Why 0% Bounce Rate Is Not Good News

Marketing Advice - 02.03.17

What is a bounce? Well according to Google, a bounce is a single-page session i.e. a person that went on to one page but didn’t advance to any other page on your site. A bounce is not necessarily a bad thing; a visitor could’ve found all the information they need on that one page, like your phone number or the answer to their question. But likewise, it may not a good thing; a visitor landed on your site, the site content didn’t satisfy their query and they went somewhere else.

Generally, the goal is to try to keep your bounce rate as low as possible - you want people to visit multiple pages in one visit and stay on your site for a longer time. Occasionally, however, some pages on your website can appear to have a 0% bounce rate. You might be thinking ‘happy days, no one wants to leave my site!’ but unfortunately, this probably isn’t the case. No website ever achieves a bounce rate that low naturally and it is likely to just be an indication of a technical problem with the site.

Here are some of the reasons a site may record a 0% bounce rate.

Duplicate Tracking Codes

Let’s look at page views. When someone lands on the news section on your website, Google Analytics will automatically trigger a pageview and feed this data back into its system. But then, another page view could be recorded due to an additional tracking code being on the page. This makes it appear that two pages have been viewed (not a bounce) even though a user has only visited one. This could be from having another Google Analytics code installed or having Google Tag Manager installed alongside your Google Analytics code. You should only have one of these on your website at a time. If you’re using Google Tag Manager then the Google Analytics UA-XXXXXX-X number should be passed through it.

An iframe Is Embedded

Does your website have a Twitter feed or any other iframe embedded on the page? This might be another reason why your bounce rate could be 0%. Both the page and the embedded element are being counted as views when in reality, the user is just seeing one page. This might also affect other metrics such as your page view data in analytics.

Custom Event Tracking

Finally, the most common cause of 0% Bounce Rate is attributed to custom event tracking. When a visitor lands on your site, a page view will be triggered as per usual. However, if they are then subject to an automatic pop-up or something similar which has been created as a custom event in analytics, this will be seen as the user taking an action and will not be counted as a bounce regardless of whether or not the visitor goes to another page. As a rule, you should never send default events (page views, automatic pop-up window appearing, visitors scrolling through the page etc…) to Google Analytics. The only events that should be sent are the ones that were triggered by the user like form submissions, clicking on videos etc.

If your analytics software is showing a 0% bounce rate on any of your pages, we recommend you double-check you haven’t made any of the above mistakes. Although you want to keep your bounce rate down, a rate that low is just an indicator of something going wrong. If you still can’t work it out get in touch with us to organise a technical review of your site.