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Bounce Rate vs. Engagement Rate—Clearer Analytics for Your Business

Posted on 07.30.2021



Website analytics terms can be a little confusing sometimes. I mean, do you know and understand the actual definition of bounce rate? Wouldn’t you rather see more detail on who is engaging with your website and for how long? Fortunately, a recent change to Google Analytics provides enhanced details on what was a very broad piece of data, which makes measuring and analyzing visitor engagement clearer.

Bye-Bye, Bounce Rate

Google made a move to eliminate bounce rate from their Google Analytics 4 update. The reason is that it covered a range of activities, which made the data problematic for business owners.

You see, the bounce rate included anyone who briefly visited your website and left. That could be someone who came to your site by mistake and left within 10 seconds, or it could mean a prospect arrived, read up on your products for 2 minutes before getting distracted by their children. The latter prospective customer’s visit is lumped in with a visit from someone who probably isn’t your customer. Both were called bounces. That isn’t very useful, is it?

In our mobile-focused, short-attention-span world, seeing a high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t help you as much as knowing more about engaged prospects’ visits to your website. The bounce rate reflected traffic, not the experience users were having. There’s a better way to slice and dice that information.

Welcome, Engaged Sessions

While bounce rate won’t be seen in Google Analytics 4, you can now see three key metrics under Engaged Sessions. In Engaged Sessions, you’ll discover engagement details about short-term visitors, which could be helpful in creating more immediate and obvious conversion opportunities for those individuals.

In order for a visit to be measured, the visitor must engage with your site for a minimum of 10 seconds, attempt a conversion event, or look at two or more pages. When they do, Google will gather metrics for Engagement Rate, Engaged Sessions per Use, and Engagement Time.

engagement rate vs bounce rate

Engagement Rate replaces Bounce Rate for websites as well as mobile apps, blogs, and news outlets. Engagement Rate is the inverse of Bounce Rate, so the number will likely be the opposite of what you’re used to. For example, the average website bounce rate for all industries is around 47%. We would expect to see a 53% engagement rate after the switch to Engagement Rate.

It’s time to leave bounce rates behind and begin embracing the greater detail provided through Engaged Sessions. This more authentic way of measuring website visits will enable you to think about ways you might add more engaging photos, content, and calls to action.

Want to know more about Engaged Sessions and Google Analytics 4?

Contact Metro Studios for a digital marketing consultation.

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