Lower Your Bounce Rate With One Line of Code

While reading through the Google Analytics Event Tracking Guide, I came across this nugget:

In general, a “bounce” is described as a single-page visit to your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single GIF request, such as when a user comes to a single page on your website and then exits without causing any other request to the Analytics server for that session. However, if you implement Event Tracking for your site, you might notice a change in bounce rate metrics for those pages where Event Tracking is present. This is because Event Tracking, like page tracking is classified as an interaction request.

Of course having read through several SEO related posts identifying bounce rate as a ranking factor (or at a minimum a quality signal), I devised a way to game it.

<div id="header" onMouseOver="pageTracker._trackEvent('bounce', 'bouncecheck', 'Look Ma No Bounce');">

I figure a mouseover on my header will probably be triggered enough to dramatically drop my bounce rate without looking too artificially manipulated. Plus I wonder if a body onLoad statement would be overkill, or trigger faster than the gif request. Anyway after implementing this for one day you can see the huge difference below.




Now while my method is obviously solely aimed at gaming the system, there are some legitimate uses. A few examples that come to mind where firing off an event make sense are video plays, if the end of a javascripted animation, newsletter signups, rss subscribes and there are probably a thousand more.

3 thoughts on “Lower Your Bounce Rate With One Line of Code

  1. Nice! And a lower bounce ratio can actually help you maintain your organic rankings, so for that purpose alone it seems like a smart idea. Thanks Ryan!

  2. Ryan – this is a great idea. I’ll be sure to share this tip with my team. Another way you could trigger the Event Tracker would be after a specified period of time.. say 15 seconds. That way anyone who leaves the site in under 15 seconds can be counted as a bounce and anyone that stays on the site for more then 15 seconds can be counted as a non-bounce. Thanks again!

  3. you could do something like:

    setInterval ( "pageTracker._trackEvent('bounce', 'bouncecheck', 'Look Ma No Bounce')", 15000 );
    }

    And attach it to the body onload event.

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