our doorstep. Nice job Google!

Seven Creative Shortlisted for Digital Communication Award at Sheffield Business Awards

We are proud to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Digital Communications Award at the 2013 Sheffield Business Awards!

Sheffield marketing agency

As a full service digital marketing agency in Sheffield, we decided to enter the competition for a chance to be recognised as excellent for our key services, web design, search engine optimisation, social media management and copywriting.

shortlisted for sheffield business awards

It’s been a great year for us here at Seven Creative, we have worked with some fantastic businesses and launched our brand new website. From Cathedrals to accountancy practices, kennels to hairdressers, we’ve worked with a variety of clients from various sectors on some great projects.

Managing Director Chris Day said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the award. As a small company it’s fantastic to be recognised for the quality of our services.”

Social media management services

“We work really hard to help our customers to implement wider marketing strategies and use social media to promote their business in order to gain an advantage in their marketplace,” said Chris.

For more information about the services provided by Seven Creative, including web design, Sheffield SEO services, social media management and copywriting, feel free to visit our website, call us on 0114 383 0711 or email chris@sevencreative.co.uk

Google’s New Hummingbird Update Completely Changes How Your Website is Found

Google has just announced its ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm change, which is the latest overhaul of its search engine formulas aimed at better answering internet users’ complex queries.

Searches based on meaning

The new algorithm is set to return better search results when users make more complicated requests, therefore keeping up with longer, more advanced search queries. Instead of the search engine returning pages that match a few words, Hummingbird is set to take into account the sentence as a whole and return searches based on its overall meaning. As people’s reliance on Google grows, users enter more complex questions into the search box, not just a few words that are related to a specific topic.

google hummingbird algorithm changesGoogle’s Senior VP, Amit Singal has confirmed that the new algorithm has been in place for about a month already, although Google only announced it officially yesterday.

‘Entirely new algorithm’

Unlike Panda and Penguin, which were changes to parts of the old algorithm, Hummingbird is an entirely new algorithm. Singal has confirmed that it is the most dramatic alteration in 3 years,  when Google switched to ‘Caffiene’ in 2010.

Most importantly, Google’s advice with regard to search engine optimisation remains the same, focus on original, high quality content. Which is exactly what we do here at Seven Creative!

For more information about search engine optimisation services, call Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711, email us at contact@sevencreative.co.uk, or visit our website at www.sevencreative.co.uk

 

 

5 Reasons Your Website Copy Needs Updating

How long is it since the text on your website was updated? Have you been meaning to rewrite it, but it keeps getting put to the bottom of the list as more urgent work presses on your time? Well don’t put it off any longer, you’ll regret it. Here’s why.

1. Search Engines Love Content

Google loves lots of recently updated content. Websites that regularly add new, unique content are seen by search engines as more important, and more relevant to web users. That means, if you keep your website up to date, you will naturally rank higher in the search engines than a site whose content remains the same, or hasn’t been updated recently.

It’s also worth checking that your website copy includes the words and phrases that you would like to be found online for. Search engine optimised copy means that your website will be more likely to be found by search engine users when they search for a product or service that you offer, meaning more visitors to your site.

copy-writing-for-web

2. You Don’t Have a News Page

Does your website have a news section? If so, when was it last updated? Adding and regularly updating a News page is a great way of keeping your website up to date with fresh content that search engines and potential customers will love.

There’s nothing worse than checking out a company’s news page only to find that it hasn’t been updated for 6 months. Are they not very busy? Have they gone out of business? You might not think that your company has anything to shout about, but there are lots of things you could write a short article on. For example, a new product, a new member of staff, a great testimonial, or even industry news.

3. To Keep Website Visitors Interested

Regular, loyal customers who see you as a reliable and trustworthy business may be fairly familiar with your site. Why not give them something new to read when they next visit? Adding fresh material to your site on a regular basis means they will keep coming back to see what’s new!

4. It’s Out of Date!

So your website copy has been the same since your site went live 3 years ago. If this rings true, you need to act, and fast. Businesses naturally progress and grow, and your website needs to reflect this. The chances are, you’ve developed your services, expanded your product range or gained the experience to specialise in a particular area. And it’s not just your business that may have developed, changes in your industry are inevitable, and keeping up to date with them is key to establishing trust between you and your customers.

5. It’s Boring

Even the most brilliant content can become stale over time. The attention of online readers is incredibly short, you literally have a few seconds to grab them and make them want to keep reading. Your website copy may describe exactly what you do accurately, but is it lively enough to capture the attention of a reader and to keep them there?

Content needs to be concise and captivating, getting to the point quickly, and providing the option for readers to find out more. Text should be in bite sized sections, making it easy to scan and process the information with little effort. Text heavy paragraphs that aren’t broken up by images or bullet points are a real put off too!

Refreshing your website copy may be more affordable than you think. Our Sheffield copywriters are very experienced in writing copy for websites, and specialise in SEO copywriting. If you’ve been meaning to update your website copy but never quite got round to it, we can help.

Contact Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711 or get in touch through our contact page today.

10 things your SEO company won’t tell you

Don't get ripped off by poor quality SEO

Don’t get ripped off by poor quality SEO

So, you’ve either paid for or are considering paying for search engine optimisation (SEO services) but you don’t know what to expect or how to measure the results. This article dispels a few myths, and talk about the pitfalls to watch out for to make sure you get excellent, tangible results and value for money.

Don’t get your website penalised by Google, don’t get ripped off and certainly don’t spend more than you need to.

1. There are keywords and there are keywords

It’s easy to get to page one of Google. Here is a quick example: if you do a search for ‘jfjfjf’, right there in in position one, page one of Google there’s a YouTube video uploaded by someone called ‘GRRRRRR145’. If you’d like me to get you to page one, position one for the keyword ‘jfjfjf’, no problem. Of course I can do it for you… but what is the point? Just as I wasn’t searching for a video of a girl talking after breathing in helium when I typed in that phrase, neither will your potential customers be using that phrase to find your products and services.

These poor quality SEO companies might get you to position one, but it will undoubtedly be for the wrong phrases (keywords). It’s not a coincidence that there is no competition for these phrases – it’s because no one is searching for them and that is why it’s so easy to get you right up the rankings for them. This is all poor quality SEO companies will do when they promise you this.

If you’re going to get to for first position on Google it needs to be a relevant search phrase or there is no point.

