What’s a Bad Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)?

Google Analytics 4

A “bad bounce rate” in Google Analytics 4 is subjective, so take any numbers someone gives you with a big grain of salt. (I’m talking Mediterranean sea salt flakes.)

As a reminder, GA4 bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit your site or app and do NOT complete any of the following three actions:

  • Spend more than 10 seconds on the site/app
  • Visit a second page/screen
  • Complete a conversion event

Read more: What is a conversion in GA4?

Because every website is different, a “bad” bounce rate for you may be “great” for someone else, and vice versa.


1. How To Find Your Bounce Rate in GA4

2. What’s a Bad Bounce Rate for My Site?

How To Find Your Bounce Rate in GA4

There are two ways to see your bounce rate in Google Analytics 4:

1. Add bounce rate to your Reports dashboard (this is the option we’re going to use)

2. Add bounce rate to an Exploration

Now that you know where to find bounce rate, we can determine what’s a “bad” bounce rate for your site.

What’s a Bad Bounce Rate for My Site?

Here’s a process I recommend to determine a “bad” bounce rate for your website.

1. Go to the Reports section of Google Analytics 4.

2. Go to Engagement > Pages and screens

GA4 Reports Select Pages and screens

3. Select the Last 28 days in your date range. (You can increase or decrease this depending on your site’s size and traffic, but I think 28 is a good balance between being recent enough, but not too cumbersome.)

GA4 Report Select Date Range 28 Days

4. Click the pencil in the top-right portion of the screen:

Google Analytics 4 customize reports

5. Click the > across from Metrics

GA4 Customize Report Metrics

6. Click the + Add metric button and scroll down to select bounce rate. (In the following screenshot, I have already added it. You probably won’t see it in your list if you haven’t added it yet)

GA4 custom reports add metric

7. Drag the different metrics from top to bottom to order them. The ones up top will appear the furthest to the left in your report

8. Click the blue Apply button

9. Click the blue Save button and choose one of the two options: saving changes to a current report, or as a new report.

GA4 Save Custom Report

You should now see bounce rate in the report you customized. Remember, you can add this (and other custom metrics) to almost any of your Reports in Google Analytics 4.

10. Change “Rows per page:” to the maximum of 5,000.

GA4 Report Change Rows Per Page to 5000

11. Scroll through your list of pages and see which is the last page with at least 28 views*.

*I chose 28 because it means that page is averaging at least one user per day. Depending on how large or small your site is, you can increase or decrease this number.

GA4 Report Pages with at Least 28 Views

In this case, the first 375 pages in my date range average at least one user per day.

12. Export the file as a CSV.

GA4 Report Download File

13. Scroll down to around row 5,000 in the spreadsheet.

For some reason, the GA4 export does this weird thing where all the columns in the dashboard are not displayed at the top of the spreadsheet. Since we have Views and Bounce rate in our first two columns, we see it as the second “section” of data here, beginning with row 5013.

14. Scroll down to the last row with at least 28 views and delete all the rows below it in this section. 

GA4 Exported CSV File Data

16. Since bounce rate is expressed as a percentage, highlight the entire bounce rate column (column E in our case) and change the cell format to %.

GA4 Export Change Bounce Rate to Percentage

17. Highlight all three columns in this section only – in this case A5015:C5389 – and sort the Bounce Rate column (C) from Largest to Smallest (highest to lowest).

GA4 Bounce Rate Analysis Sorted

Now we have all the pages on our site that average at least 1 visit per day in the last 28 days sorted from those with the highest bounce rate to the lowest.

18. However many rows (pages) you have in this report, take 50 percent. In our case we have 375 pages. Ten percent of 374 is 187.5. I’m going to round down to 187.

That is going to be our marker for a “bad” bounce rate. All pages from 1 to 187 in the list are a “bad” bounce rate for our site. That means anything at 86.84 percent and above.

GA4 Bounce Rate Analysis Sorted

We now have a “bad” bounce rate for our site using Google Analytics 4 data.

