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Bounce and Sessions

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 1
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi there, the session duration recording and a bounce is unclear for me.

 

If I have a bounce (no interaction on the landing page), will this still count as a session? It would be 1 session and 1 count?

What about its duration, will bounces always be 0s, or does Google Analytics record the exit time? As far as the manual goes, the session duration is first hit on first page minus last event on last page, or first hit on last page. But what if a user reads a blog entry for 10 min without a hit/event. Then the session is 0s?

What if there is a hit on the first page, but no hit on the second page? It would be no bounce, but 1 session. however, how long is this session? Is it 0s because there is no second hit recorded?

Thanks for your answers.

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
August 2016

Re: Bounce and Sessions

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Chris,

Please check this excellent article below about Time on Page / Session Duration written by one of our Top Contributors Mike:

http://help.analyticsedge.com/googleanalytics/misunderstood-metrics-time-on-page-session-duration/

The pageview itself is already a hit, so there is no such case that there is no hit on the second page.
Please see the help document about hit types here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6086082?hl=en

Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please accept it as solution.
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
August 2016

Re: Bounce and Sessions

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Chris,

Please check this excellent article below about Time on Page / Session Duration written by one of our Top Contributors Mike:

http://help.analyticsedge.com/googleanalytics/misunderstood-metrics-time-on-page-session-duration/

The pageview itself is already a hit, so there is no such case that there is no hit on the second page.
Please see the help document about hit types here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6086082?hl=en

Hope this helps.

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please accept it as solution.
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Bounce and Sessions

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

 Hi Chris,

 

Great to hear from you.

 

If I have a bounce (no interaction on the landing page), will this still count as a session? It would be 1 session and 1 count?

 

A bounce is a session with a single engagement hit. To briefly summarize it, there are currently 4 types of hits that can be sent to the Google Analytics server:

  • page tracking hits
  • event tracking hits
  • e-commerce tracking hits
  • social interaction hits

 

It's not a session with a single engagement hit (bounce) if any additional pageview, event which hasn’t been set to non-interaction, e-commerce tracking hit or Social Media share (that is configured to be tracked in GA) are being sent to GA during this session. By default, Google Analytics tracks only pageview hits.

 

What about its duration, will bounces always be 0s, or does Google Analytics record the exit time? As far as the manual goes, the session duration is first hit on first page minus last event on last page, or first hit on last page. But what if a user reads a blog entry for 10 min without a hit/event. Then the session is 0s?

 

Yes, bounces will always have 0 session duration. You're right, session duration is the time of the last engagement hit (first hit sometimes) on the last page minus the first hit on the first page.

 

Here are the examples for you:

 

1. Regular session #1

  • Page 1: first hit (pageview): 20:00 PM
  • Page 2: first hit (pageview): 20:05 PM
  • Page 2: second hit (event: interaction): 20:07 PM
  • Page 3: first hit (pageview) 20:15 PM
  • Page 3: second hit (event: non-interaction): 20:20 PM (time on page 3 = unknown)
  • Exit: 20:24 PM (unknown for GA)

Session duration: 20:15 - 20:00 = 15 minutes (900 seconds)

 

2. Regular session #2

 

  • Page 1: first hit (pageview): 20:00 PM
  • Page 1: second hit (event: non-interactive): 20:01 PM
  • Page 2: first hit (pageview): 20:07 PM
  • Page 3: first hit (pageview) 20:15 PM
  • Page 3: second hit (event: interaction): 20:20 PM
  • Exit: 20:23 PM (unknown for GA)

Session duration: 20:20 - 20:00 = 20 minutes (1200 seconds)

 

3. Bounce #1

 

  • Page 1: first hit (pageview): 20:00 PM
  • Page 1: second hit (event: non-interaction): 20:02 PM
  • Page 1: third hit (event: non-interaction): 20:04 PM
  • Exit: 20:10 PM (unknown for GA)

Session duration: 0 seconds (time on page = unknown)

 

4. Bounce #2

 

  • Page 1: first hit (pageview): 20:00 PM
  • Exit: 20:31 PM (unknown for GA)

Session duration: 0 seconds

 

If a user reads a blog post for 10 min without any additional engagement (interactive) hits, the session duration is 0 seconds. You can also adjust your bounce rate if you implement for example scroll tracking and send interaction hits to GA.

 

What if there is a hit on the first page, but no hit on the second page? It would be no bounce, but 1 session. however, how long is this session? Is it 0s because there is no second hit recorded?

 

If a single session contains multiple pageview hits, it's not a bounce. If you have only 2 pageviews:

 

  • Page 1: first hit (pageview): 20:00 PM
  • Page 2: first hit (pageview): 20:02 PM (time on page 2 = unknown)
  • Exit: 20:08 PM (unknown for GA)

Session duration: 20:02 - 20:00 = 2 minutes (120 seconds)

 

Hope this helps. Let us know you have any further questions.

Taavi

Re: Bounce and Sessions

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Great answer @Arnold M.

There was no answer if I started to write one. You're quick. Smiley Happy

 

All the best.

Taavi

Re: Bounce and Sessions

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Thanks Taavi Smiley Happy

Arnold Majlath, Google Analytics Top Contributor
Was my response helpful? If yes, please accept it as solution.
Circle Me On Google+ | Visit me @ Redfly Digital

Re: Bounce and Sessions

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Thanks for the article, was actually on it just before writing this post as I still wasn't sure. reading it again and the posts below made things a lot clearer.
Cheers

Re: Bounce and Sessions

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 7
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
Thanks for this super explanation! This is a great summary, Google Analytics help should copy it.

Bounce and Sessions

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Yes, It will count the session as 1 but the session duration will be of 0 secs
So for example if a user enters on the first page at 10 am and enter the second page at 10:05 AM and left the page after that, the session duration for this session will be 5 minutes