2.The SEO effect stops shortly after you stop paying for it

The poor quality SEO companies will give you an endless list of SEO activity they will provide for you, but in reality, they’re just focussing on inbound links. Why? Because that’s not only easy but it’s the way it’s always been done and the only way most of these companies know how to do it.

The problem, however – and it’s a very serious problem – is that as soon as you stop paying for link-building, the effect starts to disappear. For example, high quality on-site SEO and articles linking to your site from high-quality sites will give you an excellent long-term increase in the Google rankings.

When it comes to link-building, focus on quality not quantity.

3. They’re trying to deceive Google

Google has become clever enough to spot the type of SEO that poor quality sites create for you – because it’s effectively attempting to deceive Google. Now, more than ever, trying to deceive Google is a very bad idea as you’re likely to wind up getting penalised for it. Inbound links should certainly be part of your SEO strategy but they have to be natural links from high quality (and preferably relevant) sites. The poor quality SEO companies unfortunately don’t discriminate between good and bad sites.

Not all links are valuable – poor quality inbound links can have a very serious detrimental effect on your Google rankings

4. You can’t pick an SEO company based on price

Cheap SEO isn’t necessarily bad SEO just as expensive SEO isn’t necessarily good SEO. That friendly, chatty guy you know has unfortunately just baffled you with bullsh*t. he’s told you that the SEO his company does is better than the SEO services provided by the ‘other’ companies, however, ultimately, you’re just going to get the same SEO as if you’d bought from the cheapest company you could find.

Unless you get regular reports with tangible results showing you clear methodology, you won’t know whether you’ve been paying for good quality SEO or poor quality SEO until it’s too late.

5. Google doesn’t want you to spend money on SEO

If you’ve paid for SEO services in the past, you’ve probably paid for the poor quality stuff. Loads of inbound links to your site from poor quality websites will of course get Google to your site more often – just as a scatter gun will more than likely hit something – however, this is effectively deceiving Google

Actually, you should think about it like this: Good quality SEO is about communicating clearly with Google to let it know the subject of your website, your products and services, your geographical target area, etc.

If your site is built properly from the beginning, including good quality content, your site will naturally communicate your products & services clearly and therefore organically reflect its importance in terms of communicating with Google – no need to further SEO, Google will already have a clear picture of your site and rank it accordingly. The problem with most SEO in its current form is that is attempting to make sites appear more important that they would otherwise have appeared. obviously, Google doesn’t want this to happen!

To conduct search engine optimisation properly you need to communicate clearly with Google, not attempt to deceive it.

6. There are good links and bad links

This is a very basic concept but I continue to be amazed that this is something people spend very little time asking about with their SEO company and therefore fall foul of it.

Linking from poor quality sites, link farms, sites with no page rank, sites that are not relevant to yours, etc. is as good as a waste of time. Google attaches very little importance to these sites and therefore doesn’t pass on any importance to your site when it finds you link.

Your focus needs to be on quality links from quality websites not quantity of links.

7. There is traffic and there is traffic

What use is a million visitors to your site if none of them are your target customer? Failing to do a comprehensive competitor and search analysis before beginning your SEO campaign might mean you get it completely wrong and wasting money could be the least of your worries!

Badly optimised images and a badly optimised site combined with a lot of traffic can, for example cause your hosting account to become suspended or maybe worse!

Optimising your on-site content and focussing on the correct key phrases from the start of your SEO campaign will mean you’re much more likely to get the right visitors to your site and you’re less likely to have server problems.

8. Google continues to become smarter at spotting poor quality SEO

From what I have seen over the past few years, I would say that this year is probably the last one you’ll be able to get away with poor quality SEO that focuses on link-building.

Google continues to become smarter and, as we’ve seen earlier in this article, it doesn’t like to be deceived… but more importantly; don’t deceive yourself that poor quality SEO is anything other than attempting to deceive Google!

Unless you know you’re getting high-quality SEO services, you are taking a very big gamble with your website!

9. Protect your professional image

Your reputation is vitally important and therefore you need to protect it. Allowing someone else to write and publish information about your company, pertaining to have come from you and without you having approved it could be asking for trouble.

Are you sure the articulate guy who sold you the SEO services in the first place is the one also doing the writing? How much do they actually know about your business? How much time is spent on quality control?

Simply focussing on quality as opposed to quantity gives you much more opportunity to make sure the information being published properly reflects your business.

10. On-site is your number 1 SEO priority

Every house starts with its foundations. Obviously, you don’t get the decorator in before it’s built – that would be silly! And this is the same with your SEO. Failing to get the basics done properly at the start means you’re throwing away your money.

Start with the foundations and build from there.

The irony is, simply getting the basics done properly in the beginning will often mean that you don’t even need to spend anything on any further SEO! 

For high quality SEO and making sure your web development is done properly, call us today on 0114 383 0711 or contact us through the contact page

5 tips for managing your online reputation

5 tips for managing your online reputation

5 tips for managing your online reputation

All it takes is one disgruntled customer and before you know it they’re shouting to the world about how terrible you are! All-of-a-sudden you don’t care about your customers, you do a terrible job, and your main business activity is simply ripping people off. Forget the years of hard work you spent making sure that your customers receive excellent service and value for money – you’re now the worst-of-the-worst!

Maybe it was simply a misunderstanding, or a miscommunication, or a genuine mistake – but the fact is that unless you act quickly, your reputation could be seriously damaged!

Therefore, to help you avoid this happening, here are 5 tips to help you protect your on-line reputation:

1. If you have a business Facebook account, make sure you use it.

For many businesses, this is the route many of their disgruntled customers use to vent their spleen these days. Maybe they didn’t get the result the wanted using the proper complaints procedures or perhaps they just want to teach the company a lesson, the fact is, unless you act quickly, many people will see their side of the disagreement without ever getting yours.

So how do you deal with this potential problem? You need to be there when it happens. If you’ve got a Facebook Page, it’s no good visiting once a month to see what’s going on. You need to be there, replying to comments, deleting anything that isn’t in your interest and blocking potential trouble causers. If someone has a complaint, call them or email them and get it resolved in private.

More importantly than this, one of the best ways as a business to establish credibility and engender trust is to open up clear communication channels – and Facebook provides an excellent way to do this!

If you’re customers are going to say something about you publicly on Facebook, make sure it’s something nice. If they have a complaint, make sure it never reaches Facebook.

