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Your bounce rate can be such a scary number, right?It’s common knowledge that a high bounce rate is bad and a low rate is good.Every time you log into your Google Analytics account, it’s right there waiting for you.
I understand the feeling when you see that number creeping up.But the problem is that numbers can be misleading.After all, how high is really too high?In this post, I’m going to show you how you can fully measure and assess your bounce rate. That way, you’ll know if it’s actually too high for your industry or if it’s perfectly normal.
I’ll share tips and tricks on how to audit your bounce rate and understand what’s driving it up.I’ll also tell you some of my secrets for lowering your bounce rate.But first, let’s talk about exactly what a bounce rate is and why you should care.
What is a bounce rate and why does it matter?
A “bounce” occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. Your bounce rate shows you the percentage of your visitors who bounce off of your site.
By default, Google Analytics considers a visitor to have interacted with your site if they visited at least one additional page.
The bounce rate you see in your overview report on Google Analytics is your site-wide bounce rate.
It’s the average number of bounces across all of your pages divided by the total number of visits across all of those pages within the same period.
You can also track the bounce rate of a single page or a segment or section of your site.
I’ll show you how once we start looking at the different segment reports.
The bounce rate of a single page is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the total number of bounces divided by the total number of visits on a page.
If you run an e-commerce site that also has a blog, you may want to implement a segmented bounce rate.
Your blog posts may have a very different average bounce rate than your product pages.
We’ll get into the exact details later, but segmenting the two can make your numbers more meaningful when you’re looking at the data.
Now that you know the different ways that you can segment your site traffic, I’ll show you how you can create adjusted bounce rates.
You can adjust what Google Analytics considers an interaction. This will directly impact your bounce rate.
For example, you might feel that a visitor has interacted on your site if they watched a video.
In Google Analytics, you have the option to set an event like playing a video, clicking a button, or completing a download as an interaction.
Then, users who complete these “events” will no longer count toward your bounce rate.
However, you need to careful with this. Make sure that automated events don’t skew your results.
If you’ve set up your videos to play automatically, you need don’t want to count video views as interactions.
The simple way to modify how Google records interactions is by sending events into your Google Analytics that tell you when a user spends a certain amount of time on a page, scrolls through a certain percentage of a page, or sees a specific element a the page.
You can send events from Google Tag Manager:
1. Adjust your bounce rate through scroll percentage events
The “Scroll Depth” trigger allows you to create custom events based on how far a visitor scrolls down a page.
First, you need to create a new tag.
Then, name your tag, select “Universal Analytics” for tag type and choose “Event” for the track type.
Next, you need to type in the event category and event action.
To get the action, simply click the small plus sign beside the field and select “Page Path.”
For the event label, pick “Scroll Depth Threshold.”
If you don’t see this option available, go to your “Built-In Variables” screen and enable the scrolling variables:
Now, select “Non-interaction Event” as “False,” and add in your UA tracking ID .
If you’ve completed all of those fields, it should look like this:
For this tag, I recommend setting the scroll to 75% of the page. That means that Google will consider a visitor to have interacted on your site if they scroll 75% of the way through the page.
Make sure you’ve selected “Scroll Depth” as the trigger type. Then, in percentages, put down “75 percent”.
Once done, you can save, preview, debug, and then publish.
2. Adjust your bounce rate through the timer function
You can also decide that Google should consider a visitor to have interacted on a page if they spend a minimum amount of time on it.
Create a new tag and give it a name, such as “UA — Adjusted Bounce Rate — Timer.”
You can choose the length of time that you want to start with. I suggest trying 30 seconds.
To do this, add a new trigger and name it “Timer — 30 seconds”.
The interval is in milliseconds. So, for 30 seconds, you need to put enter “30000.”
Select a limit of one. Then, in the conditions section, set it for “Page URL matches RegEx*.”
This will make it so that Google Analytics includes all of your pages in the tracking.
Make sure you save, preview, and debug before publishing.
Other methods for decreasing bounce rate
Here are some more ways to see where visitors are bouncing and how you can use that information to boost conversions.
Review top exit pages
Another report you should check out is your top exit page report.
You can find it right below the landing pages report in the left-hand menu.
This report will show you which pages people most often abandon your website from.
Take a look at your top traffic pages and compare your bounce rate and your exit rate.
This will show you who’s landing directly on that page and bouncing versus who’s arriving there from an internal link and exiting.
It can help you narrow down where you should spend your time testing and making improvements on your site.
Review in-page analytics
Another great report within Google Analytics is the in-page analytics report.