How we halfed the bounce rate and doubled the average session duration #GoogleAnalytics

What is bouncing rate in Google Analytics? how can you improve it?

Published 1st of November 2019

What is bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of users who land on your website and decide to leave without going to a second page.

A higher bounce rate indicates that you were not able to convince the user to stay and act on your call-to-action.

As a rule of thumb, a bounce rate in the range of 20 to 40 percent is excellent. 41 to 55 percent is roughly average. 56 to 70 percent is higher than average, but may not be cause for alarm depending on the website. Anything over 70 percent is disappointing for everything outside of blogs, news, events, etc.

What we have done

In this customer case we´ve been working on content, relevant content, producing new content almost every day. BUT we also implemented some technical measures.

General editorial work

  • Great design and usability
  • SEO & Social
  • Working with video and images
  • Relevant unique information
  • Working with blog posts and news
  • ILM – Information Lifecycle Managment – keep your content up to date

What we’ve done in general technically

  • Optimized Page Load Time (bundling script, async loading, inview lazy loading, suitable images and more)
  • Social media tags like OG and Twitter-cards
  • WCAG AA
  • Optimized for Mobile
  • Site search
  • Sitemaps and microdata
  • Limit broken links
    • Redirect engine
    • Smart 404 and 500 page that suggests what you looking for
Image showing progress between september 2018 vs 2019
– Average session duration went from 2min 38s to 5min 10s
– Bounce rate went from 40,96% to 17,56%

So what more could you do from a technical point to improve the statistics?

– Register events on page

We did a workshop analizing our call-to-action on pages and registered Google Analytics events from that.

The following examples can also be done in Google Tag Manager, but in this case, examples are made in plain javascript.

Track scrolling as event

If user have scrolled to footer (on some pages) we do want user count as non bouncer.

Track time on page as event

If user has is 30 sek on page and has scrolled, we want user to count as non bouncer.

Register event for 2 min, 5 min, 10 min on page.

Tracking call-to-action as events

Analize what your call to action is, and track them with events.

Examples:

Gist tracking mailto, download, external links and Episerver Form.

https://gist.github.com/LucGosso/3b58f159e24549822e68009e5dd4732f

Conclusion

Analize your call-to-action, use event-tracking in Google Analytics, these events will validate a “reader”, eg scroll down to footer, scrolling and staying on page a long time, clicking on a button, downloading files etc.

Implementing events will give you a better overview of bouncing rate on you site.

Episerver and Google Analytics

The Episerver Google Analytics Addon by Episerver helps you track forms, External links, downloads, mailto, commerce stuff.

https://nuget.episerver.com/package/?id=EPiServer.GoogleAnalytics

Search terms

  • about bouncing rate
  • bounce rate is high
  • lower site bounce rate tips

About the author

Luc Gosso
– Independent Senior Web Developer
working with Azure and Episerver

Twitter: @LucGosso
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/luc-gosso/
Github: github.com/lucgosso

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