88 Comments

  1. MomMaven
    February 16, 2014 @ 8:50 am

    Wow! I honestly never understood bounce rate and felt something wasn’t right. I’ll be adding that code tomorrow. Thanks so much. I stopped over from the Titi Crafts linky.

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 16, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

      It certainly opened my eyes!

      Reply

  2. Leslie
    February 16, 2014 @ 9:49 am

    Google has flaws in tracking the visitors in more ways than one. I use Clicky these days. If you need to track more sites, you need to pay, but I get a lot more info and decent bounce rates.

    Reply

  3. Alice @ Mums Make Lists
    February 16, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

    Brilliant tip Debi – thanks so much for delving to the bottom of this. Definitely going to implement xx

    Reply

  4. karen fifelski
    February 16, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    I added it…very interested to see how it works. Thanks!

    Reply

  5. Laura
    February 16, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

    I read an article about bounce rate saying a high bounce rate wasn’t all bad. The way it was explained was that if a person does a search for a piece of information on the web, finds your site, it is exactly what they need and then they leave your site, you will end up with a high bounce rate. However, this isn’t all bad, since you gave the reader what you he/she were looking for. The only drawback is they didn’t spend any time looking around your site, though. I will have to look into installing that code on my site. My stats (albeit smaller) look very similar to your befores.

    Reply

    • Alicia at GreenLifestyleChanges.com
      February 17, 2014 @ 5:50 pm

      Laura, while it might not be bad in terms of understanding that people like your site, as long as Google uses it to decide where to put your page in search results, then it hurts you. Whether or not we like google, there’s a reason that people say things like “Just google it to find it”…

      Reply

  6. ravenjackman
    February 17, 2014 @ 12:52 am

    OMG Debi this article answered so many questions and I have just modified my footer.php so I can’t wait to see how me bounce rate changes.. fingers crossed here!!

    Thank you so, so much for the information Debi!!

    Raven J.

    Reply

  7. Renae
    February 17, 2014 @ 1:03 am

    I’ll have to try this out. Thanks!

    Reply

  8. Divya
    February 17, 2014 @ 1:56 am

    Deby, I am unable to add this code (I tried to put it in the footer section a few lines before /body) does it work only for wordpress? also people say that this script does not change your bounce rate, it just gives you additional information and that the bounce rate will go back up

    Reply

    • flexines
      February 17, 2014 @ 2:34 am

      Divya I found this information on another page, and it worked for me:

      “After doing a quick search on the internet this is what I found out, you need to retype the quote marks because for some reason for some of us they copy over in italics.

      So you need to retype all of the ” and the ‘ while the code is in your blogger html window.”

      Reply

      • Laura
        February 18, 2014 @ 10:18 am

        flexines: Where are you supposed to add this code on your blogger blog? I don’t have a php file, so I’m not sure where to copy and paste it. Thanks!

        Reply

        • cole
          March 3, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

          You’d copy it before your closing tag in your Blogger template

          Reply

      • DesignedByBH
        March 15, 2014 @ 2:05 am

        Glad you wrote this…I added the code 6 days ago and noticed nothing changed. I just did a closer look at the code on my site and what you described is exactly what happened to me. I had to remove a set of extra quotes and then replace a few others correctly. Here’s hoping I start seeing changes!!!

        Reply

      • maureensk
        October 24, 2014 @ 1:36 am

        Thanks for posting about the quote marks, I was having this same problem! Blogger wouldn’t even save the changes for me with them as is.

        Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 17, 2014 @ 7:21 am

      Hi Divya. I don’t know if it will work for other sites. You may need to install it somewhere else if your site is not WordPress, but I don;t know enough about other sites to be able to advise you on this. And you are right, like I say in the article, it doesn’t change your readers behavior at all, it just gives you more accurate information on their true behaviour. I’ve had it installed now on both of my main sites for some weeks, and although there are small daily fluctuations, neither of them have gone back up at all. Both are still hovering around 10-15% bounce rate and my time spent on site is more than 20 minutes for MMM.

