Google Analytics And High Bounce Rates

Posted by Matthew Snider with 10 Comments

If you are a true geek as myself, you will probably check your web analytics way too many times throughout the day. I have always been confused when looking at either Mint or Church Analytics on a few things. Mainly though, the bounce rates are crazy different.

The real reason behind this ghost phenomenon is actually really simple and something that you can fix pretty easily.

But first before I give you the goods, I just want to make sure that you know what the bounce rate actually is. Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Bounce Rate can be best describe this way:

Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert. You can minimize bounce rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run.

Okay so check out the details below on how to make sure yours make a bit more sense and are not as crazy as Google leads you to believe they are.

So all you need to do to fix the issue of high bounce rate is add a bit of code into your tracking mechanism provided by Google.

Each time a user spends more than 10 seconds on the website should be the standard you set.

Just add the following line under the pageTracker._trackPageview(); line:

setTimeout('pageTracker._trackEvent('NoBounce', 'NoBounce', 'Over 10 seconds')',10000);

If you use the newer Asynchronous Tracking code from Google place it right after the last _gaq.push declaration

setTimeout('_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'NoBounce', 'Over 10 seconds'])',10000);

So what the two above declarations is saying is, don’t count visitors that spend less than 10 seconds on my site as a bounce.  This will weed out any bots or sites such as stumbleupon etc from your stats, giving you a bit more details on actually what is happening.

Does this help? Do you even use Google Analytics? You should!

Matthew Snider

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Matthew is the Editor-In-Chief, and founder of Geek for i. He has produced such posts as Top 5 iPhone Apps For The BathroomMac or PC and many more. His love for iDevices started back when he purchased the original iPhone.

10 responses to Google Analytics And High Bounce Rates

  1. interesting. i do use goo analytics and pay a bit of attention to time on site and bounce rate. I might have to explore this a bit more with this little resource you provided. thanks

    • Sure thing brother. I honestly would not invest much time in those visitors of your site that visit for less than 10 seconds. I doubt they are real people at all.

  2. Great stuff, Matthew. Just dropped in the declaration; look forward to seeing the results. Blessings.

  3. I have been using google analytics for just over 2 years now. I am a stats freak so I am always interested in ways to tweak it. Thanks for this gem! I am looking forward to seeing the results!

  4. Great tip, Matthew! I’m going to try this out. I appreciate it–thanks!

  5. I have to say, I haven’t checked my analytics in quite some time. You can get too obsessed with numbers and I don’t want to do that. I just have fun blogging and trying my best to build relationships with other bloggers and commenters.

    Of course, now I will head over and check out my stats… thanks! :)

  6. Thanks for sharing this, it certainly is very helpful since I not only monitor the analytics for my own site but also for work.

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