Remember, this is how I suggest analyzing bounce rate. You can adjust multiple parts of this process to your preferences, though:

  • Change your date range (from 28 days)
  • Change your “minimum views” cutoff (from 28)
  • Change your cutoff percentage (from 50)

Another way to refine your list is to eliminate pages you don’t want to analyze. e.g. Your homepage, section pages, bio pages, about pages and more.

Next Read: How To Lower My Bounce Rate in GA4

Google Analytics 4 Bounce Rate (GA4)

Google Analytics 4

After months of complaining from frustrated users, you can now find bounce rate in Google Analytics 4.

Bounce rate did not exist in Google Analytics 4 until July 2022.

It was a useful stat in UA because it told you the percentage of users who left your site after viewing a single page and not performing any other activity. This was especially helpful when analyzing inbound search traffic.

Google Universal Analytics Bounce Rate Example
How bounce rate appears in Google Universal Analytics.

Bounce rate, however, has a different definition in Google Analytics 4.


1. GA4 Bounce Rate Definition

  • What is an engaged session in GA4?

2. Bounce Rate Report in GA4

  • Bounce Rate in Customized Reports
  • Bounce Rate in Explore

3. Typical Google Analytics 4 Bounce Rate

4. Why is My Bounce Rate High?

  • Bounce Rate Factors: Any Site or App
  • Bounce Rate Factors: News Publishers
  • Bounce Rate Factors: Shopping

GA4 Bounce Rate Definition

What does bounce rate indicate in Google Analytics 4?

“Bounce rate is the percentage of sessions that were not engaged sessions.”

This means that it’s the inverse of engagement rate. (I recently discussed this in more detail in my newsletter.)

Also see: How To Lower My Bounce Rate in GA4

What is an engaged session in GA4?

A Google Analytics 4 engaged session is one in which a user completes one or more of the following actions:

  1. Spends at least 10 seconds on the site/app
  2. Views two or more screens (app) or pages (web)
  3. Completes one or more conversion event

Therefore if a user did NOT complete one of these actions, they are considered to have “bounced” from your website or app.

Also See: Change Your Engaged Sessions Timer to Something Other Than 10 Seconds

Your bounce rate and your engagement rate should always add up to 100.

For example, if your bounce rate is 45 percent, your engagement rate should be 55 percent. Google calculates this for your automatically, so no action is required.

Bounce Rate Report in GA4

You can find Google Analytics 4 bounce rate data in two places: customized reports and the Explore section.

Bounce Rate in Customized Reports

While in the Reports tab (the first one below the “Home” house on the left sidebar), you can customize most reports. Here’s how:

1. Click the pencil in the top-right portion of the screen

Google Analytics 4 customize reports

2. Click the > across from Metrics

GA4 Customize Report Metrics

3. Click the + Add metric button and scroll down to select bounce rate. (In the following screenshot, I have already added it. You probably won’t see if in your list if you haven’t added it yet)

GA4 custom reports add metric

4. Drag the different metrics from top to bottom to order them. The ones up top will appear the furthest to the left in your report

5. Click the blue Apply button

6. Click the blue Save button and choose one of the two options

GA4 Save Custom Report

You should now see bounce rate in the report you customized. Remember, you can add this (and other custom metrics) to almost any of your Reports in Google Analytics 4.

Bounce Rate in Explore

To add bounce rate to an Exploration, click the + next to METRICS.

Type “bounce rate” into the search bar at the top, check off the box next to it, and click “Import.”

Add Bounce Rate to GA4 Explore Report

You should now be able to use it in your Exploration by adding it from the METRICS section.

Also Read: What is a Bad Bounce Rate Google Analytics 4?

Why is my bounce rate so high?

As discussed, bounce rate is relative to each industry and niche. A high bounce rate for you could be a pipe dream for a competitor.

If you believe your bounce rate is high across many pages on your site, it’s worth addressing.

Remember, a user bouncing in GA4 means they left your site/app in less than 10 seconds without completing a conversion event or going to a second page/screen.

Do You Want a High or Low Bounce Rate?

It’s usually better to have a low bounce rate, but that’s not always the case.

Is a High Bounce Rate Always Bad?

No. It’s possible to have pages with high bounce rates, yet nothing be wrong.