      Reply

  9. Marcy Knopf
    February 17, 2014 @ 3:33 am

    Oh my how crazy is that!??!! I was feeling terrible too thinking that people left my site ASAP! I’m Pin’ing, Svere’ing & adding to my site! Thanks for sharing =) Marcy @ day2day SuperMom

    Reply

  10. Dima Al Mahsiri
    February 17, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    Thank you very much!
    I tried everything to lower the bounce rate, nothing worked, and now I know why!
    Many thanks to you, I will go ahead and implement the code, wish me luck 🙂

    Reply

  11. Sarah @ Play 2 Learn with Sarah
    February 17, 2014 @ 9:43 pm

    I was just looking at my bounce rate today and thinking “OY I’m in trouble!” I’ve put the code in (hopefully in the right place) and pinned this so I can share it and come back to it again! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 18, 2014 @ 7:20 am

      Do update us with how your numbers change. I feel so glad that I was ‘misled’ by the numbers and people aren’t all immediately leaving like I thought. I feel so much better about the site now.

      Reply

  12. Jodee
    February 17, 2014 @ 11:05 pm

    Great information…followed directions and waiting to see what happens. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  13. Scarlett
    February 18, 2014 @ 12:22 am

    Thank you so much for this! My bounce rates were similar to yours, but I felt as you do, people are reading and commenting on one particular article and leaving. I’ve tried adding links to “see more” on the sidebars to get folks to stay, but I still have a high bounce rate. I do feel honored that I’m helpful, they find what they need and then don’t need to stay. And frankly, how many of us have to time to linger on one blog for extended periods of time? I’ve installed this code (I’m on blogger, so we’ll see if I did it right 🙂 ) and hopefully I will see more accurate results. I’ve pinned this for all of my other bloggy friends.

    Reply

    • Scarlett
      February 18, 2014 @ 10:03 am

      Just wanted to follow up – I instituted this code yesterday, and already my bounce rate is down to 35% from 69%. Page view time is up from approx. 2 min (similar to yours) to 7 min. I’m also getting a better picture of reader engagement. Thank you so much for figuring this out and sharing and giving us a more accurate representation of what is REALLY going on with our sites!!!!!!

      Reply

  14. Alexis Middleton
    February 18, 2014 @ 12:45 am

    This is really interesting… I’ve been so confused about my bounce rate recently. My rate used to always be in the 70s but in the last maybe four-five months it has been around 5%. I don’t understand how it could have changed so drastically. My average visit duration is still low (like 2 minutes), so I really don’t know what’s going on with my analytics. I thought for a while maybe they had completely changed what bounce rate meant, but I guess that’s not the case.

    Reply

    • courtneycodell
      February 21, 2014 @ 1:49 am

      you might have your analytics double installed if your bounce rate is something like 5%.

      Reply

  15. Miss Kitty
    February 18, 2014 @ 4:08 am

    Hi Deby! Thanks for this information. I am on blogspot. I can easily see my “stats” but I don’t recall seeing “bounce rate” as a stat. Is Google Analytics something more advanced and how to I see that?

    Reply

  16. Stephanie Griffith (@foodforyourcell)
    February 18, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

    I put this code in today, and now Comment Luv can no longer fetch data from my site. Maybe it’s coincidence. I removed the script to see if I continue to have that error.

    Just a heads up in case this is something that actually does interfere with Comment Luv, as I know many sites (such as SITS Girls) uses it.

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 18, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

      I think that must just be a co-incidence because I’ve had it on my main sites for 3 weeks or more now and have had no problem with picking up posts for Comment Luv. Do report back though Stephanie and let me know what you find. Assuming its in the right place, I don’t see any reason why it would interfere with that.

      Reply

  17. Bethanny Parker
    February 18, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

    I just added the code to CraftsCrazy. I can’t wait to see what my real bounce rate is!

    Reply

  18. Dawn @ The Momma Knows
    February 18, 2014 @ 4:42 pm

    THANK YOU! I have been frustrated looking at Google Analytics for this very reason. I KNEW that readers were staying more than mere seconds, yet GA never showed it. I already added the code to my footer.php. I’m looking forward to having a better picture of what’s really going on there! I also pinned this post because everyone needs to know about it! 🙂

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 18, 2014 @ 7:05 pm

      Thanks very much for commenting and for sharing Dawn. It was a huge sigh of relief for me when I realised things weren’t as bad as they first appeared. If you get a chance in a couple of weeks, maybe drop back and report on what you found?

      Reply

  19. Kate @ Teaching What Is Good
    February 18, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

    Do you know if this will work with Stat Counter as well?

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 18, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

      No Kate, this is purely a script to work with Google Analytics. The visit length in Statcounter is flawed in the same way, but this doesn’t fix that one.