2. Monitor review sites

In the old days, you’d lean over the garden fence and ask your neighbour if they know a good plumber. Or you’d ask your friend for the name of that decorator they used last year.

Suddenly, in the internet age, we’re doing it differently. I don’t ask my auntie if that hotel she used in Barcelona was any good, I go to Trip Advisor. I’m looking for a local plumber; I’ll go to My Builder. How about a nice restaurant? I’ll go to Yelp. A holiday cottage? Let me have a quick look on Reevoo.

If you run a business you need to know which sites you’re likely to be reviewed on and monitor them. And, if you find an unfair review, complain and get it removed. It’s also not a daft idea to ask your customers to write a review for you on these sites!

3. Open clear communication channels

One of the biggest issues that can cause a small problem to blow out of all proportion is to do with poor communication. We’ve already spoken about Facebook helping to open up clear communication channels but there are also many other ways to provide a way for your customers to get in touch with you.

Why not send a feedback questionnaire after every job? How about following up each completed job with a phone call a month later? Do you have a clear support channel?

Letting your customers know you’re available and want to hear back from them means that they’re more likely to talk to you directly if they have a problem. Making it difficult for them to get in touch means you might not get the opportunity to discuss the problem if something is perceived to have gone wrong.

4. Keep your business persona and your private life separate

Brilliant solicitor by day, ‘techno-freak’ by night. The two don’t really tally too well, do they? …I think I’ll have a look for a different solicitor. There is nothing wrong with ‘techno’ music (whatever that is) but it might not fit too well with the day job.

If your hobby, or your friends, or your political opinions, or your religion, or whatever it might be is could be controversial or contradictory or not ‘fit’ with your day job, keep it separate and private. This isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with any of these things or you have anything to be ashamed about, it’s more the point that you need to keep the focus on what you do.

Of course, there’s no reason for customers not to become friends – and friendship is all about shared interests – but you need to make sure that someone picks you or your company based on your merit, good work and excellent reputation and doesn’t make their decision not to work with you because you have, for example, different political opinions.

If you have a personal Facebook account (or other personal social media account for that matter), you should consider keeping it private.  This way you’ll help make sure you’re only be associated with your professional services.

5. Expect the worst

We’re all busy. We all have a ‘to do’ list as long as our arm. We all have to prioritise sometimes at the expense of the softer side of customer service. But, just because you don’t hear from someone, doesn’t mean that everything is fine and they’re happy.

Good restaurants have learnt this lesson well – the waiter will ask you if everything is OK with your meal shortly after you’ve started eating. And you also need to assume that your customers will not pro-actively mention anything to you if there is a problem. It’s probably a cultural thing in this country – people often won’t complain; they don’t like to be seen to be causing a fuss. It is, however, much easier to fix a problem as it appears than to deal with the aftermath when it grows out of all proportion – and the way to do this is to ask the question… at the right time!

If you would like to discuss Seven Creative’s Social Media Management packages including online reputation management, call us today on 0114 383 0711 or get in touch through our contact page

 

10 signs there might be a problem with your website

10 signs there might be a problem with your website

10 signs there might be a problem with your website

You’ve got a successful business, you’ve got a website, but is your site bringing in as much business as it could? Here are 10 signs to look out for that mean there may be a problem!

Please note; I’m using Google here when referring to a search engine as it’s the largest and therefore the one we generally focus on when optimising for the web.

1 – You’re not getting many visitors to your site

It’s often difficult to gauge how many visitors you should be getting to your website for many reasons – maybe your products or services are very niche, or maybe the majority

The first thing you need to do is identify your keywords and phrases – the things your target customers will be typing into Google when they’re looking for your products and services. This isn’t always as black & white as you’d imagine, however, with a bit of time you can usually get a good comprehensive list of these phrases. Don’t forget to also get an idea of the average search volumes.

Now you need to see where you appear in Google when you search for these phrases. If you appear as the first result on page one of Google, you should be getting around 30% of the clicks, for example, if 10000 people per month search for the key phrase you’re at position 1 for, you should be getting in the region of 10 visits a day for that phrase (i.e. ((10000/30)*0.3)).

Get your site’s SEO analysed ASAP

2 – You’ve got a high bounce rate

Many websites get the traffic but that traffic is not properly qualified through Google so they immediately leave the site without clicking internally – otherwise known as a bounce.

It’s very important to monitor your keyword density to make sure Google is getting an accurate picture of your products and services. Many people neglect the search engine in favour of the site visitor and often end up with a site that has high usability but poor search engine optimisation. The trick is to take account of both!

If your bounce rate is higher that 40 to 50%, it’s time to look at your search engine optimisation, conversion rate optimisation and usability checked ASAP

3 – Your phone isn’t ringing

The job of a website is varied and depends on the business. For many it’s to help establish credibility as a supportive sales tool, however, if your site should be generating leads for you and it’s not, we need to find out why!

Usability testing sounds expensive but can actually be very simple to do. For many business owners, they spend so much time within their industry that they forget that the jargon and acronyms they use in their day-to-day lives might not be understood by everyone else! Get someone who knows nothing about your industry to go through your website. Give them a task and get them to tell you when they hit a dead-end, get frustrated, get confused or even give up in exasperation – you may be very surprised at the results! Are your contact forms working? Are your contact details easy to find? Does your site work on all browsers? These are just a few of the things that make the difference between an enquiry and an exit.

Visitors arriving at your site combined with a low bounce rate but no phone calls means there could be a problem with your calls to action, conversion rate optimisation and usability.

4 – You can’t find your site in Google

It might sound obvious but have you searched for your site within Google? Even if it was once there doesn’t necessarily mean it will still be there now!

As Google’s algorithm get’s cleverer, any mistakes that may have been made may suddenly become evident and your site may be being penalised. For example, if you’ve traditionally paid for the type of SEO that has relied on inbound links, you may have recently disappeared from the rankings due to Google penalisation! Even if your site is still there, it may mean that your results are being suppressed!

Not being able to easily find your site from a Google search you should get your SEO looked at ASAP

5 – Exits from contact form but no enquiries

You’re getting the visitors, you’ve got a low bounce rate but you’re not getting the enquiries. Have you tested your contact form? Are your contact details correct? Does your form work? Does your page work on the main web and mobile browsers?

Another one that sounds simple but you’d be amazed how few people actually spend a few minutes each month testing the functionality of their websites.

Send yourself a test message and try the number otherwise it could mean there is a problem!

