July 22nd, 2020

Adding a dynamic progress bar in the header of my articles would increase time on site.

The scrolling progress bar looked like this:

Scrolling progress bar in action.


The scrolling progress bar actually performed worse for session duration, bounce rate, and pages per session.

Average session duration:

  • Without progress bar: 1:48
  • With the progress bar: 1:38

Bounce rate:

  • Without progress bar: 64.5%
  • With the progress bar: 65.2%

Pages / session:

  • Without progress bar: 1.8
  • With the progress bar: 1.74

AB test results in GA.

The test ran for about 3 weeks. It’s been removed from the site now.

I’m not sure why this performed worse, maybe it scared readers by showing them just how long some of the articles were, especially on mobile.