When is a High Bounce Rate Good?

A high bounce rate in Google Analytics can be considered “good” if a user is able to quickly find what they needed on your site or app.

Let’s look at an example.

The USDA website has very little content for its “What is bacon?” page. At the same time, it probably tells most people everything they need to know about the pork product.

A high bounce rate from this page may not necessarily be a problem.

But what if someone searches “best way to cook bacon” because they’re looking for detailed instructions? A high bounce rate here might indicate that your recipe isn’t very helpful.

Here are some reasons why users might be likely to bounce from your site.

Bounce Rate Factors: Any Site or App

You’re probably not the only website or app in the world providing your service or information.

That means users are more impatient than ever to find what they want.

Avoid these pitfalls to decrease your bounce rate:

  • Slow load times
    The longer your page/screen takes to load, the more likely a user is to bounce
  • Too many ads
    Bonus (negative) points if it’s difficult to distinguish the ads from the content
  • Too many popups
    Cookie preference permissions are typical these days. But if someone has to close multiple elements before they can access your content, you’re begging them to leave
  • Autoplay video (with sound!)
    This is one of the worst ways you can “welcome” a user

Bounce Rate Factors: News Publishers

Not only are you competing with other news sites, but also social media, email and real-life interactions.

If a user has come to your site, it’s probably because they want to go deeper on a particular topic. The headline in the push alert wasn’t enough. They’re hungry for quality journalism.

To keep them around – and coming back for more – don’t do these things:

  • Newsletter sign-up popups
    This might be their first time on your site. How do they know they want to subscribe to your newsletter before they even see what you offer?
    Set this to occur after multiple visits, or at least keep it from triggering until they scroll down the page a bit
  • Any other pre-content popup
    Again, aside from legal obligations, like having users accept/reject cookies, don’t put anything between the user and their news
  • Burying the lede
    This isn’t just journalism 101, it’s also bounce rate 101.
    An enticing, draw-you-in opener for a feature story is fine. But if there’s been a big election or a tragic event, don’t leave people guessing about the details. Invert the pyramid and go from there
  • Unappealing layout
    Don’t let your choice of fonts, colors and design distract from the content. Be as minimal as possible, and think of how a user is going to experience the story on a phone, not merely desktop

Also review the list in the previous section, as many news sites are guilty of those errors.

Bounce Rate Factors: Shopping

If you run an ecommerce site, you already know that not every visitor is ready to buy. But that doesn’t mean their bounce rate has to be high, too.

Here are some ways to scare off potential customers:

  • The price was too high
  • The product was out of stock
  • The product wasn’t what the user expected
  • The product page took too long to load
  • You didn’t have their desired size/make/model
  • You didn’t have their desired color(s)

Also See: Experiment with the GA4 Demo Account

How To Lower My Bounce Rate Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

Google Analytics 4

If you want to reduce your bounce rate in Google Analytics 4, you have come to the right place.

We’re going to explore what bounce rate is, what contributes to a high and low bounce rate and how to encourage users to stay on and engage with your website, blog or app.

I’ll also take you through a step-by-step process to identify which pages on your site are most vulnerable to bounces before going over how to protect against this.


1. What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4?

  • Most Important Statistics for Bounce Rate in GA4

2. How Bounce Rate Works in GA4

3. Anti-Bounce Moats

4. Bounce-Rate Analysis Warning

  • ‘Empty’ Engaged Sessions
  • Data Distortion
  • Comparing with Other Sites

5. How To Lower My Bounce Rate Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

6. Conclusion

What is Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4?

Before we try to decrease the bounce rate of your website, app or blog, let’s define it.

GA4 bounce rate is the inverse of engagement rate (the percentage of sessions that are “engaged”).

An engaged session means a user performed at least one of the following three actions:

  • Spent longer than 10 seconds on the page (web) or screen (app)
  • Navigated to a second page/screen
  • Completed a conversion event

A user is considered to have “bounced,” then, if they 1) left your website/app in 10 seconds or less 2) without navigating to a second page 3) or completing a conversion event.

