Friday, July 27, 2012

Blogger and Analytics adjusted-bounce-rate

I've had interesting discussions with people about whether the bounce-rate in Google Analytics is worthwhile: one of my sites has information about local bus routes and neighbourhoods, and many visitors only need to look at one page (the one suggested by Google search) to get the information they need.  I've long believed that these people counted as a "bounce" (ie look at a page and leave), while friends assured me that Google is smarter than that and wouldn't count visits that last for a certain length of time as bounces.

I've just discovered that I was right after all: by default, Analytics counts all one-page-only visitors as bounces.

Google have now told us how to change this, and not count visitors as bounces if they stay on the site for a certain length of time (we can choose how long)

Unfortunately this option isn't fully available to Blogger users at the moment. We can either

1)  Install Analytics in a way that it works properly with dynamic and mobile templates,

Thsi approach will most likely be supported if Blogger invent any other types of templates in the future, so is what I recommend now.  GreenLava explains how to do this here


2) Install the Analytics code in the same way it gets put into other websites.

This won't count visitors who view the blog using a dynamic template (either because you choose one or because they added a command to your URL in order to see your blog that way).
And if you have enabled a mobile template, it will only count visitors using mobile devices if you have:

  • Installed the Analytics code using an HTML/Javascript gadget (I've explaiend how to do this here)
  • Edited your template so that gadget is "shown" on mobile templates (by default, HTML/Javascript gadgets aren't - I've explained how to change this near the end of this article)

So at the moment, our options for Blogger are to either count visitors properly and not see the adjusted bounce-rate, or undercount the visitors but get the custom-adjusted bounce rate.

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