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Outlier Finds Why Bounce Rate is Trending

People are visiting your website. But your bounce rate is high. What’s happening? Good question. Is your content not sticky? Are pages on your website broken? Is there a data quality issue? Those are questions we asked ourselves when learning about our single-page sessions. Today’s story shows you how Outlier found out why our bounce rate was suddenly trending down.

Bounce Rate is trending down
Bounce Rate is trending down

What caused the Bounce Rate to Decrease?

A decrease in bounce rate is a welcome change, but a large and unexpected decrease is cause for investigation. A trend started September 12, where the Bounce Rate averaged 96% under the expected model for the past 5 days. The most recent day’s value was 100% lower than the expected model. This insight impacts the entirety of Unique Users. 

While having a bounce rate of 0% would be amazing, we knew that something was amiss. From Outlier’s Root Cause Analysis feature, we discovered that a majority of the traffic bouncing was direct traffic. We looked at Google Analytics and both site visits and page views were performing as expected. What’s going on? 

We then noticed that the date that the bounce rates started to decrease coincided with the date that we had made some changes within Google Tag Manager. Upon further investigation we discovered that multiple Google tracking tags were both firing at the same time, causing our visits numbers to be elevated and our bounces to be reduced. 

Bounce Rate Spiked
Bounce Rate Spiked

We immediately fixed the problem with the tags and the next day we had an Outlier story confirming that the fix we had made the day prior worked. Our bounce rate was moving back in the expected direction. The following day, we had another story that confirmed the bounce rate had returned to the expected range. 

This story is important because it speaks to a data quality issue. If this issue had not been noticed, we might not have immediately known that other metrics were going up at the same time as this data quality issue. Specifically, traffic and page views were actually artificially increased due to the data quality issue, which in turn reduced the bounce rate. Had this issue gone unnoticed, we might have unknowingly increased our marketing spend for certain traffic drivers when in reality the traffic was being double-counted. 

You can identify meaningful trends in your data with Outlier. Without Outlier, these kinds of insights would require hours, days, weeks or months of analysis. Outlier empowers businesses to take a deeper look at their data and uncover unexpected trends that can help you correct tagging issues. Sign up for a custom demo.

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