Archives for Christophe

WordPress – Install Contact Form 7 and Minimise Spam Without Missing Messages

WordPress tutorial – how to install Contact Form 7 with message logging, Google CAPTCHA V2 integration and extra anti-spam measures

Step 1 – install the required plug-ins

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to the plug-ins menu and select ‘add new.’ Search for, install and then activate the following:
    1. Contact Form 7
    2. Really Simple Captcha
    3. Insert Headers and Footers
    4. Akismet
    5. Flamingo

Step 2 – integrate the CAPTCHA

Contact Form 7 is a simple plugin that allows you to quickly and easily include contact forms within your WordPress website. 

Contact Form 7 also allows you to insert a CAPTCHA into your contact forms to prevent bots from submitting forms and therefore reduce spam. Contact Form 7 utilises Really Simple CAPTCHA as its officially-sanctioned CAPTCHA module.

Insert Headers and Footers is a plug-in that provides you with a is a simple interface allowing you to insert code (like Google CAPTCHA code or Google Analytics) into to your WordPress site header and footer without having to edit your theme files directly.

  1. Open a new tab in your browser and go to the Google reCAPTCHA site
    1. Follow the instructions to log in, register your domain and generate a site key and secret key
    2. Copy the ‘site key’ and ‘secret key’ from the Google site to the Really Simple Captcha integration page before saving
  2. From within your WORDPRESS dashboard, go to CONTACT > INTEGRATION
    1. add the site key and secret key in the relevant boxes
  3. From within your WORDPRESS dashboard, go to SETTINGS > INSERT HEADERS AND FOOTERS
    1. Paste the script link below into the ‘header’ section then save changes
  4. From within your WORDPRESS dashboard, go to CONTACT > CONTACT FORMS
    1. Create a new contact form
    2. Right before the ‘SEND’ button of your form, paste the code below (don’t forget to add your unique SITE KEY where specified)
    3. Configure the form fully and save changes
  5. Create your contact page
    1. Integrate the contact form as normal within your site

(step 4.1) Paste the following code into the header section

<script src=''></script>

(step 5.2) Paste the following code into your new form just before the ‘send’ button (don’t forget to add your unique ‘site key’)

<div class="g-recaptcha" data-sitekey="<<your unique 'site key'>>"></div>

Step 4 – integrate the HoneyPot

Contact Form 7 Honeypot is a WordPress plugin that adds honeypot anti-spam functionality to Contact Form 7 forms. Honeypot is a technique that adds a hidden field to a form that is essentially a trap set for spambots.

  1. go to CONTACT and edit your contact form
  2. within the contact form, before the ‘send’ button tag, use the TAG generator to add a ‘honey pot’ tag
  3. save the form

Step 5 – activate Akismet

Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content.

  1. Go to SETTINGS > AKISMET ANTI-SPAM and follow the instructions to create an account, generate an API key, and activate your site
  2. Enter the API key, choose your settings, then save changes

Step 6 – test the message log

Flamingo is a message storage plugin for created for Contact Form 7. When any message is sent to you via the contact form, it will also be stored in the Flamingo database allowing you to check for missed or deleted messages.

  1. test your contact form my sending yourself a message
  2. once this is working and the message has been received, go to Flamingo from your WordPress site dashboards and view the sent message


If you have any trouble with any of the above instructions, get in touch with us via our main website

How to configure email on iOS devices

Here is a short tutorial outlining port numbers and encryption types for Seven Creative email services used on iOS devices such as iPhone and Mac

Please contact us for the password

Click here


Protected: Setting up Seven Creative email services on your Apple and iOS devices

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WordPress – change the default ‘from’ information

The default email address and from name in WordPress notification emails can be easily changed by editing your functions.php file

Simply add the following code (remembering to change the email address and name to the ones you want to use instead)

 add_filter('wp_mail_from', 'new_mail_from');
 add_filter('wp_mail_from_name', 'new_mail_from_name');

function new_mail_from($old) {
 return '';
 function new_mail_from_name($old) {
 return 'Your Name';

We’re based in Sheffield, UK. If you’d like help updating your WordPress site or any other WordPress maintenance, give us a call on 0114 383 0711

Simple Guide to Domain Registration, Email Services, and Web Hosting

Domain name registration

Domain name registration

Setting up email services – what you need to understand

  1. When you register a domain name you become the registrant. They are registered through various registries depending on the extension (the last bit of the domain after the ‘.’) of the domain, for example, anything that ends in a ‘uk’ is registered through Nominet based here in the UK and ICANN look after domain extensions such as .NET, .COM, .ORG, and .INFO. The domain name registration will need your email address and other contact details
  2. When you register a domain you will need to pick who has the administrative control over it. This is normally done automatically through your domain name provider, for example, if you register your domain through GoDaddy, they will have administrative control of your domain.
  3. The domain administration will often be managed by your web developer
  4. Once you have registered your domain, you can transfer the administrative control to another provider. This can usually be done directly through the current administrator. The most common domains are the NOMINET and ICANN ones and are transferred as follows:
  • Nominet domains – change the TAG
  • ICANN domains – unlock the domain before initiating a transfer from the new administrator
  1. There will usually be a small charge made for transfers
  2. Alternatively, you can simply change the NAMESERVERS which will not change the company providing the domain registration services and renewals but will pass control over all other associated services to a new provider. The NAMESERVERS is a bit of information added to the domain that says where the domain is being administered.
  3. Now you’ve registered a domain and the administrative control is set up name you can split the services i.e. web services and email services. You don’t have to use both of these, you can use one or the other, or you can use both
  4. The most common web service is the standard website which is what happens when you type your domain name into a web browser. Other web services include sub-domains and FTP access.
  5. Web hosting is simply a computer that is connected to the internet and has an IP address (Internet Protocol.) This IP address is the unique location for the connection. When you request a website, such as BBC.CO.UK, your browser looks up the corresponding IP address for your request and downloads the corresponding website to your browser.
  6. Email services are primarily receiving email i.e. if someone sends an email to your domain name, how is it handled and where does it go?
  7. These changes are specified in the DNS registry (Dynamic Name System) that is controlled through your domain administrative provider
  8. Note: Other DNS settings can be, for example, to prove administrative control of a domain (this is a quite common request with Google & Bing)
  9. The only other service you’ll need in relation to email is the SMTP service (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.) This is the service that takes the email you want to send and relays on the road towards it’s recipient. This is a completely separate service to the web and email services connected with your domain but is often provided alongside these.
  10. An email client is the software used to send and receive emails. This can be a web-based client or can be a locally based client (local email client) such as Outlook. Web based email clients will generally also provide SMTP services but if you want to use a local email client such as Outlook, you’ll need SMTP services. SMTP is sometimes provided as part of a hosting package but sometimes it must be purchased separately

