I have a major issue with an eCommerce site I operate. The name is Cards of Paradise and it sells Magic the Gathering cards (a trading card game) . The name is a play off of a popular card Birds of Paradise. Well, unfortunately someone else had the same idea for the name.
I only found out about this after the site was created but there is a brick and mortar retail store that sells the same product with the same name in Rio de Janeiro. I only sell to American customers because of a lack of affordable and traceable delivery methods outside of the US.
So I have had the site going for about a year now and about half of my traffic is from Brazil. The bounce rate for those visits is hovering above 60%, which makes me concerned. I have tried blocking Brazilian ip addresses in the access file but have not gotten it to work.
I have only been operating this casually or as a hobby for the past year but need to take it more seriously. A couple questions:
1. Does the poor bounce rate of over half of my traffic impact my search rankings? (I assume yes even if not directly)
2. If I decide to change the name, is there any value in doing a 301 redirect to the new site or will it cause the same problems?
Any help would be greatly appreciated and I look forward participating in what seems to be a thriving community.
Bounce Rate does not directly affect your rankings but pogo sticking (where users bounce right back to the SERPs could indirectly affect you)
what to be more concerned about from bounce rate is why the user is bouncing out of your site. Are they not finding what they want (are the
keywords you are targeting meeting user intent for your pages?) What is on your pages to keep users there, what is there to encourage conversion
(calls to action), and are those calls to action actually driving users to convert? Assessing these issues could help you to address your
bounce rate problems and potentially decrease it.
As for the 301 redirect, if done properly the 301 will help you to pass most of the link equity that you have from your old site to your new
site. When implementing 301s be sure to update links with the old URLs to point directly to the new URLs.
I think the Brazilian store will have a problem if they decide to get Web presence one day. Other than that, don't worry about Brazilian visitors. Extra visitors may actually help you sell advertising one day ;)
Or maybe one day you'll figure out how to ship your cards overseas.