Hen Party Site Under the Knife

October 28, 2009 Steve

Rebecca submitted her Hen Party site which focuses on helping the girls to plan for that big Hen Night with everything from gifts, costumes ides, party ideas and party planning.

“Myself and my business partner run the site http://www.hengifts.com.  We were hoping you could give us some constructive criticism on how to improve it.

We are working on repairing broken links at the moment, but any other advice you could give us would be really gratefully received.”

Hen Gifts Screenshot


Here’s what Lammo and Dan had to say:


John LamertonHi Rebecca.

The first thing that strikes me about your site is how dull and dark it looks – I’d lose that background and go for something vibrant and fresh – Hen nights are supposed to be fun – so should your site!

Any reason a bingo banner has pride of place across the site?  I know it matches your demographics, but I’d really try and keep the focus 100% on Hen-related merchants and products.

I think this site is crying out for some user-generated content – encourage your users to share their stories of their own, or their friends Hen nights – you can then drop relevant affiliate links in where required.  Perhaps a forum?

Once you have a loyal following providing you with UGC, then a little editorial prodding can work wonders – spend some time planning a “suggested Hen weekend in Malaga” complete with affiliate links to flights, hotel, costumes, etc. and it’ll be repaid many, many times over.


Dan BarkerHi, Rebecca, how are you?

The site looks really pretty and definitely ‘on-theme’!  I’d love to know how much traffic you’re getting & how sales are going.

If this was my site I’d focus on the two most obvious things:

A. Getting more visitors.
B. Turning more of those visitors into buyers at your merchants.

Here’s a quick idea for 5 steps you could go through to do that.


Looking at Google’s keyword suggestion tool, it looks like the biggest core terms for you would be ‘Hen Party Gifts’ & ‘Hen Night gifts’.  At the moment your homepage title tag is ‘Hen Gifts’.  I’d make sure the words ‘Night’ & ‘Party’ are in there, e.g. ‘Hen Night Party Gifts’ (in fact, looking at the #1 listed page for ‘Hen Party Gifts’, that’s exactly what they’ve done!).

Next, I’d take a look at the main competitors for those terms & see if I can outrank them.  Here’s the data from Yahoo on which pages link to the top page for ‘Hen Night Gifts’ & the top page for ‘Hen Party Gifts':


The first of those only has a couple of pages of inbound links.  I’d go through each of those & contact them asking very nicely if they’d link to me.


Next I’d have a look at what else I can get traffic for.  Again, looking at Google’s Keyword Suggestion tool (https://adwords.google.co.uk/select/KeywordToolExternal) I see that ‘Hen Night Accessories’ is a really big term that you’re not currently focusing on, (along with things like ‘hen night games’ & ‘hen night t shirts’ which you do have categories for).

You can of course repeat the process from step 1 against the sites ranking for these other terms.


Yours feels like the kind of site that would do well in facebook or twitter, or where one hen party guest might email to another, etc.  Why not add a prominent ‘Tell your friends about hengifts.com’ function somewhere, maybe using one of the social widgets like “addtoany” that lets you post direct to facebook?


To do this I’d perform a few little tests on the site & then carry on with the bits that work, here’s an example:

Does removing adsense from the top (or moving it to the foot of the page) increase my overall profits or decrease them?
Does reducing the height of the main banner reduce my bounce rate?
If I add a search box below my top navigation, does it get used?  Do people buy as a result?
Does making product pages for my items work better than pushing visitors direct to merchants from the category page? (could trial that on one category for example).


I don’t know how much priority you want to put on the site, and this suggestion’s slightly more labour intensive: you could gather email addresses through the site & market to them.  A simple way to do that would be to bundle some of your content up into a quick ‘Complete Guide To Organising a Hen Party’ guide (even if it’s just a word document).  Advertise that prominently on the site and build a little landing page for it.  The landing page would require the visitor to enter their email address before they can download the guide.

If you build that list up, it could be very valuable as it tells you 1) this person’s going to a hen party; 2) this person’s going to be going to a wedding soon; 3) this person is a woman, likely to be between the ages of about 18 & 40.  That’s a lot of useful info to help you sell more products to them.

Hope that’s useful.  Good luck on the site – it looks great & I hope it’s a big success!


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5 Responses to “Hen Party Site Under the Knife”

  1. Not sure if anyone else has noticed, but some pages seem to automatically refresh to another website:

    Seems a little odd?

  2. Great advice!

    Another tip – Rebecca could think about joining the affiliate program for our site Hen Night HQ.

    We have lots of products and product feeds that she can use to expand her site, add new pages and categories, which may help her attract more natural search traffic too.



  3. @Chris I hadn’t noticed that one, cheers for pointing it out, weird.

    @Richard thanks for the recommendation, have forwarded to Rebecca.

  4. thanks so much guys. Yes we thought we had fixed that problem; (the page diverting to some random hen night page??) it’s SO weird – our developer said it had something to do with open ads?! will check it out but thanks a lot for noticing and pointing out. Richard, we’ll definitely join the affiliate scheme and Steve thanks for the email. R

  5. Some of the hen party games should be there to have fun for hens.

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