It’s darn near impossible to get a zero bounce rate for your website, not to mention quite unrealistic, especially if you’re doing email marketing, social media, blogging… basically any form of online marketing. These things generally result in your bounce rate going up, not down. Regardless, the likelihood of every single website visitor going to more than one page is extremely low…virtually non-existent in fact. So, your website’s unfortunately not as cool as you think it is.
I don’t mean to be abrasive. Your website might be super sweet in terms of design and functionality, but a 0% bounce rate likely means something’s wrong with your website, not right.
So, what’s causing it?
To use Google Analytics to report your website traffic the tracking code (provided to you through your Google Analytics account) must be installed in the code of your site to record visitor activity. However, if this code is installed more than once, your website metrics go haywire — activity is tracking double-time, yielding strange and inaccurate data.
When Google Analytics starts tracking it opens a session and passes a page view hit to the system. If your tracking code is entered twice, two page views will be passed into the system rendering a 0% bounce rate from every website visitor.
Login to your Google Analytics account and ask yourself:
If there is more than one tag with the same property ID (the numbers are blacked out for security purposes in the image above), that means the tag is installed more than once on your website.
If you see only one tracking code with your property ID with a green tag icon, you’re good to go. My guess is you won’t see this color, because you wouldn’t have a bounce rate of 0 and therefore likely wouldn’t be reading this article…
If you seen a tag that’s blue, there aren’t any major or minor implementation issues with that tag, but the tag isn’t completely valid and needs to be looked at to ensure it’s working properly.
If you see one or more yellow tags as shown above, the tag is working but has a minor implementation issue you should check as soon as you can.
A red tag means something major is wrong with it and should be fixed as soon as possible.
This can happen for a number of reasons:
It’s possible you may have two plugins installed on your site that have the capability to add the Google Analytics tracking code to your website. You may have inadvertently added it twice, once in each plugin, on accident. Just delete it in one plugin and retest with Google Tag Assistant to see if this remedied the situation.
If you use Google Tag Manager to track events on your website, you may be tracking events, such as page views, that Google Analytics tracks for you by default. You’re in the clear to use both Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager in tandem as long as your event tracking doesn’t overlap and inadvertently track twice.
If you’re using Tag Manager, you may have a Universal Analytics tracking code set up with the same property ID as an already-installed Google Analytics tracking code.
If you’re tracking for two different UA properties (in other words, two different websites), the numbers should be different and thus record on two different GA accounts, so your bounce rates for each property should be accurate (in other words, not zero).
Run the Tag Assistant and find out if this is the case. Below you can see what correct results would look like versus not-so-ideal results. In a case where the UA numbers are the same, GA metrics would reflect a 0% bounce rate.
This is right.
This is not so right…
Well, remove the additional tracking code(s) is the obvious answer. Yup, that’s just what you should do. Once you’re down to one tracking code, your metrics should soon balance out and give a true reflection of visitor behavior on your website in Google Analytics.
Katie is the Online Marketing Manager at MayeCreate Design. A true people person and creative at heart, she’s the “Jane” of All Trades around the office and enjoys having her hands in ALL of the cookie jars. Her fascination with how people communicate and interact coupled with her motivation to meet clients’ social media marketing needs make for a great combination in this industry. As a wife, mom, twin, karaoke singer and rock climber, she’s seen the world from many perspectives and thrives to bring an open mind and clear vision to help develop your online marketing plan.
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