Personally, I like this better than the Universal Analytics bounce rate definition:

“Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.”

The GA4 definition is more specific and gives us a clearer path to improve it.

Most Important Statistics for Bounce Rate in GA4

In addition to bounce rate, understanding the three statistics that determine bounce rate is key to our plan to lower your bounce rate.

Average Engagement Time

Engagement time is counted whenever a user has your website in the foreground of their screen.

If your website is open in the background of someone’s comptuer, the engagement timer is paused until they bring it back to the foreground or the session is ended.

Multiple Page Views

A simple way to determine whether someone has changed pages on your website is if the URL changes. (Don’t worry – Google keeps track of this for you.)

Typically, the more pages a user visits in a given session, the better.

An exception would be if they erratically navigate from one page to another, unable to find what they seek, before leaving the site.


Google Analytics 4 conversions are events that you have marked as conversions. Since this is different for every website, the best way to see this for yourself is to go to Configure > Conversions in your GA4 dashboard.

You can mark any existing event as a conversion by going to Configure > Events and toggling the button at the end of the row to the right so that it turns blue.

Also see: Google Analytics 4 Conversions Explained

How Bounce Rate Works in GA4

To understand bounce rate, you have to understand the factors that determine whether a user “bounced” from your site.

You may be asking: If we can just look at pages with the highest bounce rate, why analyze other stats?

In other words, bounce rate itself is a statistic, so what’s the point in looking at 1) engaged time, 2) page views and 3) conversions if they’re “baked in” to overall bounce rate?

To illustrate the importance or paying attention to all three factors – not just bounce rate itself – let’s look at four scenarios of different sessions on your site as tracked by GA4:

At first glance, you may think, “Wow, three engaged sessions out of four. Not bad.”

Let’s dig deeper, though.

Session A

This is just about the worst-case scenario. The user left your site/app in four seconds without visiting a second page/screen or converting.

This is also the only one of the four sessions we’re analyzing that would be considered “bounced.”

Session B

A little more time on the site, but they still only visited a single page. And didn’t convert.

Nonetheless, it’s an “engaged session” by definition.

Session C

Yes, it’s possible to visit three pages in nine seconds. But for a user to do so and leave your site is almost certainly a bad sign if it wasn’t accompanied by a conversion.

Even so, this also counts as an engaged session.

Session D

If I’m running a website, this is the only scenario of the four that gets me excited. Even if it didn’t have a conversion, I would still be encouraged.

Anytime a user spends more than a minute on your site while visiting multiple pages, it’s a positive sign. In internet time, 1 minute and 24 seconds is an eternity.

The overall engagement rate of these four sessions is 75 percent, meaning the bounce rate is 25 percent. Again, this sounds great in a tweet, but until I get more sessions like scenario D, I’m not satisfied.

If session B had spent 17 seconds less on the site, it would have been a bounce.

If session C had left after seeing one page instead of three, it would have been a bounce.

Session D, however, has a nice “anti-bounce moat.”

Anti-Bounce Moats

I don’t just want to help you lower your bounce rate by a little bit. I want to help you create what I call “anti-bounce moats (a term I made up – take it or leave it).

Any session where two of a page’s three key statistics meet the following criteria has an “anti-bounce moat”:

  • 33+ seconds engagement time
    (11 * 3, since 11 seconds is the minimum engaged time to trigger an engaged session)
  • An internal referral to another page in the same session
  • A conversion on the page
GA4 Anti-Bounce Moat Factors

Further down on this page, I’m going to show you how to identify vulnerable and under-performing pages, and how to boost their engagement rate and lower their bounce rate.

Bounce-Rate Analysis Warnings

Important: We’re not trying to lower bounce rate just for the sake of it. Here are some things to be aware of as we go through this process.

‘Empty’ Engaged Sessions

Bounce rate is a statistic that helps us identify pages where little time is spent and little action is taken. But be careful!

Just because all your users spend 5 minutes on each page and read 10 pieces of content per session doesn’t mean they’re having an impact on your business.

Imagine a brick and mortar toy store where visitors strolled the aisles for an average of two hours and looked at 100 items each, but no one ever bought anything.

