Reason of very low bounce rate in Google Analytics

Bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits in which only one GIF request is sent to the Google Analytics server. Bounce rate can horribly mislead you if you don’t know how to interpret it correctly.

A high bounce rate is not always bad and sometimes even a very low bounce rate can be bad.

A very low bounce rate like 10% means that there is probably something wrong with your website tracking. Anything below 20% is generally a cause for concern.

Most likely your event tracking set up is skewing your bounce rate metrics in Google Analytics by sending more than one GIF request to the Google Analytics server in a single page session. Hence Google Analytics is not considering such visits as a ‘bounce’.

When a single page visit is not treated as a bounce, it lowers the website bounce rate

In order to truly understand the reasons for the low bounce rate, it is very important that you are absolutely clear about what is counted as bounce and what is not counted as bounce by Google Analytics.

In any scenario, in which more than one GIF request is made in a GA session (also called visit), the visit will not be treated as bounce by Google Analytics, even if the visit is a single page visit.

In the following scenarios, Google Analytics may not count a single page visit as a bounce:

  1. Event Tracking
  2. Social Interaction Tracking
  3. Auto Execution of Tracked Events
  4. Multiple duplicate Google Analytics Tracking Code firing on a web page

Scenario #1: A visitor lands on your website and triggers an event (that is being tracked via event tracking code) and then leaves the website from the landing page without browsing any further (Event Tracking).

For example, a visitor landed on a web page of your website, clicked on the video ‘play’ button (which you are tracking via event tracking code), and then left the website from the landing page without browsing any further.

The reason why Google will not treat this single page visit as a bounce is because two GIF requests were made during the session.

One GIF request was made by the Google Analytics tracking code (to send the pageview data) and the second GIF request was made by the event tracking code (to send the details of the tracked event like the number of clicks on the video ‘play’ button).

Needless to say, if you have implemented an event tracking code on web pages, it can dramatically reduce the bounce rate of your web pages and even your whole website.

So you need to keep this in mind when you are analyzing the bounce rate of a web page.

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Scenario #2: A visitor lands on your website and triggers a social event (that is being tracked via social interaction analytics tracking code) and then leave the website from the landing page without browsing any further (Social Interactions Tracking).

For example, a visitor landed on a web page of your website, read a blog post, shared it via social sharing button (which is being tracked), and then left the website from the landing page without browsing any further.

The reason why Google will not treat this single page visit as a bounce is because two GIF requests were made during the GA session.

One GIF request was made by the Google Analytics tracking code (to send the pageview data) and the second GIF request was made by the social interaction analytics tracking code (to send social interaction data).

 

Scenario #3: In case, a tracked event is automatically executed, each time a page is loaded by a web browser then the single page visit won’t be considered as bounce, as more than one GIF request has been made (Auto execution of tracked events).

For example, if you visit a web page and the video embed on the page automatically starts playing and you are tracking the click on the play button via event tracking code then more than one GIF request will be made.

One request will be made by the Google Analytics Tracking Code and the second GIF request will be made by the event tracking code.

 

Scenario #4: Multiple duplicate Google Analytics Tracking Code firing on a web page

If a web page contains more than once instance of the same Google Analytics tracking code (like one tracking code in the header and one in the footer) then at least two GIF requests will be made. Consequently, the single page visit won’t be treated as a bounce. So make sure you have only one Google analytics tracking code firing on your web pages.

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Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers' purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

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