One of the fastest ways to tell the serious e-commerce entrepreneurs from the online hobbyists is to ask about their analytics.

If they’re not tracking and testing their patch of cyberspace, then they’re simply spending money instead of making it.

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Clearly, one of the most important measurements is that a visitor is engaging with your online content.

Conventional thought is that this activity should be measured by bounce rate, which is a fairly simple and seemingly logical concept:

Here are the standard thresholds for bounce rates:

  • 50% or less is considered to be about average, all things considered;
  • 60% – 79% is not very good; and
  • 80% or more means it’s time to panic.

But, really, how accurate are those assumptions?

visitor hits

Essentially, your bounce rate is only telling you that a visitor hit one page.

  • What if all the information he or she was seeking happened to be on that page?
  • What if there was more than one element on that page that engaged him or her?
  • What if that one hit lasted for a few minutes instead of a few seconds?

This data is a much more accurate representation of your online property’s performance, which is why it’s more efficient to establish an Adjusted Bounce Rate (ABR). Fortunately, you can do this quite quickly with Google Analytics via its Tag Manager feature.

While Google Tag Manager is a conveninent tool, let’s still remove let’s remove a bit of the mystery. Even if you’re not familiar with code, all you need to do is make three simple edits.

As an example, here’s all that needs to be done to set an ABR into a standard Google Analytics script for a viewing time of 15 seconds:

  • Simply insert the time — shown in red — in text and in milliseconds, and
  • Insert your tracking ID in place of UA-XXXXXXX-1

ABR code

It’s important to get to know your market better. Accurately measuring the time they’re spending with you in cyberspace is a vital means of doing so.

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