In summary

  1. To register a domain name you’ll need a domain name registrar to register it on your behalf (such as GoDaddy or 123 Reg) or an agency such as Seven Creative
  2. When you register the domain you become the domain name registrant
  3. You need to specify who has administrative control of the domain using the NAMESERVERS
  4. You need to specify where the web services and email services are administered (these don’t have to both be used and can be with separate providers if you wish.) This is done using the DNS via your domain name administrator
  5. If you’re going to have a website, you’ll need website hosting.
  6. Email sending services and webmail are often bundled with website hosting
  7. If you are going to be using email services using a local email client (such as Outlook, Thunderbird, , email on your mobile phone, Apple Mail, etc.) you’ll need an SMTP server which may be bundled with your hosting or may be purchased separately

The ‘Undeliverable Email’ Notifications Problem

It’s a very common problem to, out of the blue, start to get lots and lots of ‘mail delivery failure’ type emails but unfortunately there’s not a lot we can do to stop this.

Short explanation

The ‘Undeliverable Email’ Notifications Problem

The ‘Undeliverable Email’ Notifications Problem

When spammers send out their spam emails they need to pretend these emails are from a legitimate source otherwise they won’t be successfully delivered. Every email has certain information extra attached to it such as a sender address so you know who it’s from. Spammers will fake this information to make sure the emails get through spam filters so if you’re suddenly receiving a lot of ‘mail delivery failure’ messages, there’s a very good chance someone is sending out spam emails pretending to come from your email address.

The good news is it’s probably nothing personal, it’s unlikely to affect your domain adversely in the long-term, and the problem normally tails off after a week or two

Longer explanation

From my experience, the problem usually spikes within the first week and only lasts about 2 or 3 weeks in total.

The best way to understand why this happens, in my opinion, is to think about it like this:

Imagine if Jim didn’t want to receive a letter in the post from Bob but Bob wanted to send a letter to Jim anyway. If, when Bob puts his letter to Jim in the post, he puts the ‘sender’ address on the back of the envelope as someone else other than himself, Jim wouldn’t know the letter was from Bob until he actually received it and opened it.

Just like a letter you receive in the post, emails also have a ‘sender’ address that can be ‘faked’ or ‘spoofed.’

In the example above, Bob is the email spammer – he wants to send emails to Jim (and millions more) about things like fake watches and pharmaceuticals – but his emails would be easily caught by spam filters because Bob is a known spammer. Jim, on the other hand, is just one of millions of random recipients. And the sender address on the back of the ‘envelope’ is yours because you’re not a known spammer so emails from you pass easily through the spam filter… although it could actually be anybody’s address used as the ‘sender’

So, here is why you’re getting so many ‘Undeliverable Email’ Notifications:

  1. Bob sends his millions of emails out to random recipients,
  2. Bob puts the ‘sender’ address as yours,
  3. the spam filters see that these emails are from, they know you’re not a spammer, so they let these emails through the filter,
  4. Jim, on the other hand, opens the email from Bob and sees it’s spam so marks it accordingly
  5. after a while, the spam filters begins to suspect you are a spammer
  6. the spam filters begin to reject emails from you they now think you’re a spammer
  7. you start getting ‘undeliverable email’ notifications as these emails are rejected and sent back to what they believe are the ‘sender’ i.e. you
  8. now his email’s are getting rejected, Bob starts to use a different ‘sender’ address
  9. your ‘undeliverable email’ notifications begin to tail off as Bob is now using someone else’s address as the ‘sender’ address

So, the bad news is that there is no way we can talk to Bob directly to ask him nicely to not use your email address as the ‘sender’ address

The good news is that it’s nothing personal, there shouldn’t be any long-term damage to your domain name, and the problem should naturally stop after a few weeks all by itself


Did you sign up to a yearly Tastecard membership without realising it?

Have Tastecard taken money from you via PayPal that you don’t remember authorising and you haven’t been able to get it back?

Here is how I got my Tastecard membership cancelled and my money refunded

Don’t forget to let me know how you get on with your refund via Twitter:

Tastecard’s stance is that since 2006 they have been making it very clear that the Tastecard is on an ongoing subscription and it’s therefore your fault if the card renews and they take the money without you realising it. They appear generally belligerent and unwilling to negotiate about refunds. Their compromise seems to be that they can change the name of the card owner and cancel the following year’s subscription but nothing more

In my opinion, their terms aren’t clear enough and I don’t think it’s feasible for them to rely on a box that was ticked a year ago. For example, with me, they didn’t even have my contact details. The first I knew about my reoccurring subscription was when £35.99 disappeared from my bank account! Did you know that principle 4 of the Data Protection Act (1998) requires businesses to ‘keep personal data accurate and up to date’?

