Case Study: Aromahead - Big Sea | Inbound Marketing & Digital Development

Aromahead is a custom Learning Management System (LMS) offering online classes and registrations for in-person courses.

This site looks simple, but has a complex online education delivery system that allows the client to add and edit content, exams, resources, require assignments and track uploads, print certificates, track payment plans and progress through the courses. Everything is printer-friendly and easy to access. Integration with and PayPal, it also includes a payment plan tracking system and directory of their graduates, which students can update themselves.

Launch the site

How it Began

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading education centers dedicated to training and certifying aromatherapy practitioners, The Aromahead Institute has relied on Big Sea for all of its digital and print design needs since 2008.

Over the years Big Sea created a wide range of design materials for Aromahead including:

  • developing six different web properties
  • designing two mobile apps
  • creating dozens of print marketing materials

Mobile Matters

By the end of 2013, mobile traffic to the institute’s website skyrocketed just aboveĀ 129 percent. Additionally, site visitors using iPads and other tablets devices had increased by more than 143 percent.

Why would these statistics be a concern for The Institute? Isn’t having an increase in Web traffic a positive development? You bet!

However, like most websites designed prior to today’s “mobile revolution,” the coding was intended to accommodate larger desktop computer screens. Moving forward, it was evident that neglecting to adapt to changing times could negatively impact student enrollment and retention.

Time for an Upgrade

When Big Sea first developed in 2008, the platform was designed to offer a single online course. Today, The Aromahead Institute is a bustling digital education center offering a wide selection of courses and tracks of study to thousands of students that the original website was simply not designed to accommodate.

The time had come to shift to a new, more advanced platform that could better support The Institute’s rapid growth and unique proprietary features including course bundling, tracking of continuing education credits, and maintaining a comprehensive directory of graduates, just to name a few.

Sweet Solutions from Big Sea

Big Sea set out to solve to solve two problems common among most aging websites today:

  • Improving the mobile device user experience
  • Upgrading an outdated coding platform now ill-suited to accommodate The Institute’s rapid growth and expanding content needs

Besides viewing your classes, the student dashboard also reminds you when a payment is due.

Search the network of graduates to keep in touch with fellow students.

Keeping the Lights On

It was critical that we keep The Institute’s website fully functional while our team worked to recode the entire front-end of the site. That process first began with a minor site redesign to immediately address the current challenge of promoting the growing list of new course offerings.

Progress in Motion

Transferring the code base to the more widely and easily supported ExpressionEngine platform, we also kept the best features of the old system. That included maintaining the same custom built admin system the client loved.

This meticulous migration process will make future upgrades and development changes a breeze. The new coding matrix also addressed a number of browser issues that were troublesome to international students and others using older versions of Internet Explorer.

Results. The Essence of Success.

Now, students can browse course offerings, register for courses, make payments and complete their studies from the convenience of their desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.

From March 2013 to March 2014:

+480% Q1 Revenue
+200% Mobile & tablet use
+159% Pageviews

“We’ve been flooded with compliments from our students and alumni since unveiling our expansive “tech makeover.” The result of our investment has been nothing short of amazing. From substantially elevating student retention rates to attracting a tidal wave of new students, we couldn’t be more impressed with Big Sea.”

Andrea Butje, Aromahead Institute Founder