How to view and interpret bounce rate in GA4?

How to view and interpret bounce rate in GA4?
How to view and interpret bounce rate in GA4?

Today we are going to talk about an interesting indicator in terms of web statistics: the bounce rate. Historically, its purpose is to try to measure a visitor’s engagement with a site, but it is often misunderstood.

When Google launched Google Analytics 4, the new version of its analysis tool that replaces Universal Analytics, it even started by eliminating the bounce rate… before reincorporating it into the metrics offered, but with a slightly different definition than before.

In this article, I suggest you understand what bounce rate is, how to see it in your GA4 reports and how to use it to better understand visitor behavior on your site.

What is the bounce rate?

How to view and interpret bounce rate in GA4?

The bounce rate, as you will still find it in a good number of statistical tools, corresponds to the percentage of visitors who viewed only one page before leaving the site or becoming inactive (In Google Analytics, by default, a visitor is considered inactive if they take no action for 30 minutes.)

For example, if a page has a bounce rate of 77%, this means that out of 100 visitors who landed on that page, 77 left without seeing any other content, while 23 continued their visit.

The idea of this metric is to distinguish engaged visitors, those who consult multiple pages, potentially performing “value-added” actions for the site… and visitors whose engagement is low.

Definition of bounce rate

The Limits of Bounce Rate Interpretation

Problem : interpreting bounce rate It can be complicated, especially for a newbie. In fact, we often approach an indicator wondering if we get a good score or not… and inevitably ask ourselves, “what is a good bounce rate?” And if you search the Internet, you will find sites that will tell you “A bounce rate above 50% is catastrophic! This means that your site is not at all interesting to visitors, since most of them don’t even do it.” Try reading more than one page! Except it’s completely false!

As an Internet user, you do not behave in the same way on all the sites you visit.

Let’s take two examples.

e-commerce – You want to buy a pair of shoes. So you go to a place that sells shoes. You come across a page listing all the models, view a few pairs, view the detail page for each one to see more photos, add a pair to cart, etc. In short, in most cases several pages are consulted. Therefore, an e-commerce site usually has a low bounce rate (20 to 40%).

This bounce rate increases, for example, if…

  • The site does not inspire confidence. – At first glance, the visitor realizes that it doesn’t look very serious and therefore leaves directly without trying to visit a second page.
  • There are very few options : upon reaching a page, the visitor realizes that there are only a few models for sale and none of them correspond to him => he leaves.
  • The style does not match what the visitor is looking for..
  • The site takes time to load : the Internet user will tend to flee without waiting for the content to be fully displayed.

A blog – Blogs have a bounce rate of between 70 and 98% in general. Why is this rate so high? Simply because on a blog, many visitors are content to read the latest article… or content discovered in response to a specific question they asked.

Therefore, to get an average bounce rate and evaluate your own performance, it is important to determine what type of site we are talking about. On a blog, having a bounce rate of around 70-80% is nothing unusual.

On the other hand, any site must have the ambition to reduce your bounce rate on its scale… because it is the sign that we are managing to retain visitors by offering them other relevant content or other actions to take.

Google proposes a new definition of bounce rate

How to view and interpret bounce rate in GA4?

Google was dissatisfied with the concept of bounce rate, first deciding to make it disappear from Google Analytics 4 when the tool was released, before reversing its position but giving in. a modified definition of the indicator.

In GA4, bounce rate is closely linked to a concept commitment. Google considers an engaged visitor to be someone who…

  • Stay in place for at least 10 seconds;
  • Or perform at least one conversion;
  • Or consult at least two pages or two screens.

The bounce rate in GA4 corresponds to percentage of sessions without commitment. Therefore, it is the opposite of the engagement rate provided by the tool. Therefore, the bounce rate corresponds to visitors who stayed less than ten seconds, did not convert, and viewed less than two pages or screens.

A better interpretation of bounce rate in GA4?

The changes implemented by Google aim to take into account certain developments in user behavior on the web but also in the design of the sites.