Toy store without sales

That business’s “bounce rate” would be very low, but it would soon be out of business.

In other words, what’s important is that your site/app visitors convert. That they take actions that earn you money, directly or indirectly. (If earning money is your goal.)

If part of your revenue comes from display ads, more time on site and more views certainly help. But many websites and apps don’t use display ads as their primary source of income.

Data Distortion

A small data sample can distort your analysis.

For example, imagine these two scenarios on an app:

1. A screen (equivalent to a page on a website) that only three people have seen in the last 30 days with an average engagement time of 55 seconds.

2. A different screen on your app that 1,000 people have seen in the last 30 days with an average engagement time of 40 seconds.

The first page might seem more engaging, but the sample size is too small.

So far, three people have seen screen 1 for a total of 165 seconds (an average of 55 each). If two more people view that screen for five seconds each, we’re suddenly looking at an average engagement time of 35 seconds.

Don’t get excited about a page with super high averages when a small number of users have seen it, nor frustrated about a page with super low averages in the same situation.

Comparing with Other Sites, Blogs, Apps

All three of the factors that determine whether a site is engaged or “bounced” on Google Analytics 4 can be manipulated.

I’m going to explain why, and hopefully convince you not to put stock in what others say their bounce rate is compared to yours.

Public vs. Private Data

People sometimes share data publicly. It could be at a conference. In a tweet. Or a simple text message.

But unless someone also shares full-screen screenshots of their GA4 dashboard along with all their property settings, don’t believe them.

You can’t see a GA4 dashboard unless you’re given access, which means you can’t confirm it, either. So don’t be concerned when someone shares a statistic that makes yours pale in comparison.

They might be lying. Or worse, they might not even understand the data their quoting.

Aside from those factors, here are some more specific ways people can manipulate their dashboard.

10-Second Cutoff

By default, a GA4 session must last more than 10 seconds to be considered “engaged.” But you can change that.

And so can your competitors.

Read More: How To Change Google Analytics 4 Engaged Session Timer

What if someone running content strategy at an industry peer is told by their boss that bounce rate needs to go down 10 percent?

They could do the hard work (like you) of trying to lower user bounce rate. Or they could simply set the engagement time to 2 seconds, assuring that nearly all their visitors would be considered “engaged.”

Comparing yourself to this competitor would probably drive you crazy.

Multiple Page (or Screen) Views

You could manipulate the number of views on your site in a couple ways.

One is with redirects where Google counts each page as a separate view. This could happen if someone goes to your site from a search engine and is redirected to a second page after a few seconds.

Another scenario would be with infinite scroll. While there’s nothing wrong with implementing infinite scroll on your site, it often triggers additional page views when a user reaches the end of a page or article without realizing it, and the following page is accessed.

Weak Conversions

Conversions on your site are determined by you. As mentioned before, conversion events should have a direct – or at least closely correlated – affect on your bottom line.

Google marks the “purchase” event a conversion by default in GA4, and that can’t be changed. (And rightfully so.)

What about “add_to_cart”, though? Someone could add an item to their cart without purchasing. Yet you still might consider this important enough to mark as a conversion. (Most people do).

That’s fine, so long as you’re aware that this will likely increase your conversion rate.

Marking an event like “page_view” as a conversion, though would be ridiculous. Nearly every user would “convert,” and your conversion rate would be through the roof.

So when someone gives you a conversion rate for their website that’s much higher than yours, don’t fret.

Even if they have the same exact conversion events in place, it’s still not likely a fair comparison.

A website that sells $80 shoes is likely to have more conversions than one that sells $15,000 espresso machines. If you’re the espresso seller, you probably have far fewer conversions than your shoe-slinging friend.

To be clear, I’m not recommending you do any of these things to lower your bounce rate. That would only dilute your data.

My goal is to make you aware of ways others can inflate their numbers, giving you undue reason for concern.

Determine what makes for a low (and high) bounce rate for your site, and let that be your measuring stick.

As we go through the different data points, we’re going to compile a list of “worst” pages. I recommend recording them in a spreadsheet along with their corresponding statistics.