Anyway, here is how I got a refund:

  1. Firstly, I complained directly to Tastecard. If you do the same, they will likely refuse to give you a refund so be sure to make sure they confirm that this is their final decision. Inform them that you will be opening a PayPal dispute, talking to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and talking to Trading Standards. If they still don’t give you a refund:
  2. Secondly, I opened a disputed transaction claim with PayPal for unauthorised payments taken from my account. If you do the same and still don’t get your refund:
  3. Thirdly I opened a claim with the Financial Ombudsmen Service (FOS) and
  4. Complained to Trading Standards

My case was based on the fact that I believed Tastecard mislead me in terms of:

  • the reoccurring payment they intended to take – this was not clear when I signed up
  • their terms and conditions were not clear
  • I wasn’t made aware that I was signing up to a reoccurring payment
  • they failed to give me notice about the money they would be taking (mainly due to the fact they didn’t have my contact details)

Useful numbers

Here are some useful numbers and links:

Citizen’s advice telephone: 03454 04 05 06

FOS complaints:

Find your local trading standards:

Celebration freebies for you!

We’ve just turned 10 years old!

Happy Birthday to Seven Creative

Happy Birthday to Seven Creative

10 years ago Seven Creative was established, and since then, we’ve helped over 300 local, national, and international business grow

To celebrate our birthday, we’d like to tell you a little about some of the services you can use to grow your business, show you a little market insight, and give you a little something for free

Email Marketing

Email Marketing from Seven Creative

Email Marketing from Seven Creative

Email marketing continues to be, for most businesses, by far one of the most cost-effective ways of generating leads… and it’s oh, so simple!

Not only can we provide you with a super-simple email marketing system, we can also support you with the email content, the email template, the images, and even supply you with a marketing list of targeted prospects. We can even do the whole thing for you if you’d prefer!

Get in touch on 0114 383 0711 and let us give you a quick run through the system for free

Mobile friendly web

Wordpress updating and maintenance by Seven Creative

WordPress updating and maintenance by Seven Creative

Mobile search continues to become increasingly important following Google’s ongoing algorithm updates. Many business now reporting over 60% of their site visits come via mobile devices!

Why not find out how mobile-friendly your site is and if it’s being penalised within the rankings by Google for poor mobile-support.

We’ll happily do a quick site evaluation for you for free to let you know what steps need to be taken to increase mobile compatibility and what are your priorities. Give us a call today on 0114 383 0711 for more information. 

Social Media for Business

Social Media Management by Seven Creative

Social Media Management by Seven Creative

It’s here and it’s not going away, but can you afford to ignore social media? Did you know that around 64% of adults aged 50 to 64 use Facebook with 70% of them logging in daily – and they’re a lot less cynical than younger demographics.

Also, 44% of online women use Pinterest, 28% of adults use Instagram, and 20% of the entire population use Twitter.

How much is your CPA? I’d put money on that potentially being a whole lot cheaper with a good, solid, consistent and efficient social media strategy in place – and that’s where we can help

Pick your channels well, create a solid strategy, and post good quality content and you can’t go wrong.

We can coach you through the setup, show you how to use the channels effectively, and help you put together a solid social media strategy to raise your profile and generate leads

Get in touch today on 0114 383 0711 and we’ll give you a free social media 101 to get you started

WordPress maintenance and updating

Wordpress updating and maintenance by Seven Creative

WordPress updating and maintenance by Seven Creative

WordPress is huge – accounting for over an estimated 58% of all content-managed websites online at the moment… and into 2016 this figure continues to grow!

What many web developers don’t tell you, however, is that WordPress requires a lot of ongoing maintenance. As the biggest CMS it naturally becomes a target for hackers, but do you know if your site is safe and up-to-date?

We’ll be able to tell you very quickly if your site is likely secure and show you steps you may need to take to secure it further.

We’re also very experienced in developing and maintaining WordPress sites so we can also provide updates and maintenance if required. Get your free audit today

New content and articles

Content creation services from Seven Creative

Content creation services from Seven Creative

We now have to cater for a generation of internet consumers who have an increasingly short attention span due to having been bombarded with mediocre content – they expect quick fixes and instant gratification. According to a recent study by AOP, the attention span of many of your site visitors is often as short as 8 seconds it’s getting shorter!

It’s therefore vital that you create and present fresh, concise, well written, and engaging content for your audience through all your communication channels including email marketing, your website, and social media to increase your ROI and avoid simply becoming part of the ‘noise.’

…but you’re busy running your business and simply don’t have the time to do it. Therefore, why not let us do it for you? Get in touch for a free content strategy review including a proposal for the ongoing creation of new, fresh content.

Anything else?

Internet Marketing by Seven Creative

Internet Marketing by Seven Creative

Of course, the services listed above are just a few of things we can offer – after all we’re a full-service agency – so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything we may be able to help you with.

From Chris and the team, thanks for being part of our first 10 years and here’s to the next 10

5 Tips for Capitalising on Your Instagram Business Presence

instagram marketing agency sheffieldA growing number of businesses are reaping the benefits of Instagram marketing to promote their products and services, and drive sales. Creating a brand profile on the popular image led networking site enables you to market your business to a whole new audience.

But using Instagram effectively for business is about much more than taking a photo, applying a filter, and posting it to your news feed. To have a real impact in the world of Instagram, you need to make sure that your posts are carefully crafted, and shared with purpose and intent.

As experts in social media management Sheffield, we’ve compiled a list of 5 handy tips to capitalise on your business presence on Instagram.

