Understanding Your Google Analytics Part 2: Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate

Analyzing how users arrive at your site can teach you a lot about how well your marketing is working. But did you know that you can learn almost as much by studying their departure? 

You could be losing potential clients at a point where they should be converting, which will impede business growth no matter how much traffic you get. In this blog, we’ll look at bounce rate, exit rate, and what they could tell you about your site.

What is the Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave a webpage without doing either of the following:

  • Going to another page on the same site 
  • Interacting with any page elements, such as links, forms, or shopping carts

In short, they come to your site, consume the content on the page they landed on, and leave without exploring further.

Understanding your bounce rate is critical for two primary reasons:

  • If your site has a high bounce rate, you may have issues with content, layout, copywriting, or user experience. These need to be investigated and corrected before the site has value as a marketing tool. NOTE: This may not always be the case, however. For example, if you share a blog post or video on social media that directs to your website, people may check it out, consume the content, and leave. There is still value there!
  • Anyone who bounces from your site didn’t convert. In other words, they looked but didn’t buy.

Visitors can bounce in several ways, including (but not limited to):

  • Navigating back to a previously visited website by clicking the “back” button
  • Closing the browser window completely
  • Typing another URL into the browser’s address bar

Remember, some “bouncing” is normal. Generally, a bounce rate of 41–55% is great, and it’s not uncommon to see bounce rates hovering around 75%, especially if you’re sharing a lot of content and linking back to your website.

What is the Exit Rate?

An exit rate measures the number of people who leave your website after landing on a page and compares the result to the total number of views. Unlike bounce rate, which tracks the percentage of visits that were single-session, exit rate covers those visits that were last in the session. 

Bounce rates are only logged if a user leaves the page they came in on while exit rates are recorded regardless of how the user interacted with your site previously. As a result, all bounces are exits, but exits aren’t all bounces.

So Which Metric Matters More?

Both metrics are important because they alert you to potential problems with the site or your conversion strategy. Bounce rates tend to indicate problems with content, site quality, loading speed, etc., whereas exit rates typically signal a problem in your conversion funnel. 

Consider addressing the following aspects of your website to help reduce your bounce and exit rate:

  • Website or page design that confuses your visitors
  • Slow loading speeds
  • Pop-ups, loud music, and other elements that visitors may find annoying
  • Difficult navigation

Every aspect of your website should be considered from the user’s perspective. By giving them a reason to stay longer, you increase the likelihood of conversion, making any time spent on corrections worth it in the end.

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is a content marketing and branding firm for lawyers and other professionals. Our goal is to help you create an online presence that positions you as a credible expert in your field, keeps you connected with your network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find you!