Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4 Why does it not Exist?

What is Bounce Rate?

When someone visits your website and then leaves without engaging in any further activities, similar to how a YouTube view count, which does not consider a full viewing of the video. A ‘Bounce Rate’ is calculated by dividing the total number of sessions by the number of bounces that occur during a given period.

How Bounce rate gets influenced

The bounce occurs when a visitor arrives on your website but does not stay long time and leaves the page in a few seconds. The bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of bounces by the total number of visitors at a given time.

But now in Google Analytics 4, rather of bounce rate, you have a new metric named Engagement rate.

Mostly, user bouncing determined by the event structure used by the site, and it varies site to site, no set formula. For example, if you have enabled scroll monitoring as interaction hit, then if a user will visit your website and if he/she will scroll to the bottom of the page, but does not convert will not be counted as a bounce. Because scrolling was count as an interaction by GA. whereas, if user enters and read the content, as well as viewing some other video content, but you have not enabled video tracking as an interaction, the session will reported as a bounce in Google Analytics.

These are event tracking examples where you are supposed to set events to count as interactions, and you can see from these two examples that bounce rate is frequently misleading.

Let’s look at how session timeout affects bounce rate. If a session timeout occurs and the user does not take any other actions, only one page view session is considered a bounce. For example, if a user browses the content for an extended period of time but does not take any other action until the session expires, it is considered a bounce.

What happened to the bounce rate in Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 is not the same as Universal Analytics. It is a more action-packed and event-driven version. As a result, instead of the bounce rate, Google Analytics 4 now includes a new metric called Engagement rate.

As an analyst, you are aware that the bounce rate was not as effective or useful as it should have been, because in some cases, users claimed to have had successful sessions, but reports showed bounces. It also didn’t make sense in single-page applications.

Google Analytics 4 combines data from mobile and web applications in a simple interface and generates accurate and useful reports, allowing you to assess a wide range of user experiences.

Engagement rate in Google Analytics 4

The session in which the user has done a few activities such as actively engaging with the application or website for at least 10 seconds, firing a conversion event, or firing two or more page views is used to calculate the engagement rate.

Does engagement rate really replace bounce rate?

Engagement rate, like bounce rate in universal analytics, indicates how well your users are engaged with your website or application. It is also useful in places where the bounce rate is not too high. For example, single-page apps, mobile apps, and content sites such as blogs and news portals.
The engagement rate of a website or application will always be greater than the inverse of the bounce rate. The reason for this is that a session with at least a two-page view can be considered an engagement session, as can any session with a minimum of 10 seconds duration that would otherwise be considered a bounce.

If your visitors are spending more time on the application and converting, you will notice an increase in engagement. The engagement rate will only decrease if users visit the website and then quickly leave.

GA4 will be everywhere at times, just like UA, and bounce rate will have to be replaced by engagement rate. The best way to become acquainted with this new metric is to create a parallel GA4 property and begin collecting engagement rate data. Then you can compare the engagement rates and determine which information is correct. This will aid you in making the transition from bounce rate to engagement rate as smooth as possible.

The engagement rate is an improvement over the bounce rate, allowing users to obtain precise information about page engagement. You can also consider engagement rate as one of the effective metrics Google Analytics 4 has developed due to its precise reports. If you have upgraded to Google Analytics 4, you must use the engagement rate.


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