Create a Healthy Following using Engagement and Hashtags

There are several ways that you can effectively increase your followers on Instagram, and all of them are relatively simple. Firstly, make an effort to engage with other users by following them, liking their photos and leaving comments on them.

Use hashtags for every image that you post. A quick spell of hashtag research will drum up plenty of ideas, and give you an insight into which hashtags are relevant and popular. If your brand uses their own hashtags on other social networking sites such as Twitter and Google+, use them on Instagram too – it will help to expand your following and unify the appearance of your brand across the channels in use.

Make you Photos Beautiful

For a social media platform that is image lead, it’s fairly obvious that you need to make sure that your photos are good. A filter won’t hide everything, so getting the basics in place for a great photo is an absolute must. When you’re taking a photo for Instagram, avoid using the camera in the actual app to take the shot. Use your phone camera, which can zoom and crop your frame into a square as you take it. Then import the picture into Instagram when you open the app. Finally, remember you are working in a square, keep the camera steady, and maximise the clarity of the image by adjusting the focus.

Follow Those Who Follow You

Making the most of Instagram for business is all about creating strategic relationships. Who you follow is really important to the overall appearance of your brand on Instagram. Seek out accounts that you can learn from and enjoy in your followers, and follow them back. Following other brands on Instagram is not only good practice, it’s also smart. Find, follow, and research your competitors!

Showcase Your Employees

Posting images of your staff at work gives the customer a highly valued behind-the-scenes look at your business. Not only does it serve the purpose of celebrating your staff and showing them how much they are valued, it also strengthens the ethos of your brand with a sneak-peek look at what makes your business tick.

Create a Posting Schedule

Instagram is a very relaxed, laid back social media platform. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, you don’t need to post every day, or you’ll risk saturating your followers’ news feeds with your content. Think ahead and decide what’s ready to post, then create a schedule. Leave gaps for impromptu posting too, part of the beauty of Instagram is the raw immediacy of the imagery, so it’s important that your posting schedule is flexible.

Social Media Management Company in Sheffield

For more info and advice from experts in a variety of social media channels including Instagram, why not give Seven Creative a call? Our Sheffield social media training and management services can help your business to capitalise on social media for your business. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

3 Reasons Why Your SEO Strategy Should Revolve Around Organic Content

organic content SEO SheffieldThe ultimate goal of SEO as a marketing strategy is to drive high-quality traffic to your site. Through the combination of organic, high-quality content – and white-hat link building techniques – you can give yourself the best chance of doing this on an ongoing basis.

To help you achieve your ranking goals, it pays to have an experienced company doing the work that you require. Here at Seven Creative, we’re perfectly placed to help and continue to offer Sheffield SEO services to businesses on both a monthly and one off basis.

Focussing on the production of shareable, engaging website copy; we have a proven track record when it comes to successfully ranking sites across a wide spectrum of trades. With that in mind, we’ve put together a helpful guide to explain why organic content should continue to form the cornerstone of your SEO campaign.

Website Users Will Engage With Your Site for Longer

Concentrating on the development of content that offers genuine value to your target website users can benefit you in a number ways. Primarily, it will ensure that you’re providing your potential customers with useful information; that will ultimately persuade them to choose your services. As a result of this, it’s likely that those users will engage with your site for a longer spell of time.

This is something that Google will look fondly upon; as the longer a visitor spends on your site, the more the search engines will flag it as a valuable source of information. Finally, if the traffic your website receive likes the content on it, they’re more likely to delve into the deeper structure of your site. This means a reduced bounce rate and more subsequent points scored with the search engines.

Others Will Link to Your Content

When other web users start to link to your site, the subsequent SEO benefits can see you rise further up the ranking positions. If people see value in your business blog copy, they may feel compelled to share it across social media and other bookmarking sites; which can only have a positive effect.

Not only will the links built back to your site by this activity act as golden flags to the search engine algorithms, they will also raise exposure of the shared content you’ve written and get in front of more potentially high-value website visitors.

It Gives You Website Copy to Strategically Optimise

The production of ongoing organic website copy will also provide you with a steady stream of site pages that you can carefully optimise for SEO purposes. Each new page presents a chance for you to integrate the search terms that you wish to be found for; whilst the accompanying meta data you can fill in is another factor the search engines will be weighing up when debating the value of your site.

Every page of copy that you produce can also be optimised with relevant images, which when added correctly can also give your site a boost. As long as you consistently stick to good practices, you’re sure to see an improvement for your website in the search engine ranking positions.

Sheffield SEO Services from Seven Creative

When implemented well, SEO can become a profitable long-term investment for your business. To speak to one of our SEO experts in Sheffield about tailoring a campaign to suit your needs, please don’t hesitate to call us today on 0114 383 0711.


6 Simple Ways to Get More Shares and Likes on Your Facebook Posts

like and share buttonLove it or hate it, Facebook is the market leader when it comes to social media channels. It was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts, and now boasts a massive 1.44 billion monthly active users. Creating content that gets shared and liked is every marketers aim. Whether you consider it an art or a science, here are 6 simple ways to get more likes and shares on your Facebook posts.

Use Eye Catching Images

Although it’s not recommended that you post an image each and every time, pictures do tend to have better visibility in the Facebook news feed. Images are simply easier to consume than text and will, therefore, get more attention from your fans. Make sure you share photos of high quality, though, and always those that will be of interest to your target audience. It’s also important that you include relevant links with your images so that you’re sending the traffic back to your website.

Ask Your Audience for Ideas

When you’re looking for ideas for a new bit of content, why not ask the opinion of those who will actually see it? Ask for feedback from people in your online community, influencers and customers. When you’ve taken on board their opinions and produced content you know will please them, they’ll be more likely to engage with it, share it, and comment on it. Because they’ve been part of the idea process, they’ll be more inclined to share the content with their audience.

