Sudden Google Analytics Bounce Rate Change

One of the most widely misinterpreted metrics in Google Analytics is the Bounce Rate measurement. Many clients want to know if their websites Bounce Rate is “good or bad.” The overall average website Bounce Rate is of very little value as a standalone metric. This is because there are so many factors that contribute to the average Bounce Rate. Single website page metrics are much more valuable to your marketing efforts than website averages.

Bounce Rate Definition, “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions or visits (i.e. sessions in which the visitor left your website from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

One on the areas where average Bounce Rate is useful is diagnosing sitewide issues. When we observe that your website metrics are abnormally high or low, or experience a sudden increase or decrease it is a sure sign that something has run amok.

Generally Speaking – Website Average Bounce Rate Benchmarks:
10% or less needs some investigation
10-45% is excellent
45-65% is typical
65-75% is poor
75%+ is concerning

There can be a number of reasons why your websites average Bounce Rate is inaccurate, but the number one cause in our experience is incorrect implementation of the GA Tracker on your website.

The most common reason for abnormally low or a sudden drop in average Bounce Rate is two instances of the GA Tracker inserted in the code base.

Here are two common low average Bounce Rate scenarios we see often at RightNow.

CASE ONE – Sudden Drop in Bounce Rate
Cause: Web developer inserted old footer file that included Google Analytics code that had been hardcoded in the HTML.
Solution: RightNow team performed an SEO audit that discovered this condition along with a number of other code issues.

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CASE TWO – Abnormally Low Bounce Rate
Cause: WordPress site had two plugins that contained the GA code causing the Tracker ID to be inserted twice.
Solution: The RightNow team conducted a WordPress audit that found and repaired the issue.

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How To Diagnose This Issue. It is easy to see in the above examples the drastic misrepresentation in Bounce Rate metrics that inserting the UA Tracker two times causes. To check for this you will want to look at the code view of your web page in your browser. Find the UA Tracker and highlite. Then search for the Tracker in the code. If you find the tracking code more than one time then there is a chance that your Bounce Rate metrics are skewed.

About David

David Tucker: Search Engine Optimization, Link Building Strategies, Off-Page SEO, Brand and Reputation Management Campaigns, Structural Analysis, and Analytics Consultant. Fighting the good fight against the search engines since InfoSeek and Alta Vista were the top Internet search portals. David has a strong background in technical, design, and hosting related issues. This provides RightNow clients with a layer of SEO that most organizations can not offer. In addition to SEO work, David has developed the RightNow online client reporting system, public website, email and auto-responder system, and the development + branding of the RightNow social media channels. When not working you can find David enjoying the outdoors in Maui, Hawaii

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