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Want to reduce your bounce rate, but what does that actually mean? Search Engine Watch

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Want to reduce your bounce rate, but what does that actually mean?

How many times have you quoted a metric plucked from Google Analytics without really knowing what it means? Fear not, you’re not alone.

For far too long now, marketers have had misconceptions over how to define one particular metric – bounce rate, either confusing it for exit rate or adding non-existent criteria. So, we’ve put together a quick-fire guide to help you become a bounce rate aficionado.

How is the bounce rate calculated in Google Analytics? 

The Google Analytics help guide[1] is a good first stop when trying to get to the bottom of the topic. And with it, you only need to remember two key things:

1. A bounce in Google Analytics[2] is a single-page session on a website

2. The bounce rate for a page is based only on sessions that start with that page

What does this mean in practice?

Here’s an example with three sessions:

Imagine there have been three user sessions on your website. During these sessions, the following pages were viewed in this order:

  • Session one: Page A > Page B > Page C > exit
  • Session two: Page B> Page A > Page C> exit
  • Session three: Page A> exit

Page A bounce rate = 50%
Page B bounce rate =0%
Page C bounce rate = 0%

Why? You might tend to think that Page A’s bounce rate is 33% because the page was viewed three times and the user only exited the website after viewing page A. It’s a typical misconception, but that logic is actually the definition of “exit rate”.

Similarly, you might be tempted to think that Page C’s bounce rate is 100%, as all the sessions that have included Page C as part of their journey have been immediately followed by

Read more from our friends at Search Engine Watch

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