Analytics and SEO: Something to Look Out For

analytics

Recently while meeting with a potential client, we were reviewing their current analytics and SEO. They contract already with another local company known for its ability to deliver great search engine optimization results (SEO).

As we reviewed their analytics, we became very concerned that when they began working with this company, their page views nearly doubled and their bounce rate was near non-existent.

We called a couple of marketing companies in our industry to make sure we weren’t totally wrong. They all were as shocked as we were. For comparison, the average bounce rate is 45-55%. An excellent bounce rate is 30-45%. An unlikely bounce rate is 20-30%. Anything below 20% means something is broken. [1]

What’s a bounce rate?

bounce is a single-page session on your site. In Analytics, a bounce is calculated specifically as a session that triggers only a single request to the Analytics server, such as when a user opens a single page on your site and then exits without triggering any other requests to the Analytics server during that session. [2]

How’d this happen?

With that knowledge, we did some investigating and discovered that their analytics code had been placed on their website twice. The double analytics code will affect bounce-rate (number will drop to almost 0) and page-views (which get inflated).

I love analogies so here’s one to explain what this means.

Let’s say you enter a room and you open a door and then immediately open a second, going through both. When you go through both doors, the tracking code believes you have entered once and immediately created another action by entering the second, thus the bounce rate being near zero percent as you have ensured no one ever leaves before entering the second door. At the same time, by entering the room through both doors, you are counted as entering the room twice – but you’re still just one person, one session.

Our recommendation

Our recommendation was for the potential client to talk with the current company as they were happy with them before this meeting. The hope was that this was a mistake. We wanted them to be given the opportunity to correct their mistake. In the case they couldn’t receive a good answer, we also supplied them with a quote for us to take over their service.

If you are paying a company to handle SEO work for you – check your analytics account. If you saw a huge jump in page views and a decrease in your bounce rate below 20% when they took over, it’s broken. It hasn’t been set up correctly and needs to be fixed.

Sources:

  1. https://www.gorocketfuel.com/the-rocket-blog/whats-the-average-bounce-rate-in-google-analytics/
  2. https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en