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Nov 06 2012

Sudden drops in bounce rate in google analytics

by Simone Luciani in Google Analytics with 3 Comments

Sudden Drop In Bounce Rates

Case Study: A sudden drop of the bounce rate in Google Analytics could be due to a technical issue.

Do you experience a sudden drop of bounce rates in Google Analytics? Before celebrating, try to understand if there could be a technical problem behind the anomalous data, or you might be fooled like me!

Last week I was working on the monthly reports and I was struggling to give a valid explanation to a strange uncommon bounce rate in my client’s google analytics profile.

I analysed every campaign and filtered all the traffic by source, as I thought the drop was due to a very well performing Display Campaign. I was impressed with the quality of that traffic and user engagement, but I wasn’t totally convinced, especially because In 10 years of Digital Marketing I’ve never came across a campaign that performed that well!

After hours of analysis and theories, I found out that the website (wordpress based) had two Google Analytics scripts installed. Probably the developer during maintenance activated erroneously a second plugin that managed the Google analytics script, causing the malfunction.

Disabling one of the two scripts solved the problem, and bounce rates turned to normal after 24 hours. Unfortunately the quality of traffic was very similar to the month before, and the campaign I thought it could have done the magic performed pretty bad.

Key learning and take aways? Don’t be fooled, when data is too good to be true or too bad there could be a technical problem and installing the Google Analytics script twice in the same page could be the issue!


3 Comments

  1. GuruDecember 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I was on cloud 9 for a day until the realisation dawned :)

  2. Simone LucianiFebruary 16, 2013 at 3:07 pmAuthor

    I can imagine! :D

  3. MarcoMarch 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks! I noticed the sudden drop to under 1% for the last 2 weeks.. I knew this was impossible. This now makes sense I installed extra analytics code for social feeds a few weeks ago, it must be that. I would of searched for days and probably give up if not for this article! thanks again!

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