Share Other People’s Content

If you want to encourage people to share your content, start by sharing theirs. If someone in your online community shares a piece of information that you think would be useful for your own audience, share it yourself. Of course, the creators of that information will be appreciative, and in turn be motivated to return the favour for you.

Incentivise Sharing

Another great way to motivate people to share and like your posts is by offering them an incentive to do so. The simplest way to do this is by posting an update informing your audience that every person who likes and shares your post will be in with a chance of winning a prize. Of course, the value of the object or service that you’re offering must be substantial enough for people to bother, but it needn’t break the bank. For example; a nail bar could offer a free manicure, a dog grooming parlour could put a free cut and dry up for grabs, and an SEO company could offer a free website evaluation – you get the idea!

Keep it Short and Sweet

Everyone is guilty of scrolling through their news feed and not being bothered to read a more lengthy looking post. Time is precious, and the nature of social media demands short bursts of information that are easy to digest. Research has shown that posts containing 80 characters or less get around 27% more engagement, suggesting that shorter posts are the most effective when it comes to engaging your audience.

Include a Call to Action

Inviting your friends, fans and visitors to share your posts can increase exposure. Create a simple call to action, for example, “Like if you agree” often works well, providing that the preceding statement is relevant. Or you could ask people for their thoughts, therefore encouraging them to comment.

Social Media Management Sheffield

As a Sheffield based social media company, we spend our days creating content for a wide variety of social media channels. Our ongoing Sheffield social media management services can include contributing to and monitoring the Facebook page for your business. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

6 Ways Social Media Marketing Can Help Your Business

social media management sheffieldSuccessfully integrating social media within your wider digital marketing strategy can pay dividends for your business. With so many platforms to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start; but with the right expertise behind you you’re sure to reap the many rewards on offer.

Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are a sample of the various outlets that allow you to develop the presence of your business online; but there has to be a valid reason for you to be using any of them. Simply being there isn’t enough and if you’re going to do social media you need to do it right.

At Seven Creative, we have many years of experience when it comes to the matter and are well-placed to offer our expert advice as to the most appropriate strategy for you. Here are 6 of the benefits you can look forward to as a result of successful social media management:

Manage Your Brand Reputation and Captivate New Audiences

Every business can benefit from customer feedback; which people are always keen to provide online. If you aren’t there to respond then you can’t help them resolve their issues. Social media provides the platform to give your customers a point of contact; that will not only help ensure their happiness, but also allow you to do so in the view of others. Making a good impression with your ability to resolve any problems can help you keep on top of your brand reputation and attract new interest.

Understand and Educate Your Customers

Effective, hands-on social media management can be a great way to get to know your target audience better. Through structured, regular engagement with those interested in your services, you can begin to learn what makes your potential customers tick and better inform them of how you can assist. By not simply selling but also listening you’re sure to improve the way you approach your general marketing ethos.

Establish Yourself as an Industry Leader

One way to impress your target customers is to showcase your expertise surrounding the industry that you work within. You can do this through social media not only by educating your followers about your own services, but also through commenting on relevant news and topics from your line of work.

Give Your Customers the Capacity to Market for You

The great thing about optimising social media channels effectively is that once you develop people’s awareness of your brand, they’ll start to tell other people about it – meaning you’re getting free marketing from individuals and companies who are genuinely enthusiastic about the services you have to offer.

Boost the SEO of Your Website

There’s plenty of speculation surrounding the exact benefits social media linking can have on the ranking of your site with Google and Bing. As the search engine algorithms evolve, more emphasis is being placed on social media clout; and it is certainly an effective way to drive people to your website. This in itself can help with SEO; as leads sourced through social media are likely to engage with your site for longer – an important factor when it comes to SEO.

Drive Increased Website Traffic

As well as these SEO benefits, there is also the more obvious fact that a large, well-managed social media following will help you to ramp up your site visitors. The more widely-known your brand becomes, the more website traffic you can look forward to. If you can then convert these people through your site, you can look forward to increased income and positive business development.

Social Media Management Sheffield

When running a business, it can be difficult to find the time to fit in extra marketing activity. Our social media management Sheffield team can take away the hassle for you. Find out more about how our experts could help you to generate increased website traffic – and grow your online profile – by giving us a call today on 0114 383 0711.

The Importance of Keeping the News Page on Your Website Updated

content marketingA news page is a common feature on many websites, and used properly, is a great addition to your site. If you have a news page on your website, ask yourself honestly – when was the last time it was updated? If you can’t remember when you last put an article or news bulletin on it, you need to act fast!

It can be really discouraging for potential customers when they check out a company’s news page only to find that it hasn’t been updated for months. It really doesn’t make a good impression and you may find potential customers asking themselves a few questions. Are they not very busy? Have they gone out of business?

You may have been meaning to update the content on your news page, but maybe it keeps getting put to the bottom of the list. In order to keep it up to date, you need to set aside a block of time during the week to make sure this all important task is carried out. That means posting regular articles that inform customers and readers of your latest news, products, services, event etc. And you’ll benefit from it too – not only do potential customers see interesting, relevant content; search engines love fresh content.

Content Ideas for your Website’s News Page

You might not think that you have anything to talk about and may worry about generating ideas, but there are lots of things you could write a short article about. Sharing testimonials is a great idea, as is sharing and commenting on industry news, welcoming a new member of staff – you get the idea!

Keeping visitors coming back to your website is also something to consider. Your regular customers may be very familiar with your site, but why not give them something new to read on their next visit? Loyal customers will be genuinely interested in your news, so adding fresh material to your site on a regular basis means that will come back to see what’s going on.

