Excluding Non-Interactive Events In Google Analytics Bounce Rate Calculations

Internet Marketing, Website Analytics November 17th, 2011

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Internet Marketing

Google Analytics event tracking snippets enable us to track events that are happening on a website; Google Analytics helps us track components like a Flash player, Ajax Image slider, video players, download links, etc. Click here to read some best practices for using the event tracking feature in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Bounce Rate Calculations

How Bounce Rate and Event Tracking Are Related

Let’s say that a webpage contains an event tracking snippet to track visitor interaction with a video player; when a visitor lands directly on this particular webpage and interacts with the video player and leaves the website without visiting any other pages, this visit is excluded from the bounce rate calculation because the visitor did indeed interact with the video player (where the event tracking snippet was added). In most cases, it doesn’t make sense for visits to be excluded from the bounce rate calculation when an action is performed with a defined event. Now that we have the control of it, we can decide whether the particular interaction should be included or excluded in the bounce rate calculation.

Events can be classified into interactive events and non-interactive events.

Interactive Events And Non-Interactive Events

INTERACTIVE EVENTS

Events that can be considered as interactive are:

  • Clicks on download links
  • Clicks on a ‘call to action’
  • Clicks on submit button of newsletter subscription and contact form
  • Clicks on social media links

When a visitor lands on a page and performs any one of these interactions then leaves the site, we can exclude this visit in the bounce rate calculation as the interaction is considered to be more valuable and not a “true bounce” per se. This works with the default event tracking snippet and doesn’t need a *true argument at the end. This works with the default event tracking snippet and doesn’t need this new feature.

NON-INTERACTIVE EVENTS

Events that can be considered as non-interactive are image sliders, video player interaction etc. These interactions have nothing to do with conversions and it’s just measuring the visitor activity in the website. So these interactions have to be excluded from the bounce rate calculation and here is where this new feature helps. With the usual event tracking snippet, we just need to add a true argument at the end to exclude it from the bounce rate calculation.

Below is an example of event tracking snippets :

_trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)
Non-interaction – A Boolean that when set to true, indicates that the event hit will not be used in the bounce-rate calculation.

Below is an example to measure the event that tracks the ‘play’ button of the video with a non-interaction argument.

_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Videos’, ‘Play’, ‘MJ Moonwalk’, 5, true]);
The ‘true’ argument added to the end of the snippet will exclude this event from the bounce rate calculation. Hope this helps!

*The Boolean parameter (‘true’) added at the end of the snippet will include this visit in the bounce rate calculation. Visits that attempt the defined event and leave the web page without visiting any other pages will also be counted as ‘bounce rate visits,’ provided that the Boolean parameter is set to true. Learn more about this new parameter from Google’s Event Tracking Guide on Non-Interaction Events.

Post By Elan (17 Posts)

Elan has been applying his Internet Marketing and Web Analytics skills for over 6 years and has been sharing some of that experience here on the TechWyse blog!

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Elan has been applying his Internet Marketing and Web Analytics skills for over 6 years and has been sharing some of that experience here on the TechWyse blog!

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