Google Analytics bounce rate

The most common questions about bounce rates in Google Analytics are all answered in this short article.

What is “bounce rate”?

The bounce rate represents the number of visits in which a user opened a site, but did not take any further action (i.e., only one pageview, with no other interactions), divided by the total number of visits.

The bounce rate is normally used to understand whether the content of the website is interesting for the visitors and the quality of traffic is good. Bounce rate can be used to compare traffic channels (i.e., the channel with the lower bounce rate brings a better audience to the site), landing pages (i.e., better landing pages have a lower bounce rate) or segments of users.

How do I check my bounce rate in Google Analytics?

Google Analytics displays a metric for bounce rate. It is available in a number of standard reports (e.g., Behavior Overview, All Pages, etc.) as well as in custom reports and dashboards. Once you have installed the Google Analytics tracking code, you will see the bounce rate displayed.

The problem that many GA users face is that their bounce rate is not correct. This is covered in the question “What is bounce rate?”

What is considered to be a good bounce rate in Google Analytics?

There is no “good” or “bad” bounce rate because this metric depends on the kind of site and business. In some cases, a high bounce rate may even mean that the site is performing well. For example, if the site provides some sort of reference information, a high bounce rate indicates that visitors were able to find the information they were looking for just from the landing page, without having to proceed further. Of course, most businesses want users to interact with their content, so a lower bounce rate is considered better. For an e-commerce site, a 60% to 70% bounce rate is normal. If you have a bounce rate that is less than 20%, there may be a tracking issue (e.g., double tracking or an interaction event that is sent automatically).

If you have video content site with long videos, you may need to send interaction events while a user watches the video to get the correct bounce rate (e.g., if a video is very long, the session may end before a user interacts and will, therefore, be counted as a bounce even though the user was watching the video).

Having a high bounce rate for specific landing pages can be a sign of a technical issue with the page (e.g., broken layout, long load time, etc.), while a high bounce rate for specific devices signals a technical issue on that device. If any traffic channel or campaign has a high bounce rate, it means that it brings traffic that is not interested in the content of the site. Returning user segments and remarketing campaigns will normally have lower bounce rates than those that attract new users.

A high bounce rate on a product page may be caused by an inaccurate product description, poor or missing images or too many distractors on the page.

While analyzing bounce rate on specific landing pages

How do I add Google Analytics

Why is Google Analytics’ bounce rate extremely low?

The most common reason for an extremely low bounce rate (20% or less) in Google Analytics is double tracking. This means that for each of your pages, two pageview hits are sent to Google Analytics. A bounce is counted only if a user opened a page, but did not interact with any other pages or events. If two pageview hits are sent where only one should be sent, bounces are never registered (or very seldom registered when the second pageview hit fails to be sent to GA due to an error, a connection break or another reason).

It is worth noting that it may be the case that only some sections or pages of a site are affected by double tracking. In this case, the overall bounce rate for the site will be 30% or even 50%, but there will be a huge difference in bounce rates between pages that are tracked twice and those that are tracked only once.

Double tracking happens most often when developers implement Google Tag Manager and configure GA tags in it while having a Google Analytics tracking code for the same page in the source code.

A less-common scenario for double tracking is when iframe is present on a page. If both the main page and the page in iframe have Google Analytics, the code implemented on each pageview will be tracked twice, and bounces will not be counted.

Another reason for an extremely low bounce rate is the result of event hits that are sent to Google Analytics without any interactions from the user. For example, it is very common that data about product impressions is recorded as part of a separate event in Google Analytics. This event takes place during the page load and does not require any action from the user. If this event is not set to non-interaction, the bounce rate for pages with product impressions will be extremely low because Google Analytics will interpret this event as user interaction with the site and will not count bounces for these visits.

We hope you find this information useful.

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