None of these tactics can be applied blindly to any platform. You, as the expert of your domain, are the key to this analysis.

For the sake of simplicity, from here on I’ll talk in terms of pages/websites, but know that this strategy can also be applied to screens/apps in almost every case.

How To Lower My Bounce Rate Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

We’re going to use a two-step process to lower your bounce rate:

  1. Determine the lowest performing pages, not just in terms of bounce rate, but also engagement time, internal referrals and conversions
  2. Deploy tactics on the pages with the highest bounce rates to increase engagement time, internal referrals and conversions

Step 1: Create a Master List of Pages with Highest Bounce Rate etc.

Your master spreadsheet is going to have six columns. Here they are in order from left to right:

  1. Page type
  2. Page title
  3. Bounce rate
  4. Averaged Engaged Time
  5. Internal Referrals
  6. Conversion Rate

While you can certainly sort your pages by the worst bounce rates and work on them first, filtering by the other three columns and following the tactics were about to go over will allow for hte most targeted, effective progress.

Step 1A: Determine Page Types

Your bounce rates will likely vary by page type. Before beginning your analysis, determine the different types of pages on your site, and which ones you want to analyze.

News website example

  • Homepage
  • Section pages (i.e. Local News, Sports, Business, Government, A&E)
  • Article pages
  • Video pages
  • Photo galleries
  • Miscellaneous (subscriptions, signups, bios)

Business website example

  • Homepage
  • Blog posts
  • Product pages
  • Cart
  • Checkout page

Step 1B: Choose Date Range

The more content your site has, the shorter the date range you can choose here.

I would recommend analyzing at least 28 days’ worth of data. If you don’t get a lot of traffic, though, consider analyzing everything within the last year.

Maintain the same date range throughout all steps of the analysis.

Step 1C: Determine Analysis Size

The number of pages you want to analyze for bounce rate depends on two things: the size of your site and the section(s)/page types (see step 1A) you’re analyzing.

I like to start with a maximum sample size of 100 pages for each of the four statistics we’re going to look at (bounce rate plus the three statistics that determine bounce rate).

If you want to do more or less, that’s fine. For the rest of this exercise, I’ll be operating under the asumption of analyzing 100 pages in each category.

If this doesn’t completely make sense, it will soon.

Another option is to select the most important pages on your website and perform that following process only on those pages, even if they not amount your highest “bouncers”.

Step 1D: Create Bounce-Rate Report in Explore

1. Go to the Explore tab on the left sidebar of your Google Analytics 4 dashboard. Open a new Blank report.

2. In a new tab, add the Page Title dimension to ROWS and add the following four metrics to VALUES: Bounce rate, Average engagement time per session, User conversion rate and Views.

3. In the Tab settings column, change “Show rows” to 500

4. Add the following filter:

  • Views >99*
    *By only looking at pages with 100 or more views in the selected time period, we eliminate outliers.

Adjust this number as necessary for your report to surface more or less pages.

Ideally, your report should have less than 500 rows so that you only have to sort and export one time, as in the following steps.

5. Sort the Bounce Rate column from highest to lowest. (The arrow to the left of Bounce rate should be pointing down)

6. Export the report to a CSV or other spreadsheet format

If you have less than 500 rows in your report, skip to step 8.

7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 for the engagement rate and user conversion rate columns, respectively.

If you don’t have any conversions set up, or if they’re new, you can skip the conversion rate analysis.

You should now have two or three exported spreadsheets.. We’ll get back to them in a moment.

8. Open a second tab in the same Exploration

9. Add Page referrer and Page Title to ROWS and change “Show rows” to 500 again

10. Add Stream name to COLUMNS
The stream name dimension itself isn’t that important. What we’re trying to accomplish is minimize the number of columns, since there’s a 20-column limit on the report.

This allows us to ensure we’re capturing the total number of referrals from each page to other pages.

The only way this wouldn’t work is if you have more than 20 data streams. (The limit is 50.) In that case, consider using a dimension like languages or something else that doesn’t generate more than 20 columns.

