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Google Analytics: Engagement Rate vs Bounce Rate

Blog Post

For legal marketers, understanding user behaviour on their law firm's website is crucial for seeking to improve online presence and convert website users into clients. In Google Analytics, one key metric for reporting has traditionally been Bounce Rate. However, Google has removed Bounce Rate from GA4 and replaced it with a new metric: Engagement Rate. This represents a significant change in how we measure user engagement and website performance.

In this blog post, we will explore the nuances of Bounce Rate and introduce the concept of Engagement Rate, aiming to demystify its benefits and demonstrate why it offers a more comprehensive indicator of website performance. For legal marketers, embracing Engagement Rate can unlock invaluable insights to enhance their law firm's digital marketing strategy.

As always, if you need assistance with web analytics including tracking, reporting, or analysis, contact us for personalized support.

Bounce Rate in Universal Analytics (UA)

What is Bounce Rate?

In Universal Analytics, Bounce Rate measured the percentage of single-page sessions where users left the website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate indicated that users were not finding the information they need, or that the website's relevance and user experience were lacking.

Limitations of Bounce Rate

While Bounce Rate was a staple metric, it had its limitations:

  • Bounce Rate did not consider the time spent on a single webpage, leading to potential misinterpretations.
  • Bounce Rate did not differentiate between users who instantly found what they were looking for and left satisfied and ones who left immediately after arriving.

Engagement Rate in Google Analytics 4 (GA4)

What is Engagement Rate?

With the introduction of GA4, Google Analytics now emphasizes user engagement. Engagement Rate measures the share of website users who have engaged with a website by measuring their time spent on pages, clicks, and other interactive elements.

Comprehensive Insights with Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate offers a more nuanced perspective of user behaviour than bounce rate, providing valuable insights such as:

  • How much time users spend on different pages.
  • The types of content that resonate most with the audience.
  • The effectiveness of interactive elements and calls-to-action.

Key Differences Between Bounce Rate and Engagement Rate

A venn diagram displaying the commonalities and differences between Engagement Rate and Bounce Rate.

Focus on Interaction vs. Single-Page Sessions

Bounce Rate focused solely on users who left after viewing a single page, while Engagement Rate considers various actions users take on multiple pages, providing a more comprehensive view of user behaviour.

Engagement Rate takes into account the depth and quality of interactions, such as clicking on links, exploring additional content, spending time on various pages, watching videos, submitting forms, and more, offering valuable insights into how effectively a website engages users and keeps them invested in the content and services offered.

Time-Sensitive vs. Time-Inclusive Metrics

Bounce Rate did not account for the time users spent on a single page, potentially overlooking valuable user engagement. In contrast, Engagement Rate factors in the time spent on each page, acknowledging the value of longer sessions and indicating that users are genuinely interested in the content or services offered.

By considering the duration of user interactions, Engagement Rate offers a more accurate representation of how effectively a website captures and retains users' attention, providing actionable insights for legal marketers to optimize content and user experience for improved engagement and conversion rates.

Contextual Understanding of User Behaviour

By considering user actions beyond just the “bounce,” Engagement Rate provides more contextually-rich insights into user behaviour, helping marketers make more informed decisions.

Understanding the specific interactions users have with the website, such as the most visited pages, the duration of their sessions, and the content that resonates most, allows legal marketers to gain a deeper understanding of their audience's preferences and interests, enabling them to tailor marketing strategies and optimize their websites to better meet the needs of potential clients.

Why Engagement Rate Matters

Enhanced User Insights

Engagement Rate reveals user preferences, interests, and intentions, helping legal marketers tailor web content to effectively meet their audience's needs. By analyzing which pages or content types receive the highest engagement, marketers can gain valuable insights into the topics that resonate with their target audience, enabling them to create more targeted and relevant content that fosters a deeper connection with potential clients.

Conversion Optimization

Understanding user engagement can lead to better conversion rates, as you can identify which pages and content are most successful in retaining users and converting them into clients. Armed with data on the most effective conversion paths, legal marketers can implement targeted strategies to optimize landing pages, improve calls-to-action, and streamline the user journey, ultimately increasing the likelihood of turning website users into valuable leads or clients for the law firm.

Goal Tracking and Event-Driven Model

Engagement Rate aligns with GA4’s event-driven model, allowing legal marketers to set custom goals and track interactions that matter most to their law firm's website. By defining specific events or actions, such as form submissions, document downloads, or video plays, legal marketers can measure the success of their marketing efforts based on concrete user interactions.

This level of goal tracking provides actionable data to refine your website strategy, identify areas for improvement, and focus resources on initiatives that align with the law firm's business objectives, resulting in a more effective and data-driven approach to digital marketing.


In the realm of Google Analytics, Bounce Rate and Engagement Rate are both crucial metrics, each with their own unique strengths. However, for legal marketers seeking deeper insights and actionable data to enhance their law firm's online performance, Engagement Rate is the superior metric. By focusing on engagement, you can gain a better understanding of user behaviour, optimize conversion paths, and ultimately drive more qualified leads.

Contact Cubicle Fugitive

If you are looking to unlock the full potential of Google Analytics or need assistance in analyzing and improving your website's performance, contact us today.

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