Where Did Bounce Rate Go in Google Analytics 4?

Those who use Google Analytics will be familiar with the “Bounce Rate” metric and understand its importance in determining how well users engage with a site. Yet, the Bounce Rate metric does not appear in the new version of Google Analytics (GA4). So why has Google chosen to remove it and what are they replacing it with?

What is Bounce Rate?

Firstly, let’s look at what the bounce rate is. In short, a bounce occurs when a user views one page on your site before leaving again. The business question that Bounce Rate tries to answer is whether users are actually engaging or whether they’re leaving the site immediately and therefore not adding any value to the business. It’s common to compare the Bounce Rate of different campaigns or traffic channels to understand which ones are most effective at encouraging users to engage with your website.

Why did Google remove Bounce Rate?

That all sounds helpful we hear you cry So, why did Google remove it? Well, in practice Bounce Rate is not actually a very useful metric. On most websites, a user can successfully visit a page and still bounce, for example, think about how you interact with articles or a blog post. It’s even rarer for this metric to make sense in a mobile or single page application as users typically don’t view multiple pages in a single session.

What has Google replaced Bounce Rate with?

Say ‘goodbye’ to Bounce Rate and ‘hello’ to an Engaged Session. The new version of Google Analytics has replaced the idea of a bounce with what is now called an Engaged Session. For a session to qualify as an Engaged Session, the user must do one of the following things during their session:

- Actively engage with your website or app for at least 10 seconds
- Create a conversion event
- Have at least two screens or page view

There are also new metrics that have been built on top of an Engaged Session to allow you to drill further into your data and get the most from this metric.

Can I get the new metrics without upgrading to Google Analytics 4?

If you have the ability to write a lot of complex and custom code, then yes. Chances are most don’t have that ability As it’s quick and free to upgrade to Google Analytics 4, there really is no reason not to.

How do I migrate away from bounce rate to the new metrics?

Stop tracking Bounce Rate and instead set a target Engagement Rate for each channel or advertising campaign that you want to track. Whilst you wanted your Bounce Rate to be as low as possible, you want your Engagement Rate to be as high as possible. An Engagement Rate of at least 60% is the average goal for most industries.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it, an overview of the change to Bounce Rate. We hope you found this useful if you’re still getting to grips with the change, or that it has encouraged you to upgrade your analytics to GA4 to better understand your website data.

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