Concise and Captivating Content

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!

If you’ve been meaning to add regular articles to your news page, or simply update your website copy but never quite got round to it, we can help. Our blog writing service means that we can even write regular news articles on your behalf, ensuring that you’ve always got fresh content. Call us on 0114 383 0711 or email us at for more information.

5-Step Guide towards SEO Satisfaction

Adapting to the evolving world of SEO remains a constant challenge. Yet it needn’t be something that causes frustration. By sticking to clear, concise strategy you can look forward to improved web rankings – and ultimately more genuine traffic to your site.

Sheffield-SEOYou can minimise the impact of algorithm changes by taking care to publish optimised, organic, useful content on your site. Not only will this always be well-received by Google; it will also retain customers visiting your site for longer (also great for SEO).

Whether you’re looking for one-off SEO site work, or ongoing content production, you need to make sure that you pick the right company to carry out the work for you. As Sheffield SEO experts, we at Seven Creative are well-placed to help:

Identify Your Goals

Before you start an SEO campaign, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. If you work within a competitive trade, for example, you’ll be more likely to see page 1 results by targeting one of your niche services. Similarly, adding a geographical focus to your activity can also help you maximise the benefits of SEO.

View SEO as a Long-Term Marketing Strategy

Integrating SEO into your marketing budget can pay serious dividends – but the effect you’ll feel won’t always be immediate. For monthly campaigns in particular, it needs to be something that you invest in for the long term.

A re-work of your website can improve your positions fairly quickly depending on how competitive your keywords are, but if you then don’t continue to add regular, organic content -whilst your competitors do – you’ll soon find yourself sliding back down the SERP’s.

Make Sure You Get Reports

The world of SEO can sometimes seem like smoke and mirrors. If you’ve had a bad experience with paid services previously, that will only be heightened. A company that provides you with detailed, transparent, monthly reports can be worth their weight in gold; and you’d be wise to choose such a firm to carry out any SEO work that you need.

Have a Blog and Update it Regularly

Business blogging is great for your brand image; as it will help you to establish yourself as a leading voice within your industry. When optimised correctly, this content is perhaps the most important factor with relation to how the Google Algorithm deciphers your website.

Fresh and engaging news articles, case studies and blog articles are the best way to show the search engines that you have something of value to offer on your site, so this really is an opportunity not to be missed.

Optimise Any New Content You Publish

Whenever it comes to adding new content to your site, make sure that it’s optimised for the search engines. If you’ve hired an SEO company for one-off site work but now want to try it yourself, it’s essential to maintain good practices such as adding descriptions and alternative title text to any new images you add to your site.

SEO Sheffield from Seven Creative

Maintaining practices such as the ones mentioned here will stand you in good stead for your SEO campaign. To implement the strategy, it’s well worth hiring professionals and we at Seven Creative are here to help.

Our SEO experts in Sheffield can provide you with engaging web copy; that will stand the test of Google updates to fire you up the rankings – and then keep you there. Please don’t hesitate to call us today on 0114 383 0711 to find out more.

The Importance of Using Pinterest as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

pinterest social media sheffieldYou may well use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy, but what about Pinterest? With over 70 million users worldwide, it is now the 4th most popular social network, and not to be underestimated.

How Does Pinterest Work?

It’s free to sign up, and Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and organise images, or ‘pins’ through collections known as pin boards. Users can browse the content of others, and save individual pins to their own pin boards using the ‘Pin it’ button. If browsing a website other than Pinterest, images can be pinned to users’ pin boards using a ‘Pin it’ button that can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on your web browser. Users can also ‘repin’ pins from others on their own pin boards.

Driving Sales with Business Pages

In addition to accounts for personal users, Pinterest also allows businesses to create business pages that they can use to promote their company online. These pages could be described as ‘virtual shopfronts’, allowing Pinterest users to browse items for sale on their website. And it’s big business; brand studies have continued to show that Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media. As well as images, business pages can also include various data, topics and information such as prices of products, ratings of movies or ingredients for recipes.

Pinterest and Search Engine Optimisation

Last month, San Diego hosted the “Social Media Marketing World 2015” conference, where several social media professionals shared their expertise on established and developing trends in social media. According to the conference, Pinterest has been dubbed ‘the new Google’, due to the fact that it has a powerful search which many people actually turn to before the search engine giant. It might sound unbelievable, but the reason for this is that many people simply prefer the visual search results that Pinterest offers. Pins on Pinterest also have great longevity too, for example, if you share a pin today, it will still be coming up in search results weeks, months and even years later.

Sheffield Social Media Management Services

As the 4th most popular social media channel in the world and an invaluable tool for driving sales, it’s never been more important to get to grips with Pinterest and start reaping the benefits. Here at Seven Creative, we offer ongoing Sheffield social media management services which can include contributing to and monitoring your business’ Pinterest account. Call us today on 0114 383 0711 today for more information about how we can help you.

5 Ways Great Quality Website Copywriting Can Help Your Business

Great website copywriting can pay dividends for your business. Not only will it improve brand awareness with your potential customers; it can also help boost your visibility with the search engines.

Whether you’re looking to update your existing content – or for brand new copy for a new website – our team of highly-skilled Sheffield copywriters are sure to be able to help. Here are a number of things great quality website copywriting can help you to do:

Clearly Communicate the Core Values of Your Business

SEO copywriting sheffieldPunchy website copywriting is the perfect way to communicate with your customers. When reading information published online, people want to be able to get to the point without it taking up too much of their time. The job of your website is ultimately to inform and convert your customers; and with snappy and engaging text you can do this to the best possible effect.

New content also gives you the chance to re-evaluate the direction of your company. Refreshing the copywriting on your website can help you to assess how your goals may have changed and decide on new copy that may now be more relevant to your brand.