6 – High percentage of visitors from abroad

There is a lot of information within a website that most people would never even give a second thought to. For example, how does Google know your site is UK English? Maybe it is American English or Australian! I suppose it could look at your server location or domain name and hazard a guess, however, don’t forget that Googlebot is just a piece of software that only has a very short amount of time to assess and categorise your site!

Unless the hidden information within your site is included and correct, your site may not be optimised for its target geographical location and therefore may not be appearing in the right country. It’s important to get this checked and corrected if necessary.

7 – Getting enquiries for products or services you don’t provide

This one seems quite simple on the surface but is actually quite complex. A good website will not only index well within Google for the correct search terms and turn the visitors into enquiries, it should also help your site visitors to properly qualify themselves – or in other words, help them to decide if this is the site they need.

If you bore your visitors with difficult to read text and fail to tell them what you do in a simple, concise and fast manner, the majority of them are going to do one of two things – leave or contact you to ask you what you do – Will you paint my kitchen? No, we only sell paint! What are your opening hours? No, we don’t have a shop! You end up doing what your site could be doing – letting people know if you’re what they’re looking for!

Getting enquiries for products or services you don’t provide means you should test your site’s usability.

8 – Slow loading times

When was the last time you checked to see how quickly your site loads? Clear your cache and give it a go. Googlebot only spends a short time visiting your site and if a proportion of that time is spent waiting for your site to load, it’s not going to be indexing properly.

Another one of the most common problems is badly optimised images. Simply specifying a width to resize an image is a terrible idea! Whether it’s laziness or inexperience, it will still cost you heavily in terms of Google ranking, bandwidth and usability!

Check your bandwidth usage against your visitor numbers and see if they tally. Make sure your images are optimised and that your server is in the UK.

Slow site loading times mean you should have your hosting and site optimisation checked.

9 – Site not displaying properly on mobile devices

Even if you don’t know the statistics you can probably guess that the number of people using mobile devices to access the web has recently exploded and is only set to increase!

Even here at Seven Creative we use Android’s browser; Chrome for Android; Safari for iPad and iPhone; Silk for Kindle; and this is just us!

It can be costly to optimise a site for mobile – especially when it comes to cross browser compatibility – however, there are a few simple things to look out for!

Check your visitor statistics and see what browsers they’re using. Test your site on yours and your friends’ mobile devices. If your site uses Flash, oh dear… time for a new one! If you do find an issue, it might only be a small job to update your site’s CSS to accommodate the new mobile browsers.

There is also talk that Google may be about to start penalising sites that have a bad or absent mobile version so now is the time to act!

10 – Your site looks tired and out-of-date

Just as in person, you only get a very short time to make a good impression. When was the last time you updated your site? Does it look old or outdated? Are your images poor quality? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then that is the image of your business you are projecting. Of course, if that visitor met you in real life you’d impress them with your wealth of experience and industry knowledge, but the bad news is you’ll never get that opportunity. The visitor will hit ‘back’ and click on the next link – your competitor.

If you would like help with any of the potential website problems listed here, get in touch with us on 0114 383 0711 or contact us through out contact page 

Search Engine Optimisation – getting it wrong vs. getting it right

SEO services

SEO services

If you’ve ever paid for search engine optimisation (SEO) or are wondering if it will help your website, you need to read this.

SEO is certainly a buzz word at the moment but where do you get all the facts – how much should it cost? What results should I expect? How do I tell if it’s working? Am I being ripped off?

This article will show you how SEO done well will give you great long-term results and how SEO done badly can ruin your website rankings.

So, what is search engine optimisation?

SEO is simply the process communicating with Google and the other main search engines to make sure they have a clear understanding of how important your website is, where your target customers are, and what your products & services are.

Once this is done properly, you’ll appear in search results when your target customers search for the products and services you provide… or at least that’s the theory!

So, why is this not simple?

It’s not possible to get an accurate number of how many websites there are currently available but the last estimate put this approaching three quarters of a billion (750,000,000) with the majority of these in English.

Every one of these sites wants relevant visitors and the search engine’s job is therefore to fetch the appropriate results for you when you do a search based on factors such as where you are, what language you speak, and what you’re looking for.

The problem is that if Google can’t understand the purpose of your site or doesn’t get a true representation of how important your site is, you won’t appear in the right results.

So, what is the wrong type of SEO?

Google is a piece of software, it visits sites using what is known as its ‘Googlebot’ and the measure it uses to evaluate sites is called its algorithm.

Poor quality SEO companies will tell you that Google assesses a website is by looking at how many other sites link to the website in question– in other words, lots of links to your site = important website – but this only has a very small element of truth in it.

The reality is that Google is not stupid. Back in the old days of the internet you could get away doing SEO like that but Google continues to become smarter and its algorithm continues to update.

In fact, you probably heard of the recent infamous Panda and Penguin algorithm updates where sites that had focussed on inbound linking to increase their position in the search engines suddenly dropped out of the rankings overnight – and there were some very high-profile casualties of this!

So, what is the right type of SEO?

Getting your SEO right is not rocket science, it just takes a bit more care and attention. Selling someone SEO and then simply creating links to their site is either lazy or unethical (or both!). It may work for a while, however, as soon as you stop paying for this, the results will disappear again… and this is your best case scenario!!! Google is now also penalising sites that use poor quality links so, if your site is important to your business, you’re really taking a huge gamble!

This graph shows the difference between focussing your SEO on inbound links vs. focussing on good quality content and on-page SEO

This graph shows the difference between focussing your SEO on inbound links vs. focussing on good quality content and on-page SEO

I did say, however, that there was an element of truth in using link building as part of your SEO strategy, and there is. Link-building should form at least part of your SEO strategy, but you have to be very careful to make sure that the links pointing to your site are from good quality and relevant websites. Get this right and you’re on your way. Get it wrong and it can be disastrous!

The best way, however, to do your SEO properly is to do what we here at Seven Creative have always done – focus on high quality content. You’ll see not only an instant boost and an increase in rankings whilst your SEO campaign is in progress, you’ll also see a long-term boost way beyond this. This way, link-building is not something that has to be pro-actively conducted, rather it becomes something that happens organically.

We (here at Seven Creative) have always said that good quality SEO should primarily focus on ‘quality content’ & ‘on-page SEO’ – and it’s what we’ve always done. Don’t get ripped off, get it done properly.

