Diagnosing a Too-Perfect Bounce Rate

Recently, our team had a surprise while reviewing our client’s Google Analytics numbers. Our client’s bounce rate had diminished to nearly 0%. That’s right, we were seeing a near perfect bounce rate of .44%. Instead of patting ourselves on the back and awarding ourselves SEOs of the year, we instantly assumed the worst: there must be a reason behind this bounce rate pseudo-perfection.


Our first hunch was to look into the Google Analytics setup on site to uncover if there was a problem with tracking. We used Google Tag Assistant to help diagnose any issues.

Upon launching Google Tag Assistant, it was revealed that the setup on Client.com contained two Google Analytics snippets.

bounce rate 1

We diagnosed that the double Analytics snippet was now due to the addition of Google Tag Manager that included Google Analytics.

bounce rate 2

Google Tag Manager confirmed our thought process in the “Where to Optimize” section:

bounce rate 3

The Google Tag Assistant told us that the same web property ID is being tracked twice. A big no-no when it comes to Google Analytics tracking. This was potentially causing the bounce rate issue. When a user landed on Client.com’s landing page, Google could not accurately track the bounce rate. The competing snippets caused Google to count the other snippet’s page view as a site interaction, thus dropping the bounce rate to practically nothing.

Elite SEM recommended removing either the on-page Analytics code or Google Tag Manager’s Analytic snippet. Upon sharing this information with our client, it was revealed that their Google Tag Manager setup had been added without entire digital team’s knowledge.

Client.com removed Google Tag manager from the site. This action has led to a more “normal” bounce rate of 30.86% for the month. So while we are no longer at a “perfect” bounce rate percentage, we are now seeing accurate data.

Lesson learned: when data appears too perfect, there’s usually a logical reason behind it. So don’t forget to talk to your SEO team and examine what the possible reasons could be.

Learn how TravelStore increased lead generation using Knowledge Graphs with the case study Knowledge Graph Case Study: Helping TravelStore Become An Online Entity.

Sara Leaf
About the Author

Sara Leaf

Sara joined the Elite SEM Atlanta office as one of the founding team members of the SEO division. She is Google Analytics certified and along with her accounts, also manages content creation and production for the division. Sara is an avid college football fan (go Dawgs) and a self-diagnosed television addict.

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