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Google Tag Manager 101 Part 12 - Non-Interaction Events

This is a very short update to the series but an option on tagging events in Google Tag Manager that is commonly ignored.

Recently I have seen many queries of the form "Suddenly my bounce rate has dropped from 52% to under 10% - why?". This article addresses one of the common reasons for such a sudden fall in bounce rate.

By default, a new Google Tag Manager tag has the "Non-Interaction Hit" field set to False. What this means is that the tag will be intepreted as a user interaction by Google Analytics and therefore will prevent a single page session from being recorded as a bounce.

Without events being sent, when a session starts on your home page and no other pages are visited, Google Analytics will record this as a bounced session. If you add a Google Tag Manager scroll tracker on your home page that sends an event at 25, 50, 75 and 100% - but your home page is already scrolled past 25% when it loads on a desktop - then an event is sent for every desktop visit to the home page. If the scroll tag has the "Non-Interaction Hit" field set to False then the event that sends at 25% will cause that session to be recorded as a non-bounce.

Google Tag Manager non-interation hit

Why is this a problem?

Potentially it isn't. This is your analytics setup and your interpretation of a bounce and the most important thing is that your site bounce rate metric gives some value to you. However interactive events are often created that way because the person tagging the website did not understand the "Non-Interaction Hit" field. The double negative nature of a field called "Non-Interaction Hit" being set to False doesn't help that understanding. The marketing department decides a scroll tracker on all pages is a good idea and suddenly your site bounce rate falls from 36% to 8%.

So should all tags be set as "Non-Interaction Hit" equal to True? Again this is your decision to make. If much of your content is delivered in-page based on user interactions then maybe you do want tags to be set to False = an interaction hit. A key landing page where the user never leaves the page but can initiate a range of events that indicate engagement will have a high bounce rate if all events are set to non-interactive - you can choose key engagement events to be interactive and so retain the bounce rate as a metric that has some value to the business.

If you're new to Google Tag Manager, start from the beginning of the GTM101 series.

The Google Tag Manager 101 Series

  1. The Basics - setting up Google Tag Manager

  2. How to create a trigger and a tag

  3. Tracking links

  4. Social media tags

  5. Forms

  6. Timers and the real bounce rate

  7. The Datalayer

  8. CSS Selector

  9. YouTube Video Tracking

  10. Scroll Tracking

  11. Trigger Groups

  12. Non-Interaction Events