Nice post on what the operational definition (though it doesn’t use that term) of bounce rate is in Google Analytics and some ideas on how to fix bounce rate to be more meaningful (better fit your desired operational definition).
We often make mistakes because we use the data we have assuming it means something other than what it actually means. There suggestions let you make Google Analytics collect the data so it is more aligned to what you want to know.
Essentially bounce rate without any adjustment is operationally defined by Google to mean the visitor doesn’t click a link to another page on your site that has Google Analytic code (so it can register the click).
They suggested using
inside your Google analytic tracking code. They also updated the post with an idea from a Hacker News comment to use scroll tracking as a better option than just timing if they stay on the page at least 15 seconds. The scroll tracking lets you count it as a bounce only if they don’t scroll down and they don’t click to a new page on your site.
Which data is more useful depends on your situation, what you want to know and what you want to do with the data you collect.
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