Call Seven Creative today on 0114 383 0711 or get in touch through the contact page to see how SEO done properly can benefit your business.

3 BIG Reasons to be Blogging for Business

Here at Seven Creative, we know that blogging is incredibly important, and why it needs to be an integral part of any marketing and SEO strategy.

sheffield-copy-writing-for-blogs

We also know that it takes up a lot of time and can be hard work, (which is why many business outsource their content writing) – but it really is worth it.

329 million people read blogs each month. With this huge potential readership, why miss out?

Here are 3 BIG reasons why your company should be blogging!

1.       Keep Up With the Competition

Do you want your business to lead or follow? The chances are, someone in your business will start blogging soon, if they aren’t already of course. And that will give them a massive advantage. Over time, they will begin to dominate the online space in your industry, pushing you further down the list.

Why allow your competitor to be a thought leader and authority in your industry when you could be?!

2.       Blogging Boosts SEO

Blogging produces impressive SEO results – FACT. As Sheffield SEO experts, we know that the more indexed pages you have, the better your Google rankings will be. And on average, blogging produces a massive 436% increase in the number of indexed pages.

Also, because of Google’s recent algorithm changes, quality content is more important than ever. And what is the best way of producing quality content that Google will love? Regular, original blog posts!

3.       Content is King

So, you know that good quality content boosts your SEO and social media marketing effectiveness. The truth is, high quality content is one of the best marketing values that money can buy.

According to Entrepreneur.com, 73% of people now prefer to get information about an organisation through articles, as opposed to traditional advertising. And this is possibly the most powerful statistic – 61% of people feel better about companies that deliver custom content and are more likely to buy from them. 

Seven Creative is a full service digital marketing agency providing Sheffield SEO, Sheffield website design and content writing in Sheffield. If you would like experienced blog writers and copywriters to produce high quality content for your blog, do not hesitate to get in touch on 0114 383 0711 or email contact@sevencreative.co.uk.

5 Top Tips on Writing for Web

Understanding how internet users read online text is half the battle of writing great web content.

The truth is, people don’t really web content word for word, the way you would a beautifully written novel for example.

They prefer to pick out key words and sentences to get an overall understanding of the content. This means that web copy needs to be scannable.

So, here are my 5 top tips for writing for the web!

copy-writing-for-web

1. Use Sub -headings

Sub-headings are a great way of breaking up the text into bite size chunks. They make it easy for readers to scan over the page, and digest the information without being swamped in text heavy web pages.

2. Highlight Keywords

Highlighting a keyword in bold or adding a hyperlink again makes the information easier to scan and digest. Readers are naturally drawn to the highlighted words and phrases, which should be integral to the understanding of the article.

3. One Idea per Paragraph

Keep paragraphs short, and as a rule, only include one key idea in each paragraph. Again, this will help readers to absorb the information easily and maintain the structure of your article. Generally, if readers are not captured by the first sentence, they will tend to skip the rest of the paragraph and move on to the next one.

4. Word Count

Opinions differ on the correct length of an online article or blog post. My personal preference is around 400 words, and never more than 600. This might not sound like a lot, but if you consider the attention span of readers and their preference for bite sized chunks of information, you can actually fit a fair few ideas into an article of this length. Which brings me my next point..

5. Use Bullet Points

Bulleted lists are easy to read, quick to scan, and can deliver a great deal of information in just a few lines. Perfect of web users!

If you have written a blog post or article, and need a hand editing or proofreading to make sure it’s perfect for the web, I can help. Whether you need content written from scratch, or you would like an expert to check through your grammar, punctuation and style, call Content Writer Extraordinaire on 0114 383 0711.

For our full range of Sheffield copy writing services, please visit Seven Creative’s website at www.sevencreative.co.uk, the leading marketing agency in Sheffield.

Content Writer – Copywriting for SEO

An SEO Content writer will produce website copy optimised for search engine indexing whilst still making sure it’s clear, engaging and natural to read

An SEO Content writer will produce website copy optimised for search engine indexing whilst still making sure it’s clear, engaging and natural to read

It’s no secret that in order to get your website to index to its potential, it will probably need a little help now and then. The problem is, though, that the majority of people who you ask for help in this department will probably end up with someone telling them that just they need inbound links… and lots of them!

Suddenly, however, for a lot of website owners it all went wrong! Google changed the way it evaluates websites and many people who had spent money on SEO saw their sites free falling out of the rankings overnight. The two things you need to know about Google are firstly, it’s not stupid and secondly, it doesn’t like to be manipulated.

Whilst it is partly true that inbound links are important, what these so-called experts don’t tell you is that, as with everything to do with SEO,  it’s all about quality – not quantity.

Good quality inbound links should only be part of your website SEO strategy.

Having a high number of poor quality inbound links was all-of-a-sudden one of the indicators Google used to see that the site owner was trying to manipulate the search results by making their site appear more important that Google would have assessed it as.

So what’s the SEO solution?

We’ve always said that content is king. If you focus on creating a high-quality website that people will enjoy and you’ll do well in the search results. Good quality, engaging content – and lots of it – will provide information and resources for your site visitors and Google will reflect this accordingly in the search results.

Copywriting for SEO is creating that text specifically crafted to make sure you clearly communicate to Google what your site is about. It will include your keywords and key-phrases at a natural density whilst still making sure the content is clear and engaging.

A good SEO copywriter or SEO content writer will produce clear, legible and engaging text that will be feel natural to read but still include the correct density of your keywords and key-phrases

…and the best thing is, it’s all perfectly above board according to all the major search engines! This is a win-win situation as your site visitors will be presented with well-written copy and the search engines will be able to figure out clearly what your site is about.

What is a good content writer?

A good content writer is someone who is able to produce clear, natural feeling content that is easy to read and engaging whilst still making sure that the content is optimised for search engines.

Content writers know that SEO is a very important consideration for nearly all sites these days whilst remembering that ultimately it will be humans who read this text.

Copywriting for SEO refers to content specially created to help your website index within search engines by clearly communicating what the subject of page is. if this is done correctly, your visitors will engage with you and Google will index you.

Why is Seven Creative different to the other SEO companies?

Here at Seven Creative, we’ve been practising high-quality, above-board SEO for many years. Our main focus has always been on quality content and not inbound links so the recent Google updates were great news for us and our customers.