      Reply

  20. jellibeanjournals
    February 18, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

    Glad to see what this really means. I usually don’t take bounce rate or analytics too stressfully. I tend to notice when comments start coming in and that lets me know that people are sticking around.

    Reply

  21. Traci Creel
    February 18, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

    Your discription off this problem was smack on. I knew that the visit length was inaccurate but I did not know that the bounce rate was inaccurate as well.
    I will let you know how it goes.

    Reply

  22. Patti
    February 19, 2014 @ 11:46 am

    Wish I knew enough about code to insert. My bounce rate hovers around 50% and I’ve always thought that couldn’t be right as I juxtaposed that rate with traffic and behavior.

    Reply

  23. Linda @Mixed Kreations
    February 20, 2014 @ 7:22 am

    Thank you for this information. Never really understood the bounce rate. Your post makes it so much easier to understand. Now I just need to add the code and hopefully see a big change. Thanks for the code.

    Reply

  24. Kim Miller
    February 20, 2014 @ 2:04 pm

    Thanks so much for this! I’ve been rather “fortunate” I suppose in that my bounce rates are usually between 3% and 12%, I don’t recall having them go much higher than that. I installed the code though too because I would love to see what is *really* going on with my readers and how much time they are actually spending on site. I know that they have to be here longer than the 10 second majority lol!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 20, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

      Wow Kim, that’s some awesome statistics on your bounce rate. You must have some great content and great site architecture that encourages your visitors to visit more pages on your site. Would you post a link to your site so we can all take a look and learn by your example?

      Reply

      • Kim Miller
        February 20, 2014 @ 6:15 pm

        Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner Deby! I was at the skate park with the kiddos! Now my newsletter bounce rate … that’s a different story lol!

        Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 20, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

      Ah, I found you. Here’s the link to Kim’s site everyone – http://lifeinahouseoftestosterone.com/

      Reply

    • Dawn @ Bloggers Supporting Bloggers
      May 2, 2015 @ 9:02 pm

      Kim, It appears the reason your bounce rate is so low is because you have Google Analytics tracking code on your site in multiple places. I found this by using the Tag Assistant in the Chrome browser. Unfortunately this also means your page views are being falsely double counted. Here is an article that may help: http://www.bloggerssupportingbloggers.com/how-to-add-google-analytics-tracking-code/

      Reply

  25. Teri
    February 20, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

    Very interesting post. I’ll have to investigate mine a little more, though I typically run around 30% I’d love for it to be better. Thanks for all of the awesome information!

    Reply

  26. Melanie
    February 20, 2014 @ 11:26 pm

    This is so great! I just added it to my site, and I’m interested to watch my stats and see if it makes a difference. Thanks so much!

    Reply

  27. Allison {A Glimpse Inside}
    February 21, 2014 @ 1:05 am

    This is awesome! My bounce rate is always CRAZY high and I didn’t get it either. I am so gonna have to try to install that code so I can get a more accurate look. Thanks for the info! Off to save my template!
    And thanks for linking up to this week’s Catch a Glimpse Party! 🙂

    Reply

  28. Mary Ann
    February 21, 2014 @ 10:29 am

    This possibly the most amazing & helpful blogging article I’ve read in a while. I’m excited to try it out – thank you!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 21, 2014 @ 11:40 am

      Wow, thanks Mary Ann. Your comment means a lot to me and I’m so glad you found this interesting.

      Reply

    • Laura
      February 25, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

      Hi, did you happen to try this out on your blogger blog? If so, can you tell me where you entered the code? Thanks!

      Reply

      • Allison {A Glimpse Inside}
        March 11, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

        Hey Laura, I haven’t tried to do it yet. I wasn’t exactly sure where to put it and it was late when I was trying so I thought I would wait until I have more time and well… I have forgotten about it actually. If I try again and figure it out, I will let you know.

        Reply

  29. Clare Swindlehurst
    February 22, 2014 @ 7:37 am

    For the first time in a long time I just took action while rereading a blog post! Code is loaded and I;m looking forward to seeing my real results! Thanks so much Deby.

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      February 22, 2014 @ 7:45 am

      Glad you found it interesting and useful Clare, and were inspired to take action as a result. I’m loving all the extra information I can get from all of my Analytics now that I can really see how my visitors are behaving.

