Google: Use This Code To Adjust Your Bounce Rate

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Google put out an interesting post on the Google Analytics blog today about how to track adjusted bounce rate.

For the record, Google apparently does not use bounce rate as a ranking signal, but that doesn't mean it's not an important metric to track. However, as Google notes, it's more useful for some types of sites than for others.

"Imagine you’re promoting a blog post that describes all the benefits of your company," writes Alexey Petrov from Google's Analytics Insights team. "The visitor might read the whole post and remember your company and products really well - they might even go to search for your product on one of the search engines straight away. However, since the visitor only looked at 1 page (exactly where the blog post is) they will be recorded as bounced visitor."

"Another example if you have a description of the product right on the landing page, and your phone number on the same page," adds Petrov. "The visitor might study the description and call straight away - again, they will be recorded as a bounced visitor, as only 1 page was viewed. There are many more examples, and even traditional websites may benefit from the method described below as opposed to the standard bounce rate."

So that's where "adjusted bounce rate" comes in. If you tweak your GA code, you can keep certain visitors from being counted as bounces.

Here's the code:

<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXXXX-1']);
  setTimeout("_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', '15_seconds', 'read'])",15000);
  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

Petrov has further explanation about how it works on the blog.

More discussion in our forum.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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