We specialise in content writing, copywriting for SEO and general SEO services and we provide a tangible, long-term boost right up the rankings with a tangible return on investment

Find out today if your website content is optimised for SEO by getting in touch with us. We’ll provide you with a free initial analysis of you site and a list of recommendations.

With prices starting from £199 per month for SEO services it’s within almost all budgets.

Call us on 0114 383 0711 or email seo@sevencreative.co.uk or visit our contact page

 

 

The really simple guide to SEO

A simple guide to SEO

A simple guide to SEO

Search Engine Optimisation isn’t rocket science, it isn’t smoke and mirrors – no matter what some companies tell you, and it certainly isn’t something that needs to cost a fortune. It is just common sense applied to an understanding of what a search engine is and how it works.

However, due to the confusion, I thought I should write a quick and simple explanation to help provide a better understanding of what SEO is and how it’s ‘done.’

This isn’t a check-list or a how-to guide to SEO – it’s simply an explanation in normal language that will hopefully dispel some of the myths surrounding SEO.

SEO starts with analysing your customers to find your keywords and key phrases

There is a need for your services and people are looking for these services, but, what are they doing to find them? When we’re talking about SEO we’re specifically looking at on-line behaviour so we need to know what these potential customers are typing into the search engine when they’re looking for these services.

“…analyse the past behaviour of your potential customers to find out the words and phrases they’ll be using in the future.”

How do we do this? Assuming we don’t have the resources for a focus group, the fastest way is to perform a search for the words and phrases people use when they want to find your products and services. Basically, we’ll analyse the past behaviour of your potential customers to find out the words and phrases they’ll be using in the future. This list is often refined down to the few really important phrases and these are the ones we’ll focus on.

It’s important to note, however, that these words and phrases aren’t necessarily going to be the ones that receive the most number of searches – they’re the ones that will be achievable within the budget, for example, if you are selling computers wanted to compete against Dell and Amazon, you’re going have to throw a massive amount of money at it for phrases like ‘new computer’ or ‘new laptop.’ If, however, you went for some of the more niche search terms that wouldn’t return the big players, you can make sure your getting your piece of the pie for a fraction of the budget.

Optimise your on-site SEO content

There are a thousand and one things normally wrong with your average website that are getting in the way of it indexing properly within the search engines. Everything from correct meta descriptions, meta keywords, titles and a correct hierarchical use of HTML to badly written code, poorly optimised images and cheap hosting. Unfortunately, by the time we point this out to people it’s too late and the cheques been cashed, however, it normally fixable.

“[on-site SEO] is an area that most SEO companies don’t focus on either because they don’t know how to do it or they simply can’t be bothered.”

The most important onsite changes are getting the copy right. Using the keywords and phrases we found in while profiling the customers, we need to optimise the text to the correct length, the correct mark-up and the correct keyword density. This, however, is an area that most SEO companies don’t focus on either because they don’t know how to do it or they simply can’t be bothered.

A good example of this is when the most recent updates to the Google algorithm caused many sites to drop out of the rankings overnight – and there were some very high profile victims – simply because their SEO company had tried to deceive Google by ignoring good quality content, on-site SEO, and best practice one-content protocols and simply focussed on building inbound links from poor quality websites.

“The recent Google updates were great news for us and great news for our customers.”

We have only ever focused on high-quality content focussed SEO so the recent Google updates were great news for us and great news for our customers. Where other sites dropped out of the rankings, the sites we had optimised shot up the rankings.

Focus on inbound links from high quality and relevant sites for better SEO

“The volume of quality inbound links and the better quality those links are all go into the equation which says where your site should appear in relation to your competitors”

Once the on-site SEO is complete it’s time to turn our attention to the inbound links. As we’ve just seen, Google isn’t stupid and certainly won’t tolerate an attempt to deceive it. Therefore, your inbound links have to be the high quality. Publishing articles, press releases and good quality links all bring Google back to your site when they’re found and, in turn, increase Google’s opinion of how important your site is. To put it very basically, the more important your site is, the volume of quality inbound links and the better quality those links are all go into an equation which says where your site should appear in relation to your competitors. If you have poor inbound links, the opposite will happen and you can even find your site is being repressed in the results.

In summary

It’s actually amazing when you realise that the only reason there is such a huge SEO industry is because the majority of sites have just been built badly by people who don’t know what they’re doing and that no one has ever realised that sites need to be built from the visitor’s point of view.

Get this right at the start and your 90% of the way there. Good quality content, compliant code, adherence to standards and a focus on your customers is the foundation for a robust and solid website that naturally indexes really well.

More information

Seven Creative provide SEO services in Sheffield, nationally and internationally. Get in touch today for more information. Visit Seven Creative’s website for more information about the range of SEO services

Top 5 Things Your Website Must Have!

Here at Seven Creative marketing agency in Sheffield, we firmly believe that a great website and an effective marketing strategy have the power to transform a business. So, to help you out, we’ve put together 5 simple but very important things you need to do to have a successful website!

Compatibility with mobile devices

A recent study has shown that 93% of people in the UK use their mobile device to access the internet every day. In fact, more people actually log on to the internet through a mobile device than through a computer!

We come across lots of websites belonging to small to medium sized businesses that are simply not compatible with mobile devices.

As people move away from their desktops, preferring to browse the internet on the go on tablets and smart phones, your website needs work on these devices, and work well. If not, you and your business are missing out on a huge audience.

An email address and contact number on your homepage

This is an absolute MUST! An email link and a contact number must be displayed clearly on the home page of your website – if people want to contact you, don’t make them work for it, make it as easy as possible!

Email is a quick and easy way of getting in touch, and without a visible email address, you risk missing out on inquiries and sales.

It is also incredibly important to have a phone number listed on your homepage. Some questions are better answered by phone, and some people prefer to speak to an actual person as opposed to emailing.

Obvious contact details also go some way in establishing the reputability of your company, and can make visitor feel more comfortable. A visitor to a site without a phone number, for example, may even question your legitimacy.

A built in inquiry form 

A form-fill option on your website is the perfect way to allow consumers to request information. Information inquiry forms should be built into your site, connected to a CRM, an email system, and an ecommerce system. That way, the lead is not just being collected, it’s also being prepared for the business owner to communicate with and generate business via that lead.

Social-media-management-sheffieldLinks to your social media accounts

On 13 June 2013, the Office of National Statistics reported that the UK has the second highest proportion of social networkers in the EU, and 57% of internet users said that they used “social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter“.

