Aura Skin & Laser
“As a business that is focussed on aesthetic excellence, it was so important to me that our website design would reflect this. Our website really needed to be beautiful. The team at Márla Communications really understood this straight away, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result”
– Maria Smith, Owner.
Opportunity / Challenge
For Maria, it wasn’t abundantly clear that her old website needed updating initially. Her expertise is in other areas, and it seemed to be functioning well enough. Of course, at that time, she had nothing to compare it to besides similar businesses in her locality, whose websites seemed to be roughly on par with hers. It was when Maria decided to engage Márla Communications for some ecommerce and SEO training that she begun to realise the value of building a new website.
Upon examination of the existing website, we quickly discovered that it wasn’t sufficiently optimised for SEO. Although it might not seem obvious, elegance is as important in building websites as it is in Maria’s beauty business. Search engines show preference to websites that are coded by professionals over those that are built using pay-as-you-go platforms. These platforms generate code automatically, and in ways that often undermine a site’s search engine ranking potential.
There were parallel challenges involved in creating a site that would best serve the business needs of Aura Beauty. Firstly, Maria’s business was about aesthetic excellence, this needed to be reflected by the site. Secondly, it was important that long term Aura Beauty clients weren’t confused by the new booking system.
Finally, and crucially, Maria needed an easy to manage online-store with multiple products and categories. Selling online also represented an opportunity. Through tasteful website design, and an improvement in SEO strategies, Aura had potential to become a trusted retailer for beauty products throughout Ireland.
We liaised closely with Maria, particularly on web design, brand adaptation, and WordPress training. It was vital to Maria that the website would have that ‘wow’ factor which would set her apart from her competitors. We built the new site from scratch and optimised all elements to attain quick loading times and increase attractiveness to search engines. Maria’s pre-existing booking system ‘Phorest’ was seamlessly integrated into the new site in order to maintain continuity, but streamlined in order to optimise the user experience.
We created a new online shopping hub, with products searchable by various criteria. Our team integrated this with simplicity of management in mind and new SEO improvements have seen Aura Beauty’s reach grow throughout Ireland. This was particularly important during lockdown when web-sales were vital to the business. We continue to support this development through the graphic design of social media templates, as well as providing recommendations on how to better use her social media to sell online.
We have had wonderful feedback from Maria regarding her experiences with the team here at Márla Communications. She feels as though our close collaboration was key in allowing her vision to be realised. She also cites the positive feedback she gets from her clients as validation for her decision to modernise her business. ‘I am constantly being told how good the site looks’ Maria told us, going on to say ‘my client’s really love the booking system, it’s so easy for them to move appointments around’. She is also starting to notice sales on her site from further reaches of Ireland, which she feels are really a testament to the design and professionalism of the site.
Maria described Márla Communications as ‘a dream to work with’, and although she still engages with training here, she also still outsources her SEO work to us. ‘I like to learn’ she says, ‘but some things are better left to the experts!’