Google Analytics 4

Where is the Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4?

Ken Bandong
January 24, 2023

You may have come across blogs or articles saying Bounce Rate does not exist in GA4. Those articles you’ve seen may have been published a couple of months or maybe a year prior to Google’s launching of new GA4 features. Bounce Rate doesn’t exist in GA4 when the platform was first rolled out, but the great thing here is that Google does listen to feedback and has added this metric in GA4. It is important to note the difference of Bounce Rate in Universal Analytics vs. GA4. Prior to Google adding Bounce Rate in GA4, one way for us to measure the engagement of users is through the Engaged Session metric. This metric provides a more sophisticated way of measuring your user's engagement which we will cover later.

What is a bounce rate?

The bounce rate is a metric that measures the percentage of visitors to a website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page and without user activity.

Universal Analytics VS. GA4

In Universal Analytics, Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page sessions with no interaction. For example, a user clicks on your website and stayed for a few minutes without any interaction and just closed the page afterwards. This session will count as a bounce. On the other hand, Bounce Rate in GA4 is the percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions. You may be wondering what is an Engaged Session. Engaged Sessions are any sessions that… 

  1. Session lasted more than 10 seconds 
  2. User has 2 or more pageviews
  3. User has taken any conversion events. 

This means that, if a user does not meet any of these criteria, then it will be counted as a bounced session in GA4. It is important to note these differences as this may have an implication on how you will see Bounce Rate for your website.

What does this imply and how will it improve your business?

We can determine which marketing channels and which individual campaigns are driving engaged users, who are more likely to take a business action we want them to take (sign up, call us, fill out a form, convert in anyway, etc…)

Many business owners always want to know what their website’s bounce rate but for me, when your are using Universal Analytics Bounce Rate, I don’t believe that this is such an important metric. Why? The reason is that a user can go to your website and immediately find what they were looking for on the first webpage they see. Even if this user found what he is looking for and the session should be valuable to your data this would still be counted as bounce as there no user activity. This makes this metric unreliable in measuring your website performance.

All in all, Bounce Rate in Universal Analytics can still be an indicator to measure your website performance but it is important to note that it may be unreliable depending on your website content. On the contrary, GA4 provides a more useful way of measuring how users engage with your website and identifying areas that may need improvement. This makes this one of the reasons for you to migrate to GA4.

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