The trouble with blogs and other sites that offer up quick and pointed content to visitors, is that often times, readers arrive and spend minutes worth of engaged time reading your posts, but they bounce from your site after a single pageview. One potential way of solving this is by changing how your bouncerate is calculated.
Normal definition of bounce rate:
Any visit that only views one page in a session.
Proposed definition of bounce rate:
Any visit that spends less than 10 seconds on the one page they view in a session.
Personally, I donâ€™t agree that the way bouncerate is calculated should be changed, just because itâ€™s a blog. For one, it makes the definition ambiguous and secondly, if you are a blog owner, you certainly want the visitor to engage with your content deeper - by viewing more content, subscribing, commenting or connecting with you through social networking (at least thatâ€™s what I measure). However, if youâ€™re going to do this, you probably donâ€™t want to do anything that will compromise the integrity of your Analytics data.
Normally, to change yourÂ bounce rate, itâ€™s as simple as firing an event after 10 seconds. This is troublesome because events canâ€™t be filtered out of your data, and youâ€™re left with data that could be inconsistent or meaningless for you. On the other hand, if you can find a way to use this data to improve your site in some way, then by all means, itâ€™s probably worthwhile.
How to Measure “True Bounce Rate” Without Permanently Altering Your Analytics
Rather than use events that canâ€™t be filtered out of reports, use virtual pageviews like so:
Then, go into your Google Analytics and setup an Exclude filter to remove this Request URI from entering any profiles you donâ€™t want altered permanently. Sure your pages/visit and clickstream will be changed in the affected profiles, but at least the profiles you filter the virtual pageviews out from will contain accurate data with the right bounce rate metric.
Is this useful?
Beyond a couple of very specific circumstances (i.e. when spending time on a page equates to revenue in the form of ad impressions or for some brand engagement metric), I canâ€™t see how useful this would be, considering there are many more useful metrics to determine engagement, without manipulating the bounce rate.
When do you think this could be useful?