How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

This article describes how to improve your visitor tracking to more accurately measure visitors, and thus, achieve a more accurate, and probably lower bounce rate.

What is the Bounce Rate?

The definition of a “bounce” is a visitor who enters a page, and then leaves without going to another page.

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

It depends on how your site is built. This blog had a website bounce rate over 90% until I fixed how the site was measuring a visit.

How to Improve Your Google Analytics

Google Analytics supports a feature called “events”, where your page can trigger an “event”, which is recorded into your analytics.

For example, my pages trigger an event when you’ve scrolled halfway down the article.

By tracking when readers get partway through the article, I can guess that they are not “bouncing” even though they are not visiting any other pages.

When Google Analytics sees a page event, it assumes that the user is no longer “bouncing.”

That’s how I reduced my bounce rate. It went from over 90% to below 50% in one week.

Nothing changed about the articles, or the users: I was just getting a more accurate picture of user behavior on the website.

How to Implement Events

Generally, the way to trigger an event is to write a JavaScript program that sends the event.

The simplest way to do this is via Google Tag Manager, a Google tool that can send events.

What is Tag Manager?

Tag Manager’s stated purpose is to insert tags into pages. The Tag Manager JavaScript code inserts HTML code into your page, based on how your installation of Tag Manager is configured.

Tag Manager features hundreds of tags from numerous vendors. These are mainly tags to track visits, similar to Google Analytics.

In addition to these tags, Tag Manager has some tags that send events to Google Analytics.

I created a tag that sent a “half” event when the user scrolled to halfway down the article. Then I added the Tag Manager code to all my pages.

What I learned is just under 50% of my visitors bounce without reading halfway into the article. That means half the people bother to read, which is fine with me.

I know, this probably wasn’t what you wanted to know about reducing your bounce rate. When I was hoping to improve my bounce rate, I was hoping to learn about more persuasive writing. However, as I read more about how the bounce rate was calculated, it became clear to me that the regular definition of a “bounce” was going to result in a high bounce rate on sites with long articles.

Before I could “fix” my writing, I needed an accurate view of reader behavior. Hence, adding scroll events.

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