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SetVar causing 99.37% bounce rate

A rather advanced topic - glad if you could help

8:28 am on Dec 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

New User

5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 3, 2008
votes: 0


I've implemented the following in a site:

Whenever a user is logged in, and views a page, I call:

Whenever a user is not logged in and views a page, I call

Then, I've created a separate analytics profile, where I've created the following custom filter:
Exclude Filter Field: User Defined
Filter Pattern: Anonymouse
Case sensitive: No

Result? much less traffic, 99.37% bounce rate, 8 seconds avg. time per visit. I KNOW that this data isn't true.

Could it be that calling _setvar in every page causes this? Any other ideas?
Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
9:49 am on Dec 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Sept 12, 2008
votes: 0

Yes, calling _setvar on every page is causing problems. I'm a bit perplexed as to why you're seeing such a high bounce rate, but it doesn't surprise me.

Basically, _setvar should only be used to set things that you're pretty sure won't be changing too often; say whether the visitor prefers coke or pepsi. The _setvar cookie lasts a long time (last time I checked it was two years, but may be less now) and in terms of how the data is shown in the reports, I'm pretty sure only the first one during a vistor's session counts. I'm actually surprised you're seeing many visits at all in the profile you created; I would expect most of your visits to show up as Anonymouse, as most people are until they log in.

If you're really curious as to what members are doing on your site, I would write some custom javascript to check whether the member was logged in or not, and then append that to the URL that gets reported to Google Analytics. So your reports would say something like:


then you could create a filter to just include page URL's that started with /Anonymouse or /Member.

1:31 pm on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Feb 3, 2008
votes: 0

Wow, that was helpful! Thank you very much. I'll try this and let you know what the results are..

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