Bounce rate can be defined in two ways
- The % of visitors that do not visit another page on your site after initially arriving at your site
- The % of visitors that leave your site after a small amount of time (e.g. 5 or 10 seconds)
But you can override this ‘page visit’ bounce rate, by using Event Tracking.
_trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)
Note the last parameter opt_noninteraction is optional and only when it is included and set to true will it NOT interfere with bounce rates, so in most cases tracking an event will effectively reduce your bounce rate. See Google’s guide for details.
Some sites inadvertently trip over this, they suddenly see their bounce rate change from a typical 40% to 15%, because they asked their developer to track something like playing a video. If you suddenly see a jump in your bounce rates, check out where Event Tracking has been added or changed in some way on your site.
One limitation of Google’s default bounce rate is it doesn’t cater for an interaction that is an outbound link, you may consider that a visitor that comes to your site then clicks on an outbound link (maybe to an affiliate) is a valid visit not a bounce. In this case you can implement code to create an event that tracks the outbound link, with the opt_noninteraction not set. Details of how to do that on Google Analytic’s pages here.
The second definition, time based, can be performed on Google Analytics using the same trick of using Event Tracking. In this case you just need to create a line of code to add to your standard Google Analytics code in your <head> tags that creates an event after 5 or 10 seconds on your page. This event will then ‘eliminate’ the bounce.
setTimeout('_gaq.push([\'_trackEvent\', \'NoBounce\', \'Over 10 seconds\'])',10000);
so your GA code may look something like this