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How to Adjust Bounce Rate with Google Tag Manager

Bounce rate is an excellent metric for gauging your visitor interest, testing landing pages, improving your acquisition strategy and much much more. However, bounce rate can be very misleading.  Content based website usually have high time on page due to return users.  These loyal users usually leave after consuming a new post thus driving up the bounce rate.  Also, this metric can easily be manipulated by event tags. For example , if you are tracking scroll tracking this can affect your bounce rate.  So, if someone simply visited  your website for one second and then scrolled the bounce rate might be altered.

The best way to counter this is to adjust the bounce rate to reflect the time spent on the website regardless if an event is triggered. Here is how:

Steps to Set Up Your Tag

  1. Open Google Tag Manager
  2.  Create a a Google Analytics Tag
  3.  Name your tag something very descriptive for example: “GA-30 Second Bounce Rate”
  4. Choose your Tag Type,Universal or Classic.
  5.  Configure the Tag by adding your Google Analytics tracking code.
  6.  For track type, choose Event
  7.  Under category provide a descriptive name, “Engagement”
  8.  Describe the action, ” 30 second goal”


Now that you have your new tag, you will need to set a trigger that will instruct the tag to fire. To create a trigger follow the instructions below.

Instructions to set up your trigger:

  1. Under Fire On, click New
  2.  Name the trigger something descriptive,
  3.  For the type of Event, please choose Timer
  4.  Configure the trigger by keeping the name, gtm.timer
  5.  Set the interval to a comfortable duration for your website, say 30 seconds which equates to 30000 milliseconds
  6. Enable when page URL matches  .*
  7.  For the limit, choose 1


Quality Check

Open your preview and debug mode. Visit  your website and wait for the timer to fire in the debug console. You will see the gtm.timer event fire in the left pane and the tag fire.




Check out  Bounce Rate and SEO Rankings

You can also use Google Tag Manager to Track Outbound Clicks