What does the bounce rate in Google Analytics mean and how to configure it
What is the bounce rate
You only have to meet one condition to result in a 100% bounce rate in Google Analytics, namely, to visit a single page on a website without visiting other pages of the same website and without performing live actions such as watching videos, downloading files, adding goods to the basket, etc.
As a result, if a user:
- only spent time on one page without any actions, the bounce rate of that session will be 100% regardless of the session duration;
- visited one page, added a product to the basket and left a website, the bounce rate will be 0%;
- visited one page, quickly went to another one and left a website, the bounce rate will be 0%.
These conditions are considered unobjective. After all, a person can stay on one page for a long time and do what is required of him. For example, read a news article or an entry without going to other pages. In this case, a 100% bounce rate will be an illogical indicator.
On the other hand, a visitor can bypass several pages without reading the content, and eventually leave the website. A report in Google Analytics will show a 0% bounce rate which will also be unobjective.
The bounce rate data is displayed in the main section of Analytics:
High bounce rates of particular pages indicate user dissatisfaction with content, design, usability, and other factors. If you correct them, you can reduce bounce rates and improve the page ranking in the search results.
How to configure correct bounce rate calculation in Google Analytics
The code has been recently updated, but the previous version is still working. As a result of the changes, the old Google Analytics code will look like this:
Google team recommends adding this command as well. They also advise using the updated version of the Analytics counter code in 2019. The old version may become irrelevant at any time.
If after the implementation of the condition on the session duration the bounce rate remains high, pay attention to the following things:
Avoid common phrases and neutral images from photo stocks which may not be clear to the target audience and will ultimately lead to closing the page. Checking the informational value of the first screen is required both on the desktop and on the mobile version of the website.
It will also help if you conduct a survey for a focus group of users. This can be done both offline and via pop-ups on the website.
The exact bounce rate shows how interested visitors to specific pages and the website are in the information presented on it. To reduce the bounce rate, it is necessary to improve the design, simplify the presentation of content and publish only useful relevant data depending on key queries.
The bounce rate is tracked in dynamics regardless of how high it is at the beginning. With each revision made and every optimization of the traffic source, this indicator gets better and becomes lower.
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