11. Add Views to VALUES

12. Add the Views >99 filter again

13. Add another filter where Page referrer contains “yourwebsite.com”
This will ensure that we’re only looking at internal referrals in the report

14. Add one more filter where Page referrer does not exactly matchhttps://yourhomepage.com/

Since your homepage will likely be responsible for an outsize number of referrals, we’re going to eliminate it from this report.

You can do this for any other pages on your site – like section home pages – that may skew your data.

You can also use the “contains” function to only include certain types of posts, like articles. To do this, you need to have something in your URL that allows you to distinguish those pages from the rest.

15. Sort the data by ordering the totals column from lowest to highest

16. Export the report to a CSV or other spreadsheet format

You should now have two exported spreadsheets (unless you had more than 500 rows in your reports, in which case you’ll have exported four separate ones).

17. As you look through the page titles, you can eliminate that don’t make sense to analyze such as “Page Not Found” or any other pages you’re not concerned about optimizing.

18. Optional: Combine the spreadsheets into one using the VLOOKUP function.

All set? Now it’s time to do the fun work of creating anti-bounce moats on a page-by-page basis.

The first column in your spreadsheet – bounce rate – is mostly for tracking purposes. Save the master spreadsheet so that you can look back on your progress for the specific pages where you’ll be making the following changes.

Step 2: How To Increase Average Engaged Time GA4

The best way to increase average engaged time on your site is to give users a reason to spend more time there. The foundation of that is original, quality content.

User the following tactics on the pages that have the lowest average engagement time in your master spreadsheet. Pay special attention to those with 10 seconds or fewer of average engaged time, and work up from there.

Start by sorting the pages in your data from lowest engagement time to highest. These will be listed in seconds, so your prime targets are any pages that average 10 or less, moving up from there.

  1. Deliver on Promises
  2. Go Deep with Content
  3. Be Original

Deliver on Promises

Think about what a user might expect when coming to your site, depending on how they got there.

Social Media

When you share a link on social media, does your post accurately preview/tease what the user will find on your site?

This can be improved by making sure the accompanying text you put on your post matches the content. The link preview that social networks generate also plays a role.

You can usually see this before publishing your post, but the headline and description, which are pulled from your site, should match the content.

Search Results

What about when your link appears in search results, does a user find what they expect when clicking through?


If someone has opted in to receiving your emails, you’re already in a strong position. Here’s a high-level view of the steps they go through to get to your site.

1. Subject: Is it engaging enough to entice users to open the email?

2. Top of the Email: This could be an image and/or intro text. Just like with the subject line, you want to provide enough useful and intriguing information for the reader to continue reading/scrolling.

3. Body/Primary Email Content: If a user has come this far – opened your email and scrolled down to see more – you’re doing great.

If you’re able to get them to click through, does your site’s content deliver on what’s promised in the email? If so, they’re likely to spend more time on your site.

Go Deep with Content

When I say “go deep,” I’m talking about quality, not quantity. Providing a lot of quality content, however, will in turn boost your quantity.

Here are some ways to go deeper on your website:

  • Interview people: Don’t just share your opinion and experience on a topic. Share others’, too.
  • Be Visual: Use quality, original screenshots and photos. Not only will they break up blocks of text, but they also make it easier for others to retain information.
  • Give examples: Like we’re doing here. Don’t just tell people they need to increase average engaged time to lower bounce rate. Give them specific examples of how to increase engaged time.

Be Original

Think of it this way: If you’re providing the same information on a topic as 100 other websites, there’s a 1 percent chance users will come to you and not a competitor.

That percentage goes down significantly if you don’t have as much credibility or authority as your competitors.

But what if you’re the only one providing the information on your website? You have just wiped out your competition simply by providing useful content that can’t be found anywhere else.

That doesn’t mean users are guaranteed to flock to your site in droves. You still have to put in the work of promoting your content, building links and more. But it does mean that they’re more likely to stay once they do find you.

Step 3: How To Increase Internal Referrals GA4

There’s some overlap here with increasing engaged time. That’s because the more high-quality and original your content, the more likely it is that users will want more of it.

When users want more of your content, they’re more likely to navigate to additional pages.

