SEO analytics: Exit rate and its significance

What is Exit Rate?

According to the Google Analytics Forum, exit rate is “the percentage of the last page/session.”


In simple words, Exit rate is the ratio of visitors/sessions which drop the website from particular page or set of pages to the visitors those who don’t.Hence exit ratio can also become an individual analytic property of the page.


For example, if a visitor landed on any of the pages of four (4) pages website, his exit ratio the last page that visitor visited during the course of action is taken into consideration while calculating exit rate. In such scenario apart from leaving web-page other interactions made by visitor are not accounted. 

Points to be remember,

  •  One page website has 100% exit rate.
  • Each page also can have its own exit rate.

Significance of Exit rate in analytics:

Exit rate of the website shows the visitor’s leaving behaviour. As said earlier, Exit rate is cumulatively becomes 100%. Therefore, the analyst has to set exit point for visitors and compare the website performance. Higher exit rate is not bad always; rather this can be defined only after setting goal. Hence you can find out the most culprit page(s) to optimise it further.


Higher exit rate mean,

  • If exit rate is high then you must find the expected exit rate for the page. If the exit rate is higher on the expected page then your efforts are in the right direction.
  • If exit rate of unexpected page is higher, it means ratio of visitors leaving website from that page is higher. This can be concluded that website is not performing well. In this case page optimisation and modifications are preferable.


Example, conversion of visitor into consumer would be a goal for an eCommerce website. Hence the exit point could be “Thank you” page. If exit rate of the “thank you” page is higher means your efforts are in the right direction. Except form “thank you” page if exit rate is higher means page optimisation needed.


Another example, if you have a blog post which should direct visitor to the buying option. But exit rate of the blog post is higher means something makes visitors to leave the page without further interaction.


Hence, Exit rate helps analyst to find the bad spots to cover up.

3 ways to reduce exit rate

You can reduce your exit rate with many ways, but following 3 factors are most important to lead visitor to the right direction.  

  • Navigation. Try to find and fix if any missing/misbehaving navigation.
  • Targeting. Target the right audience.
  • Content. Optimise your content.

Bounce rate vs Exit rate

Many of the times analysts get confused between bounce rate and exit rate.


According to Google Analytic forum, the bounce rate is “the percentage of visitors who leaves the website/webpage without any interaction on the webpage.” Bounce rate is applicable to landing page/starting page only.


Bounce rate is the second interaction event only. Bounce rate is zero if visitor continue surfing website, makes two or more interaction throughout a session. While, Exit rate is the every last interaction event.Single page website, exit rate and bounce rate can be equal.


For example,


Consider a website consists of 3 pages; Home, services, contact.


Average consumer behaviour of 100 visitors is as follows,

  • 20 visitors > Home > Exit
  • 10 Visitors > Home > contact us > Exit
  • 15 Visitors > Home > Services > Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Home > Services > Contact us> Exit
  • 10 Visitors > services > Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Services > Home > Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Services > Home > Contact us> Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Services > Contact us> Exit
  • 15 Visitors > Contact us > Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Contact us > Home> Exit
  • 5 Visitors > Contact us > services> Exit

  

Observations,  

  • 50 visitors landed directly on home page.
  • 25 visitors landed directly on services page.
  • 25 visitors landed on Contact us page.
  • 30 visitors had home page as their last session.
  • 30 Visitors had services as their last session.
  • 40 Visitors had Contact us as their last session.
  • 30 Visitors had second interaction with webpage out of 50 who are landed on Home page.
  • 15 Visitors had second interaction with webpage out of 25 who are landed on Services page.
  • 10 Visitors had second interaction with webpage out of 25 who are landed on Home page.

  

Bounce rate,

  • Home page = 40% (20 out of 50)
  • Services = 40% (10 out of 25)
  • Contact us = 60% (15 out of 25)


Exit rate,

  • Home page = 46% (Total 65 visitors visited website. 30 of them had home page as their last session.)
  • Services page = 60% (Total 50 visitors visited website. 30 of them had Services page as their last session.)
  • Contact us page = 80% (Total 50 visitors visited website. 40 of them had Contact us page as their last session.)

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