Trick to solve High Bounce Rate of Google Analytics in a One Page Site 2

In a previous article called What is Bounce Rate and why users abandon, we explained what is the Bounce Rate metric and in what cases it is presented. Please have a look at this report if you are not familiarised with this concept before keep reading.

How Bounce Rate is calculated in Google Analytics

Google Analytics receives information of the activity on the website by two different methods.

  • Tracking Code: portion of code (usually named script) which has to be included in every single page. When the page is loading, this code is executed and it sends information to Google Analytics about this page viewed. This is automatic and requires no additional implementation more than including the tracking code in every page.
  • Custom Code: Other functionalities, such as event tracking or eCommerce information, need the customisation of some code. This means that if you want to track specific functionalities you need to design the code (following Google’s step-lines) and decide where it has to be executed.

Regardless the method utilised to send the information, Google Analytics bounce metric counts once when information is received just once in a visit. The bounce rate metric is the average of all bounces, shown as a percentage.

Google Analytics most usual case for considering a bounce is when a user sees just one page. He arrives to your website, and the code of the first page is loaded. Within this code, Google Analytics tracking code is executed and sends information about the page viewed. Immediately after that the user leaves the site. He´s considered a bounce, as he has seen just one page before left.

Problem if you have a one page site

In sites in which with one single page al goal can be achieved, it´s usual to have a big bounce rate, fairly close to 100%.

High Bounce Rate - Google Analytics

There are many cases in which, although the user sees just one page of your site, it´s enough important to consider him as a bounce. He has engaged with one page, but this can be enough to treat the user as a non bounce, in order to have the most precise bounce rate metric.

Cases in which it applies:

  • Blogs: mosts of users go to blogs to read just one post, directly to the post page or within the home page.
  • One page sites: pages in which the whole content is seen in one page. As there´s no second page, no more information is sent to Google Analytics. Example: Android Kit Kat Webiste.
  • Sites designed without change of URL: this should be implemented by utilising Virtual Page Views.

In these previous scenarios, there are some cases where the user can be considered as an engaged user and not a bounce. He may have spent some time reading the content before leaving and it´s not really a bounce.

Solution

The solution for this issue is telling Google Analytics that this user is not a bounce after he has spent some time in the page. The way to do it is by utilising event tracking, and the steps to cover it are as follows:

  1. Define your timeout range: define how much time is enough for you before considering the user as engaged. It’s completely up to you and dependable on your type/industry/business.
  2. Set up a timeout counter when the page code finishes loading. Use Javascript to create it.
  3. Execute a Google Analytics event when timeout expires and tell Google Analytics that the user is not a bounce. 

Google Analytics event tracking example is the following:

_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Control', 'Bounce Rate', '']);
If you are not comfortable with code

If you are not a developer or you are not comfortable with designing code, don´t worry. Just paste the following code before the </body> tag of your site, or tell your developers to do it.

setTimeout(function(){_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Control', 'Bounce Rate', ''])},Time in milliseconds)

All you need to do is just replace Time in milliseconds for your desired timeout, for example 30,000 (30 seconds). They won’t be bounces anymore!

2 thoughts on “Trick to solve High Bounce Rate of Google Analytics in a One Page Site

  1. Comentar Gaston ene 11, 2016 02:59

    Hello! I’m curious about the code. It doesn’t have any tags added to it? Script, or anything?
    Should I add it to the head of the site?

    Thanks!

    • Comentar Elías Nuevo nov 15, 2016 15:21

      Hi Gaston,

      It’s designed to be hard coded into the site. However, it represents an old event tracking code that you should replace it with the new version. Check it here.

      It can also be added to Google Tag Manager if you are using it. Let me know if you need additional help!

      Thanks,
      Elias

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