Stand Out from Your Competitors

High-end content will help you to stand out from the competitive market. Plenty of businesses are guilty of paying large sums for websites that look pretty; but are ultimately populated with content that renders that design work almost useless. You need the copy to match.

By taking care of both the aesthetics and engagement-factor of your website, you can help to improve the experience your potential customers have whilst spending time on your site and ultimately rise to the top of the pile in your industry.

Enhance Brand Reputation

If you’re selling a high-end service, poor website copy can harm the reputation you’re trying to build. Poor grammar, content not written appropriately for the web and a complete lack of understanding when it comes to the needs of the customer are mistakes we commonly encounter.

Taking the time to research exactly what it is your product or service can do to benefit your potential new clients will help you to clearly communicate the message of your brand. Once this has been decided on, the quality copywriting your website deserves can be written.

Boost the SEO of Your Site

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field through the copy published on your site is a great way to take responsibility for how it’s ranking. Well-written content – that is of genuine value to the industry you work within – will be incredibly well received by the Google algorithm.

This can be taken even further with specialist SEO copywriting. By looking at the functionality of your website content with relation to keyword density and heading tags; copywriting specifically written for SEO purposes can drive more genuine traffic to your site. When done well, it can give your site the extra push it needs to work its way up the rankings.

Increase Site Traffic and Convert More Customers

Ultimately, content written by a great copywriter will entice more people to your website and help persuade them to buy your product or service. The higher quality the copy on your site, the more likely it is that your audience will engage with it for longer and convert. Get the message and tone right and you can look forward to further online growth.

Speak to a Copywriter from Our Sheffield Marketing Agency Today

The value attached to optimised website content is significant. For many, it’s just a case of getting round to its creation. Our Sheffield copywriters are highly experienced in the production of everything from SEO copywriting to site content re-writes; so please don’t hesitate to contact us at Seven Creative today. You can reach us by calling 0114 383 0711.



Not Sure About Using Social Media for Your Business? You Need to Read This!

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

Here at Seven Creative, we’ve been using social media for business since social media went mainstream, so it’s part of the marketing mix we understand very well.

For virtually every business, having a good and consistent presence on social media is vital in terms of raising awareness, educating your audience, and generating leads – so it’s important to get it right!

We see many businesses doing it well. However, we also see many, many businesses doing it badly, or even worse, not doing it at all! Therefore, we thought we should put together a quick list of the main areas your business needs to focus on when planning and implementing your own social media campaign.

The 10 most important lessons to learn when running your social media campaign for your business

  1. Get to know your customers – you probably already feel like you know who your customers are but it’s still a very useful exercise to sit down with a pen and paper to really find out about them; create customer profiles, get to know them, find out what makes them tick. We’ve been setting up and managing social media campaigns for businesses for many years and I can’t stress enough how important the information you’ll discover during this exercise will be when it comes to creating the strategy and managing an effective ongoing social media campaign!
  2. Make effective use of your time – Let’s face it, nobody wants to waste time, and there is very little more demoralising than putting a lot of time into a project only to get no discernible return on that effort. Therefore, use what you found out about your customers during the profiling stages of your campaign to make sure you’re focusing your effort where it’s most likely to work.
  3. Measure your results – Find out what works best and do more of it. Find out works less well and do less of it. Now repeat. For example, ask your enquiries how they found you. Measure engagement and figure out what it was that increased it. Look at the stats. This is vital if you’re going to use your time effectively.
  4. Go to where your customers are – During the profiling stages you found out where your target audience is online – where they feel comfortable and ‘hang out’ – so go and meet them there. Get into those circles and make contact!
  5. Stop selling and start engaging – Nobody wants to be sold to! The adverts during the TV show are not why people are watching TV, they’re simply a tolerated inconvenience. People want to engage, be entertained, and to have their online experience enhanced. If you’re not doing that, you’re doing it wrong.
  6. Be responsive – Give people what they want, when they want it, and be there when they want to engage with you. Understanding your customer means you know why and when they’re online, where they are, and what they want. Cater for this and you’ll become an enjoyable part of their online experience. Don’t forget, however, this is a two-way street.
  7. Make a commitment – Get it in the calendar and stick to it. You need to commit to an hour a day for creating new content, timely replies to engagement, and maintaining a consistent presence. This needs to be a priority, even when you get busy at work. Having a social media presence is about creating conversations, not about advertising to people. Without this commitment, you’ll lose trust quickly.
  8. Remember your reputation – Focus on being available and providing excellent customer service, and your reputation will look after itself. It is, however, very easy to ruin your reputation if you’re not careful, and many of your customers will know this. Remember that you’re signing up to provide potentially public customer service, meaning you’ve got to do it very well!
  9. Don’t bother your friends and family – Creating an audience is tough, so for many businesses, the logical first step is to start by using your friends and family as your audience. But this is a bad idea. It is a sure-fire way to annoy people and be honest; are they even your target audience anyway? Instead, you should focus on creating an audience of your potential customers and leverage them to boost your audience further. If you’ve ever tried this, you’ll know it’s not easy. However, it is doable.
  10. Let the experts do it for you – Instead of letting social media get in the way of your main business activities, why not let the experts do it for you? With many years of experience we can set up and manage the whole ongoing campaign on your behalf, or even simply mentor you through doing it yourself.

Whatever you decide to do, call us on 0114 383 0711 today for more information on social media campaign planning, setup, and ongoing social media management.

Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings with These 5 SEO Tips

As a business owner, you’re no doubt bombarded by spammy emails offering you SEO services from companies that promise they can get your website on the first page of Google. As a reputable Sheffield SEO company we know that no-one can really guarantee these results with 100% certainty. But there are certain things that you can do to help your website rank highly in the search engines, therefore increasing traffic to your website.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO services) from Seven Creative

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO services) from Seven Creative

SEO is an abbreviation of search engine optimisation. This is the process of improving the ranking of a website in the results pages of a search engine for certain keywords in order to get more organic traffic to the site. When carried out properly, search engine optimisation provides valuable results that make a significant improvement to the amount of traffic your website receives. With that in mind, here are our top 5 SEO tips that will help to improve the ranking of your website in the search engines.

1. Write Interesting, Engaging Content

Interesting, engaging content has never been more important for SEO on your website or blog. Great content helps to establish you as a thought leader in your industry, and an expert in your field. Search engines prefer fresh, original content that engages users, and writing relevant content that users find interesting will not only engage users, but also build your credibility. And as you become a trusted resource for information, users will be more likely to buy your services.

2. Share your Content on Social Media

Another great way to boost your SEO efforts is to share your content on social media. The more your content is shared, the more links and traffic it will receive. Therefore, the more popular and relevant it seems to Google. Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest to promote your content, and get it shared by other users. Do your best to promote your content on relevant forums, blogs and newsletters too.

3. Optimise Meta Data and Tags

Optimising your titles, meta-tags, meta-descriptions and images for SEO is a must for on-page optimisation. Title tags are used on search engine results pages (SERPs) to display preview snippets for a given web page, and are important for both SEO and social sharing. Titles should be a concise and accurate description of a page’s content; getting it right is really important for both the user experience and search engine optimisation. Also, remember to use ‘Alt text’ for images, because without them, your images won’t be read by search engines, meaning that they’ll have no SEO value whatsoever.

4. Optimise Content with Keywords

When creating content, focus on writing great content for human readers that includes keywords and phrases to help search engines find it. But make sure that you use these keywords naturally; cramming them in where they don’t make sense or don’t read comfortably could be detrimental to your site.

5. Use Analytics to Monitor Performance

After all this hard work, you want to know whether or not your SEO efforts are working, right? The best way to keep track of your success is to use a tracking tool such as Google analytics to monitor the traffic coming to your website. This will enable you to pinpoint the keywords that are driving traffic, identify the pages that have had the highest numbers of visitors, and figure out which pages your customers are converting on. By keeping your eye on your analytics, you can make regular tweaks and changes to optimise your results.

Sheffield SEO Company and Marketing Agency

Although carrying out successful search engine optimisation takes effort, it can bring real traffic to your website. Taking these steps will certainly help you on the way to increasing the amount of web introduced business you generate. If you need some help, or would simply like to chat to an expert, Seven Creative can help. Give us a call on 0114 383 0711 or email us at to find out how we can help to grow your business with quality SEO services in Sheffield.

5 reasons why having good website hosting might be more important than you think

5 reasons why having good website hosting might be more important than you think

5 reasons why having good website hosting might be more important than you think

Website hosting is one of those things many people take for granted – the website is live, the emails are working, so all is good. The truth is though, you may not realise the difference getting good quality website hosting can have on your business or the potential problems you may have exposed your business to. Here is a list of my top 5 main reasons why you may need to rethink your website hosting

  1. If something goes wrong, you might be left high-and-dry. Hard drives die, websites get hacked, and software conflicts arise, etc. but does your host provide immediate telephone technical support? Chances are not. Cheap hosting is cheap because corners are cut, and one of the first places to cut costs is on the support side of things. How many enquiries will you miss if your website is down for a few days? How will your business’ reputation fare? There are few things more frustrating than finding the only way to get through to technical support is on a ticket system and not getting a reply for 2 or more working days. Making sure you have good quality technical support is a must.
  2. Google uses information about your web host within its algorithm to determine where you should appear in the search results. Yep, Google is very clever these days. Gone are the days of being able to manipulate the search results to get your site to the top of the first page. The only way to do it these days is using best practice in all areas of your site. Chances are, your site will be hosted outside of the UK which is not good news from a ranking point of view. Making sure your site is hosted in an appropriate geographical location will improve search engine ranking
  3. How quickly your website displays is very important to both Google and your site visitors. Cheap hosting will generally be on an overloaded and under-spec server in a foreign country. All of these things are bad individually but when you get them together, it can massively affect how your site displays causing ranking problems and annoying your site visitors. Good quality web hosting will improve usability and therefore website conversation rates
  4. You have a legal obligation under the data protection act to take appropriate steps to keep certain data stored securely and this includes on your website. You’re probably currently just hoping your web host is taking care of this but what happens if they’re not doing it properly? In fact, where is the data geographically? I’d recommend auditing what sensitive information you have stored online and make sure you can demonstrate you’ve taken the steps to keep it secure.
  5. When you’re on a shared server, you’re site is sitting alongside probably hundreds if other sites – and you have no idea what those sites are or what content they contain. Your IP address will be shared too meaning there is a whole host of potential problems here. We’ve seen peoples sites added to blacklists via IP through no fault of their own and we’ve seen whole servers compromised due to the actions of another site owner on the same shared host. One day you could be doing well, right up there on page one. The next day, you’re gone from the rankings altogether and suddenly the phone stops ringing. Avoid cheap hosting to avoid the shared server potential pitfalls

Not happy with your current website hosting? Did you know we do a free website migration service? This means we’ll move your site, database and email services to a good quality and appropriate server all for free

Our fully managed web hosting also includes all email services (IMAP, POP3, SMTP, webmail, etc.), spam protection, virus protection, technical support, and rolling 6 hour / 7 day backups.

Call us now on 0114 383 0711 for more information

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 to find out how we can help to grow your business with content marketing today.