      Reply

  30. Heather Smith {Woods of Bell Trees}
    February 23, 2014 @ 5:20 am

    Great points! Does make me feel more at ease! I learned a while back not to mess with my CSS; I totally killed my site and was very lucky to get it back. I will have to find a developer that can do this for me because it would be EXCELLENT to have. Thanks!

    Reply

  31. Nuccia
    February 23, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

    Hi! I just added that code and looking forward to see how the stats will change! This was very very informative…thank you so so much!

    Reply

  32. Becky
    February 25, 2014 @ 1:37 am

    Put mine up tonight! Will keep my eye out on what happens. Thanks for sharing and finding this out.

    Reply

  33. Laura
    February 25, 2014 @ 7:11 am

    Any ideas on how to enter this code on blogger? I would love to implement this and see what it does for my bounce rate – my rate is terrible!

    Reply

  34. nucciaardagna
    February 28, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

    I entered it but it hasn’t changed….still watching….

    Reply

  35. Emily Thompson
    March 1, 2014 @ 2:32 am

    ok! Going to try this! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

  36. Andrew (@Mommys_Busy)
    March 2, 2014 @ 11:28 am

    Great great post on an often overlooked and misunderstood topic! Thanks for the overview, details and code fix! I’m totally going to go try that right now.

    I just have 1 big question for you: Why doesn’t Google itself add this code to analytics to solve the problem?!?!?

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      March 2, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

      Who knows how Google think! They are a mystery all to themselves.

      Reply

  37. Jamie @ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
    March 2, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

    To do this in blogger, you have to add a tiny piece of code to your already existing google analytics code. Go to your html editor and search for:
    _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]);
    Hit enter to create a new line and paste this code:
    setTimeout(“_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ’15_seconds’, ‘read’])”,15000);
    and save.

    That should work…
    ~Jamie

    Reply

    • Marcy Knopf
      April 17, 2014 @ 1:48 am

      Thanks Jamie! I just added that code & I’m anxious to see what happens =) Deby is awesome & you just helped me out too =)

      Reply

  38. Titus2Homemaker
    March 3, 2014 @ 5:05 pm

    Thank you for explaining how that works! It makes a lot of sense, as the actual page loads are the only things GA has to “count” from.

    I’m wondering, though…if you install the code to ping Google every 10 seconds, will it not begin to use a lot more system resources and potentially cause problems with your host? I like the idea of getting more accurate numbers, but I’m a bit nervous about installing a script that runs repeatedly like this.

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      March 3, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

      That’s something I really don’t know about. I guess if you had a lot of visitors perhaps it could add up, but I’ve not read in any of my research of any issues. Good to bring up the possibility though.

      Reply

  39. Lucero De La Tierra @earthformed
    March 6, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    I’ve always felt that the bounce rate on my site seemed really inflated. Like you mention you could tell from the comments and visits that people had to be staying longer. I can’t wait to see how this code changes what Google Analytics is reporting.

    Reply

  40. realworldmegan
    March 6, 2014 @ 6:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m in the same place you were. I knew something just wasn’t right but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong!

    I’m going to try this trick immediately! Thanks again!

    Reply

  41. Kim Stuffed Suitcase (@StuffedSuitcase)
    March 6, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this tip! I just implemented and can’t wait to see if there are changes. I hover around the 75%-80% mark normally according to google, so I’m eager to see if this drops that number. I’ve pinned and I’ll try to comment back after a while if I see change.

    Reply

  42. SarahB (@jellypigs)
    March 7, 2014 @ 5:22 am

    This is for wordpress right? How do I implement this code into blogger? Exciting!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      March 8, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

      Hi Sarah. If you look through the other comments on this post, there are a couple from Blogger users which should give you the info you are looking for on how to add this to your Analystics for Blogger. Sorry, I don’t use it myself, so I can’t say from my own personal experience.

      Reply

  43. Debra @ MsMoozys Open House
    March 9, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    Wow this is awesome and thank so much for sharing with us, I just added the code this morning and I would LOVE to come back and let you know if I see a change, how long did it take for you? The following day did you see it change? Thanks again

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      March 9, 2014 @ 9:51 am

      My change was obvious within 2 days, and now the graph is pretty flat at the new bounce rate and new time on site.