Nowadays it is not uncommon to find types of sites that allow browse without reloading pages. To cite a few examples…

  • Single Page Sites (or SPAs, for “Single Page Applications”): Load a single page and then update the content dynamically using JavaScript (frameworks like Angular, React, and Vue.js).
  • Streaming sites, like Netflix and YouTube, where you can go from one video to another without reloading the entire page.
  • Social networks: On Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you can scroll infinitely through content without needing to reload a page.

Add to this all the eCommerce sites that use JavaScript to allow visitors to dynamically filter products or add them to cart with a single click without reloading the page.

With Universal Analytics, since the bounce rate calculation was based on a second page load, the data for all of these site types was skewed by default: no page reloads = a visit considered a rebound.

On the contrary, with Google Analytics 4, once the Internet user has spent more than 10 seconds browsing content or has clicked on a video considered a conversion, the tool considers it as an engaged visitor and not as a rebound.

If you compare data from Universal Analytics and GA4, you will often have a lower bounce rate in GA4 due to these differences in interpretation.

Bounce rate is not one of the metrics displayed by default in GA4. However, you can find it without any problem both in the reports and in the “Exploration” section.

When you find yourself in the game Reportslocate yourself in a report where it is relevant to show the bounce rate, for example in “Interaction > Pages and screens”.

Partial reports on GA4
Partial reports on GA4

Then click at the top right on the icon “Customize the report”.

Customize a report in Google Analytics 4
Customize a report in Google Analytics 4

Click on the “Metrics” section.^

Metrics in a GA4 report
Metrics in a GA4 report

In the “Add a metric” line, search for “bounce rate”. Then don’t forget to click the blue “Apply” button to save the settings. Note that you can choose the display order of the table columns by simply dragging and dropping the different metrics.

Add a metric to a report
Add a metric to a report

Here, the bounce rate is displayed on the scale of each page.

Show bounce rate in GA4
Show bounce rate in GA4

when you are in the “Explore” part of Google Analyticssame principle: you can click on “Metrics” and add the bounce rate as a statistical indicator at your disposal to create custom reports that integrate this data.

GA4 Crawl Bounce Rate
GA4 Crawl Bounce Rate

What can we learn from bounce rate?

If you notice that a page has a very high bounce rate compared to the average for your site or your site typology, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the experience disappointing when you arrive at the page? Take a look at SEO tags such as the title and meta description (title and description that appear in Google search results): are they representative of the content of the page or do they set expectations that are disappointed upon arrival? the place?
  • Is the item of good quality? Finding a mediocre or outdated article can make visitors leave as soon as they read the first few lines… In this case, you can, for example, Delete elementimprove it, complete it or update it.
  • Is the navigation intuitive? If users have trouble finding what they are looking for, they are more likely to leave the site. Make sure your menu, calls to action, and internal links are clear and easy to access.
  • Is the page loading time optimal? A page that takes too long to load can frustrate users and cause them to leave the site before the content is displayed. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Statistics to evaluate and improve the loading time of your pages.
  • Is the page optimized for all devices? With the increase in mobile traffic, it is essential that your site is responsive and offers a good user experience on all devices.
  • Does the page meet the user’s search intent? It is important that the content of your page corresponds to the expectations of Internet users. If visitors don’t quickly find the information they’re looking for, they’re likely to leave very quickly.

GA4 offers more flexibility than Universal Analytics when it comes to setting up custom reports and events. Therefore, you can define your own engagement criteria, what you consider a conversion and which GA4 does not necessarily follow by default. For example, time spent on a page, scrolling to a certain point, clicking a specific button, etc.

Finally, also note that in other statistical tools, the definition of bounce rate remains the same (the visitor has viewed only one page of the site), this must be taken into account if you compare various data from different tools because the way analyze the indicator will not be the same.

🔗 Relevant Links:

Source link

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Open chat
Scan the code
Hello 👋
Can we help you?