Bounce Rate Vs. Exit Rate

Most site owners spend a lot of time and resources to bring traffic to their site but don’t take time to analyze how visitors arrive and exit their site.

You might be losing prospective clients at a critical point where they should be converting. Very few business owners fail to track the number of visitors leaving their websites immediately on landing (bounce rate) and those exiting their landing page after browsing other pages on their site (exit rate).

Do not ignore these numbers. You can identify weak spots on your website that might be affecting other analytics you measure by tracking these metrics.

What is bounce rate vs. exit rate?

Bounce rate:

Google Analytics (GA) bounce rate is when a user exits without interacting with your site at all.  A bounce is a user visit with a single engagement hit. Another page view or any event that is interactive can affect your bounce rate. Your visitor leaves the landing page without accessing other pages in your site.

When calculating the rate, the visits that did not start with a given page are not considered. The higher the number of bounces on your site, the higher your bounce rate (the percentage of single-page sessions)

Exit rate:

Google Analytics (GA) exit rate is the percentage of all visits which ended on a particular page including that specific page. Visits that do not include that specific page are not considered when calculating the rate and it doesn’t matter how many times this page was viewed during the tour. An exit will be registered for a page even if there are subsequent actions on that page as long as it is not a site search action or a page view.

The visitors may have visited more than one site in a session. This means merely visitors have found useful content via site navigation but not landed on the page.

Similar to bounce rate, high exit rates can spell doom for your website. Of course, you may try to engage visitors through social activity or related articles to reduce their exit rate for your website, but this is not an effective method. Exit rate should be controlled through related information on your web page without any panic technique.

Differences between bounce rate vs. exit rate

Bouncing and exiting are two completely different concepts. Whether you are measuring the bounce rate or exit rate on a web page, you are merely counting the number of visitors who leave your site. The difference lies in how they can highlight the effectiveness of your site.

Differences include:

  • Bounce rates are always one-page visits while exit rates can be more than one-page visits.
  • Bounce rate is the first page a visitor views, and exit rate is the last page he/she visits before he/she leaves.
  • Bounce rate is a negative measure for most websites. (Bounce rate highlights your landing page is not relevant to most visitors). Exit rate can either be positive or negative- people may be attracted to an online publication to read a particular article, they find what they need, read and leave this is not negative.
  • A high exit rate doesn’t reflect a high bounce rate as users might be visiting your page from another site before exiting. A low exit rate may mean your audience must be visiting other pages on your site before they leave.

High bounce rate vs. exit rate

High bounce rate

High bounce rate can be detrimental especially if the success of your site depends on your audience viewing more than a single page. For example, if your home page is the gate pass to the rest of your site (like product pages, news articles, order pages) and your audience only views one page, you’ll have a high bounce rate.

But if you have a one-page site like a blog, a high bounce rate is reasonable. For a business website, the bounce rate of a good landing page needs to be fewer than 50% meaning over half of your visitors are interested in pursuing more information about your products.

High exit rate

Your site can experience high exit rates when visitors find the information they need and leave your page.

Always keep the context in kind when you look at bounce and exit rates.  High exit rates provide you with insights that your content is not engaging enough or maybe your site has long loading times.

What might Increase bounce and exit rates?

  •    Intrusive pop-up ads, music, and videos
  •    Poor UI/UX
  •    Irrelevant content to your site and audience
  •    Poor page design, difficult to read fonts
  •    Slow loading website

How to handle high bounce vs exit rate?

  •    optimize your landing page to reach your target audience
  •    Use appropriate CTAs (call to action)
  •    Easy and intuitive navigation features
  •    Quick and optimized checkout process
  •    Pages with high-quality content targeting the relevant keywords.

Which measure is important?

It depends. Ideally, you’re measuring both on every page of your site, but that doesn’t mean both numbers matter on every page.

Bounce rate matters most especially if your page is the first turn your visitors make. Scan your website for pages that call for the next action like clicking a link for more information. A low rate means they are taking the next step regardless of the outcome while a high rate tells you; you need to improve your page.

You get an insight into how your content engages with your audience and what further improvements you can make.

Bottom line

Numbers do point you in the right direction. Measuring analytics bounce rate vs. exit rates for your site can help you identify weak spots on your website, enable you to refine them and improve on other metrics like revenue and conversion.

The user’s experience makes or breaks your site. Step back and test your site objectively from your intended visitor’s point of view.