So, by not using social media channels to market your business, you’re missing out on a huge captive audience and a very powerful marketing tool. You also run the risk of falling behind your competitors.

Social media buttons should also be displayed clearly on the homepage of your website, so that visitors have the option of connecting with you on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Effective search engine optimisation

As you’ll know by now, having a website is absolutely essential. But what’s the point of having a website if no one can find it? Search engines are used every day to find websites, and naturally, those that rank higher in the searches get visited more often.

Effective search engine optimisation will increase your website’s ranking in Google, therefore driving more traffic to your site, and resulting in more leads.

As a web design and SEO company in Sheffield, we know how important it is to have all of these points in place. If you are worried that your website isn’t up to scratch, is struggling in the search engines, or you are missing any of the above, don’t panic – we can help.

Get in touch via our website, call us on 0114 383 0711, or send us an email to info@sevencreative.co.uk.

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog

Here at Seven Creative web design Sheffield, we are big fans of blogging for business. It’s a great way of boosting your online presence and getting your business noticed. So how can a blog help your business?

1. Increase your web presence

A blog is a great way of getting noticed online. Interesting content will attract people’s attention and encourage them to share it!

2. Be an expert in your field

Business blogs are a fantastic way of sharing your expertise and your knowledge. The more useful, relevant information you share in your blog posts, the more credibility you will gain.

sheffield-blogging-for-business3. Build relationships with customers

Writing a blog is the perfect way to engage with existing customers and potential clients online.   Publishing interesting blog articles are a great way of communicating, building dialogue and providing a platform for customers to contact you.

4. Search engine optimisation and blogging

Blogs can also be used as an effective search engine optimisation tool because articles can be used as a tool to drive traffic to your main website.  By making sure that your blog posts are rich in key words and popular search terms, your blog can increase your SEO efforts AND provide readers with valuable content.

5. Advertise your products or services

A blog that is used primarily for advertising isn’t the best way to approach blogging for your business. People will get fed up if they constantly feel like they are being sold to. But a little bit of self promotion in the right context is acceptable, and can benefit the reader if your products or services provide a solution to the problem, or answer to the question they have been looking for.

If you would like a blog for your business, but don’t have the time to dedicate to it, or the skills to set it up yourself, Seven Creative web design in Sheffield can help. And if you’re stuck for original, interesting content, we can take care of that too by writing the articles for you, as often as you like! For more information, contact Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711 or visit our website for more information.

Find Out For Free if Your Website Should Be Ranking Higher in Google

Find out for free during June ’13 if your website is working as well as it could be. Call us on 0114 383 0711

Find out for free during June ’13 if your website is working as well as it could be. Call us on 0114 383 0711

“Why am I not on page one of Google?”

So you’ve got your website, you may have even paid for extra SEO services, but if you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I wonder if my site could be doing better in Google?” or “I wonder if there are any problems with my site that might be stopping it from indexing properly?” – then good news! If you’re based in the UK and are one of the first 10 respondents to this post, we’ll provide you with a completely free report on how your website is performing in relation to its potential.

“Your free website evaluation”

Basically, we’ll analyse those often invisible aspects of your site that can mean the difference between page one of Google or page ten. Everything from whether your inbound links are beneficial or detrimental to your site; whether your content and images are optimised; whether your site is converting visitors efficiently; what your competitors are doing better than you; what your keywords and phrases are; and much more.

“Small tweaks to your site may be all that is required to get you up the rankings in Google”

Often, just a few simple tweaks is all it takes to get up the search engine rankings. This might be, for example, removing a few bad inbound links or getting the density of your key-phrases right through SEO copywriting services. Whatever the reason your site might not be indexing as well as it could be, we’ll find out for you and let you know the steps you need to take to fix the problems.

“Don’t delay!”

Simply fill in the required details below, press send, and we’ll get back to you a few days later with our findings. If you’d prefer to speak to us in person, drop in for a coffee or call us on 0114 383 0711

Remember, this is completely free but only during June 2013 for the first 10 UK based respondents, so get in touch now!

Apply for your free web evaluation from Seven Creative

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Make Your Website Work For You With SEO

SEO services Sheffield from Seven Creative

SEO services Sheffield from Seven Creative

You might not want to hear it, but simply having a website often isn’t enough these days. The World Wide Web contains nearly 15 billion web sites and this number is growing by the second. With competition like this, if you’re not in the top positions for the right search terms, it’s really hard for potential customers to find you.

With so much competition on the digital high street, Search Engine Optimisation is often needed to make sure that your website is actually being seen, and more importantly, seen by the right people.

What is SEO?

SEO can be described as the simple activity of ensuring that a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases relevant to what the website is actually about.

The practice of SEO increases the visibility of the website, meaning that it is likely to be found more often by the right visitors.

On-site Search Engine Optimisation or SEO (otherwise known as on-page SEO) is focussed on things like keyword inclusion, and off-site Search Engine Optimisation or SEO (otherwise known as off-page SEO) primarily focuses on link-building.

Getting your website to rank highly on Google will not only increase your online visibility, but it can also save you money on digital advertising campaigns and other sponsored listings.

SEO Services Sheffield

Here at Seven Creative, a leading web marketing and SEO company in Sheffield, we consider the money spent on Search Engine Optimisation services an investment, not a cost. By investing in SEO services, your website will inevitably climb the search engine rankings, and you will attract more visitors to your website.

We offer SEO packages that provide the full spectrum of search engine optimisation activity, to make you website work for you. They are based on a fixed monthly fee and can be designed around your needs, dependent on who you want to target and what you key words and phrases are.

If you would like to talk to an SEO company in Sheffield who really know their stuff, contact Seven Creative on 0114 383 0711 or email seo@sevencreative.co.uk for more information.

Top 10 Biggest Website Mistakes Stopping You From Winning Business

Every day here at Seven Creative, people show us their sites that were built by other companies and ask us things like “why doesn’t my website appear in Google” or “Why do I hardly ever get any calls from my website” so we thought we should produce a quick check-list to help you evaluate your website and hopefully spot the areas stopping your website from indexing properly in search engines and hindering the site’s conversion rates.

This is by no means an exhaustive list; however, these are some of the most common problems. Don’t forget to let us know if you think we’ve missed something important!