What I want to talk about here, though, is facilitating user navigation in practical ways. This is primarily done with internal linking.

When applying these tips, start with the pages that have the fewest outgoing internal referrals. Make it as easy and attractive as possible for people to get to additional pages on your site.

Start with those that refer the fewest users to additional pages and work your way down your list.

  1. Quality Anchor Text
  2. Connected Content

Quality Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that takes you to the page you’re clicking on. For example, the anchor text in the previous sentence is “Anchor text”.

Not only is anchor text an SEO-ranking factor, but it also gives users an idea what they’re about to click on.

Try to use concise phrases that people would also search for on Google to find that content.

Since the headline of this article is “How To Lower My Bounce Rate Google Analytics 4 (GA4)”, that would be the ideal anchor text for any other page that links to this one. (That goes for both internal as well as external links.)

But even things like “lower bounce rate GA4” or “how do i improve my bounce rate?” would be great anchor texts to link to this page.

Connected Content

This website has a lot of Google Analytics 4 content. It’s natural, therefore, to connect lots of information on this page to other pages on the site.

This article is about how to practically lower your bounce rate. But I also wrote something explaining what bounce rate is, exactly. So that’s a natural piece of content I’m going to link to here in case someone wants to review the fundamentals of bounce rate before putting these tactics into practice.

For example, if you run a gardening website and you write about “How To Plant Vegatable Seeds”, you would also want to link to your article about “Where To Buy Vegatable Seeds.”

Don’t link to other pages just for the sake of it – think about what would be most useful to the reader.

In addition to linking within the body of your article, use “Read More”-type callouts. Not only do they stand out, but they break up the text, making it easier on your readers. Here’s an example:

Read More: Google Analytics Bounce Rate (GA4)

Step 4: How To Increase Conversions GA4

Finally, we come to the third and final element of increasing bounce rate/lowering bounce rate: conversions.

These should be the most important and valuable events on your site. The ones that have a direct – or indirect but strong – affect on your bottom line.

When applying the following tactics, start with the pages from your master spreadsheet list that have zero conversions. Then work your way up to pages with single-digit conversions, and so on.

  1. Increase Conversion Opportunities
  2. Make Conversions More Accessible
  3. Follow Up with Users who Fall Off

Increase Conversion Opportunities

As mentioned above, we don’t want to create conversion events just for the sake of getting more conversions.

If you don’t have any conversion events set up yet, that’s OK. But start thinking about ones you could create. If users can purchase products on your site, some of conversion events should be obvious.

If not, consider newsletter signups, account signups and blog subscriptions.

In fact, having fewer conversion events – even just one – can be an advantage just starting out. You’ll know exactly what your No. 1 priority is for your users.

Make Conversions More Accessible

Perhaps you do have conversion events on your site, but they’re not easy to find.

While it may not make sense to put newsletter signups on every single page of your site, you don’t want to relegate them to a single page, either.

If you have some kind of sign-up or download button, consider adding them to one or more of the following areas of your site:

  • The header
  • Strategically place the button – with a compelling callout – in the body of blog posts and other content
  • The footer

Put examples in between bullet points, with captions citing website/source

Follow Up With Users Who Falloff

Have you ever begun filling out a form or began a purchase on a site, only to leave it without finishing? There’s a good chance your email was captured anyway, and you received an automated message a day or two later.

Hi Fred, we noticed you didn’t complete your purchase of our Google Analytics 4 course.

If you’re having second thoughts or would like to ask us a question, please let us know.

In the meantime, here’s a link to everything that’s included in the course: [LINK]

This can be effective because you’re targeting people who already showed a strong interest in your product.


Lowering bounce rate (and by definition, increasing your engagement rate) is hard work, but there’s a huge payoff.

The more time a user spends on your site, the more valuable your display ads and the more likely people are to take actions that help your business.

While a 0 percent bounce rate for a website with any amount of traffic is practically impossible, you’ll never run out of opportunities to improve. Especially as your content volume increases.

Periodically run through the practical exercise we did together to decrease your bounce rate.

If you have other tips to increase engagement and lower bounce rate, I would love to hear about them in the comments.