What Is a Bounce Rate?

Mr. Bounce Rate

One of the most confusing metrics in Google Analytics is Bounce Rate. Google defines Bounce Rate as:

The percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

So if you’ve navigated to this blog post for the first time ever, you’re considered as a new “user” who has started a new “session” on my website, and Google Analytics started tracking you the millisecond this page loaded. Yet, if you close this tab right now, Google Analytics would calculate your visit as a bounce.

However, you’re still reading this post…

So let’s say you really like my blog post and you want to get to know me better – if you navigate to any another webpage (say, my about me page) then Google Analytics will turn your bounce into a visiting session. Therefore, the bounce rate is the number of people who’ve interacted with your webpage for the first time divided by the number of those who’ve interacted with webpage.

# of Bounces / # of Total Pageviews

This is the very basic understanding of what a Bounce Rate actually is, however, I want to highlight the word “interacting” in Google’s description. There are actually two different types of interactions a visiting user can perform: an on-page interaction and a off-page interaction.

If you’ve read this far without closing my webpage, then you’ve just performed an off-page interaction; you’ve read the majority of my blog post without clicking on, or navigating to, anything on my website. Google Analytics only tracks this very session as an “on-page” interaction if you actually navigated away from this page.

Therefore, in order to track your reading progress, I need to track off-page interactions as on-page interactions using Google Analytics’ “Events” function. If you’d like to read more about Bounce Rates and off-page interactions, please see my article Growth Hacking: Experimenting With Blog Measurements. I will be writing more about Google Analytics “Events’ in the near future.

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