1 – Contact details

There is a good chance that a lot of the visitors to your website are simply looking for your contact details. Other visitors are there evaluating you deciding if your the right one to ‘buy’ from. Your contact details, therefore, need to be available at the moment the site visitor makes the decision that they want to get in touch. Making it tough to find your contact details, hiding them or even requiring  the website visitor to ‘click’ to find them can irritate and annoy – and this is the last thing you want when your competitors are only a ‘back click’ away!

Make your contact details prominent throughout the site. This will not only allow a potential customer to get in touch with you easily and quickly, it will also show potential customers that you have clear communication channels which will help to quickly establish trust – which is vital!

2 – What do you do?

I’m amazed. I’m staggered! The amount of sites I visit every day and I sit there thinking ‘what do you actually do?’ Every time we approach a new project we reverse engineer it from the point-of-view of the potential customer. By firstly profiling the customers you are able to build in a flow toward the website goals, avoid jargon which confuses people, and massively increase usability which means you’re much likely to end up with a website that actually works (provided your developer know what they are doing, of course!)

It’s really not rocket science – just say what you do and make it prominent. People love useful snippets but get turned off by big paragraphs. Get the important stuff ready-summarised and you’ll be amazed about how much of a better on-site experience your potential customers will have!

3 – Keywords and phrases

Before you built your site, did you check what people were actually searching for in relation to your products and services? It’s staggering how many people don’t! What is the point in having an all-singing-all-dancing website if no one can ever find it because it doesn’t match the phrases they’re using to find your products and services!

It’s very simple; find out what your potential customers are searching for and then make sure those phrases appear in your website (of course, in a natural context) on the relevant pages. Websites that don’t work don’t do this. It’s a simple as that.

4 – Social media

If your company is popular, they’re talking about it on the Social Media channels. If it’s not, they’ll be very little mention of you on these channels and Google knows this full well. Also, you need to demonstrate to your potential customers that you’re available with open and clear communication channels were anything to go wrong.

Not engaging with your potential customers on the appropriate social media channels is missing an opportunity to raise your profile, find new customers and without these ‘social media bookmarks’, Google will evaluate your website to reflect this and therefore your search engine position may not be as good as it could be.

5 – Images

It’s amazing how few people understand how much of an impact optimised images can have on your site. Properly optimising the compression and getting the aspect ratio correct means they’ll display quickly, the alternative text will be indexed by Google and the image name is an opportunity to get your image in an image search for the relevant products and services.

Also, I’m staggered by how many people put their really important text content as an image! Google can’t read this and you’ll find it very difficult to update if details change!

Optimising your images provides so many benefits it’s something you really need to focus on right from the word go.

6 – Content optimisation

Once you’ve got your keyword and competitor analysis report, you’ll be able to create well written text that also includes a natural density of your keywords. Stuffing keywords is not only amateurish, you’re website will be penalised by Google and you’ll not appear properly in the search results.

They key is and always has been to create good quality website content with a natural density of your keywords and phrases. Of course, there are ways to increase the emphasis on the really important content; however, trying to fool the Google algorithm is at best a very risky thing to do.

Focus on the correct word count and the keywords and you’re half way there!

7 – Compliant and well formatted code

The code is something you’ve probably never a thought to. If your website looks OK, the code is OK, right? Wrong! Errors in the code are not generally visible to the average website visitor, however, if Google encounters a poorly coded website, there is a good chance you’ll be penalised.

Broken links, validation errors, properly hierarchical use of HTML, etc.  will not only mean your site will display more quickly but also that Google will be able to correctly assess your key words and phrases and you’ll therefore appear in the relevant searches.

Poorly written code – and you’d be amazed how ubiquitous it is – will mean your site will not index properly. This is not difficult to fix – although it’s better to get it right in the first place – it’s just, in my opinion, the sign that the web developer is either lazy or doesn’t know what he’s doing.

8 – Counter-intuitive navigation structure

There is very little as frustrating as trying to navigate your way around a site with a poor navigational structure. We encounter these every day and it’s something that will certainly be losing you customers! What does it say about your company if your site is confusing and it’s sometimes impossible to find the page you’re after?

When building a site, the site navigational structure needs to be designed with scalability and usability in mind. It needs to be simple and easy to use otherwise your site visitors will simply hit ‘back’ and click on the next link in Google. Usability testing is something that can highlight this; however, it’s a much better (and cheaper) idea to get this right from the start.

9 – External links

In SEO circles we call it ‘juice.’ Imagine your site is a half-full glass of juice. Every time you get a link to your site it adds a little juice to the glass. Every link that leads away from your site takes a little juice away. The more relevant and more important the site that links to yours, the more juice you get. The fewer out-bound links you have, the less juice you’re giving away.  Now imagine that Google evaluates your site based on how much juice is in that glass and you have a picture of how Google uses links to help assess the importance of your site – the more juice you have, the more important the site is. The less juice you have, the less important the site is.

Be very aware that outbound links are taking away ‘juice’ from your site. Are they really that important? Could you do without these links?

10 – Domain name

One of the main criteria Google uses to assess your website is your domain name. The current domain registration term and the keywords within the website are two things that allow Google to decide whether your website is relative for a search and whereabouts in the search results it should be.

When you’re picking your domain name, make sure you’ve done your keyword and competitor research first. Your current customers may be searching for your company name but your potential customers are searching for your services. Remember, if your website has been built properly, it’ll index for your company name regardless of the domain name. Google also loves an established domain with a long registration period so why not have your domain registered for 10 years?

If you’d like any advice on picking a domain or need any other domain services such as registrant change, moving domains, re-establishing domain ownership or registering your domain, give us a call.

11 – Bonus mistake – Poor quality SEO

How could we possibly have a list about mistakes you may be making from an SEO point of view. The new Google algorithm updates mean that many people who have been paying for SEO over recent years have suddenly plummeted out of the rankings. Why? Because Google isn’t stupid. It knows that many people have been trying to manipulate their rankings by building hundreds of links from external sites whilst putting very little emphasis on good quality content – and now they’re paying the price.

‘Cheap SEO’ isn’t synonymous with ‘poor SEO’; however, they are very often the same thing. Good quality SEO does and always has had an emphasis on high quality content.

More information? Get in touch with us

Seven Creative in Sheffield provide the full spectrum of web marketing services such as SEO, social media optimisation, web site development and usability testing.

Call us today on 0114 383 0711, visit our website at www.sevencreative.co.uk or email us at contact@sevencreative.co.uk for more information.