      Reply

  44. Nuccia
    March 15, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    Hi Deby! I installed it weeks ago and nothing has changed. I have a wordpress site and put it in the footer as instructed but no changes to the bounce rate…what could I have done wrong? In added the code right before the closing tag so don’t think I did something wrong…your instructions were pretty simple…anyone else install it and see no change? I’m curious?? thanks!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      March 15, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

      There were some earlier mentions I think from a couple of people to say they hadn’t seen a change. Providing its installed correctly, and you didn’t have this set up before somewhere, then I’m sorry but I can’t explain why your rate hasn’t changed. I’m no coding expert and the ins and outs of Analytics is a bit of a mystery to many outside of Google! Maybe you already had a great bounce rate and that’s why?

      Reply

  45. Adam Davis @ Jelly Splash Tactics
    May 1, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

    Thanks for this code, I have already added it to one of my sites but now I am going to see if it works with blogger. Fingers crossed! (I hope it does work as Blogger has a 80% bounce rate)!

    Reply

  46. talesofbeautyforashes
    May 22, 2014 @ 9:09 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I have it pinned!

    Reply

  47. polonaZ
    June 18, 2014 @ 2:57 am

    What if people just stay on site and open new tab where they continue browsing? We implemented this code yesterday and only on 1 selected page on entire site and today I checked data and it’s just not possible people would stay on page over 60 minutes. is it somehow possible to limit session duration becasue under this code session is probably not limited anymore on 30 minutes?

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      June 18, 2014 @ 8:38 am

      I’m sorry I didn’t write the code or know how to make specific changes to it to suit your needs. You’ll have to ask your web developer about that. But I sometimes might stay on a site a long time. Perhaps I’ll open a few pages in the morning, get distracted, leave them open and then return to read them at lunch time. So a long stay is not impossible if you looked at it that way.

      Reply

  48. Vickie McCarty
    August 10, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    Once again, Thank You! I never understood any of it I’ll now!

    Reply

  49. daddybriefs
    September 1, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    Thank you for explaining this. I am a newer blogger and I was thinking that people were not liking my content because of the very high bounce rate. My blog has a very low amount of visitors and a bounce rate of around 75% when using Google analytics. I only blog as a hobby and am not brave enough to start messing with the code but maybe someday. Thanks again!

    Reply

  50. fortheloveofwaffles
    October 24, 2014 @ 9:22 am

    Thanks Deby! I just signed up with blogVault thanks to your recommendation. And I will be adding the code as soon as my backup is complete. Thanks for the insight. I’m a new blogger so this is a huge help and a great lesson!

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      October 24, 2014 @ 11:47 am

      Your backup is essential I think. I’ve only had a couple of occasions to use it, but I was SO relieved I invested rather than loose so much work. Love the name of your site.

      Reply

  51. alyssasswag
    October 24, 2014 @ 6:47 pm

    Thank you Deby! I am so brand new to blogging, websites, etc. and your explanations were very clear and easy for me to implement. Thank you from a newbie and I am looking forward to learning more from your site!

    Reply

  52. pammy4ever29
    October 26, 2014 @ 8:52 am

    I’m so glad that I found this today. I had the same questions as to why people were leaving my site so quickly. I don’t trust myself to make the changes that you made, but if I find someone who can, I definitely see where this would help with the Google algorithm.

    Reply

  53. Debi Stangeland
    October 27, 2014 @ 2:18 pm

    So, way off topic, but I love reading through your comments and seeing that people misspell your name too.

    That being said, thank you very much Deby, for your awesome post. My community and I have been discussing this for a few weeks and this is the most helpful article so far. You ROCK!

    Reply

  54. Ashley
    January 6, 2015 @ 9:00 pm

    I am SO late on this but I just saw this article and tried it yesterday (had to change the quotes just like other comments said, but other than that it was super easy) and my bounce rate went from ~70% to 18%!! And session duration went from ~2 mins to ~12 mins! THANK YOU so much for this! 🙂

    Reply

    • Deby at Moms Make Money
      January 7, 2015 @ 6:58 am

      Yay, now you have a much better understanding and can see the real info on your site. Its much more reassuring now to know people don’t all just arrive and then leave immediately.

      Reply

  55. Kenneth
    March 2, 2015 @ 2:32 am

    There is actually a WordPress plugin for this feature, if you don’t know where to edit the footer data. It’s called “Reduce Bounce Rate” and it’s available in the WordPress Plugins Directory.

    Reply

  56. Natasha Orme6 Metrics You Should Be Tracking - Natasha Orme
    April 4, 2016 @ 1:02 am

    […] to some degree this is true, but if you are using Google Analytics, I suggest you take a look at this post detailing bounce […]

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