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Calculate Bounce Rate in Mixpanel (it's possible!)

Updated: Apr 27

Earlier, I thought calculating bounce rate in Mixpanel wasn't possible. Even their blog states that it's not possible to calculate bounce rates.

Mixpanel blog says they can't track bounce rates

But then, I think there's a way to calculate bounce rates in Mixpanel. Look at this template report they prepared for me.

A Mixpanel template report that calculates bounce rate

As you can see, I'm able to search for landing pages, exit rate, and bounce rate.

All of which I previously thought wasn't possible to calculate in Mixpanel.

How to calculate bounce rate in Mixpanel

There are two ways. Simplest way is to modify a Mixpanel template. Another way is to just create it from scratch, which is more scalable. In this example, I'll show how to use a template. Then, towards the end, I'll show how you can create it on your own too.

1. Create a board

Go to the boards and create a new one. It's under Discover. Choose "Use a Template"

Use a Mixpanel template

2. Pick a template

Choose this Web Analytics Template. It has the bounce rate metric pre-calculated for you.

Use Mixpanel wb analytics template

3. Answer two questions

Define your page title and pageview metrics in Mixpanel

To correctly answer them, think about whether you're a large site or a smaller one.

Smaller sites: I use Pageviews for the first one and then Page Title for the second dropdown for my small personal site.

Larger sites: If you have a separate web app and a marketing site, you might need to create a custom pageview event which is a sum of both of those. So I'd either use a combined metric for both of those pageviews or only isolate the marketing site. For Page Name, I'll probably use URL path / Current URL instead of Page Title because you can keep changing the Page Titles without losing historical data.

3. Click open this report

Navigate to "How are each of the website pages performing?" report. Then click on the title so that it opens it up in a new page.

Navigate to a report that answers "How are each pages performing"

4. Customize metrics

On the left sidebar, customize the metrics. Let's take a look at each of the individually

B) Landing Page:

Notice that the way they're calculating is by using "First Touch". That's a smart hack!

C) Exit Page

This is last touch, pretty clever! It'd be good not to forget this.

D) Bounces

This calculates total bounced sessions and they've set up a formula which gives you more granular controls over GA4 on how to define a bounce. I changed this from 2 to 1 because for some of our pages, just spending more than 10 seconds is fine. But you could customize this however you want.. Their default recommendation is 2.

They've also hidden this metric and used a custom metric to show bounce rate.

5. Lastly, calculate the bounce rate

Mixpanel calculates bounce rate like this: Total Bounced Sessions / Exits * 100

I'm not sure it's accurate though. I would calculate it something like this:

Bounce rate in Mixpanel = Total Bounced Sessions / Total Sessions * 100

And ChatGPT agrees!

Mixpanel's calculation of bounce rate will lead to an inflated rate because they're essentially taking a smaller denominator than what I am. It might make sense for some use cases so I'll leave it up to you to decide.

First check with their pre-built formula.

Then use mine by replacing the C with the A. This is the web standard and should always be right.

Bounce Rate = D/A*100

You should see an improvement of 10-15% on each page.

Last touches / thoughts

I'm happy that I tried out Mixpanel's templates. I was just playing around with their tool on the weekend trying stuff on my personal site and accidently found this.

Their templates are a really good starting point and showed me how to calculate the metrics. However, it's might not always be right, so just double check each part of the equation.

In the future, you don't have to go to the templates to create formula. Your formula remains the same and is reusable across other reports.

Mixpanel Bounce rate = Sessions, where total pageviews is 1 AND time spent is less than 10 seconds / Total Sessions * 100

Remember, that to be able to set 'first touch' or 'last touch' at the top in the events, you will have to first break down. Select "Attributed by" and then "Page Title"

Attributed by Page Title in Mixpanel




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