Obey This One Weird Rule to Lower Bounce RatesEarlier this week, we discussed the importance of bounce rates. At the end, I teased at how I lowered this site’s bounce rates.
Before we get into the code I used, I want to stress the importance of lowering bounce rates by creating content your visitors want to read. Your statistics are only as valuable as the story they tell and with this coding tweak, any visit beyond 15 seconds won’t be considered a bounce. I only want my analytics to record a bad bounce, which is a visit of under 15 seconds, and let the good bounces go. If that gels with your understanding of your readership, it’s safe to do the same.
Let’s get into how we lower your bounce rates:
The One Weird Rule
This suggestion comes straight from Google herself. The basic idea is that you add a line of code that records an event 15 seconds after the page is loaded. It does so by using the setTimeout function to execute an event.
Add this line to your tracking code (after the _trackPageview event):
setTimeout(“_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ’15_seconds’, ‘read’])”,15000);
This sets a Timeout that will log an event after 15 seconds. The 15000 at the end is for the time out, 15000 milliseconds, and the stuff inside records an Event Category of “15_seconds” and an Event Action of “read.” If you want to get more involved, here is the Event Tracking documentation.
I made this one change and my bounce rate dropped from 60% to 20%. So now, any visit under 15 seconds is considered a bounce. Everything else will not be recorded as a bounce.
Yes, the title is a bit of a joke, it’s for those of you who spend a lot of time on the internet. You have probably seen all those “obey this one weird trick to… lose 213094820394 lbs of fat, get 24 pack abs, and ripped in 2 seconds flat” ads. I thought I’d have a little fun with this title. 🙂
That’s it! I told you it was simple. 🙂
How To Legitimately Lower Bounce Rates
OK, now that we’re past the technological way, the better way to reduce bounce rates is to get your visitors to hit a second page. The most effective way I’ve discovered is to give visitors more options through a related posts plugin. A related posts plugin will add a list of links at the bottom of each of your posts for other stories you’ve written that they might be interested in. Here’s a list of related posts for a Bargaineering article about saving money on movie tickets:
In the above example, it’s just a bulleted list. On some sites, you might see images that link to other posts on their site. These are all designed to get you to visit more of the site, which will lower bounce rates.
You can use related posts and other similar techniques to get people to visit more of your site – that’s the better, and slightly harder, way to lower bounce rates.
Do you have any tips on lowering bounce rates?
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