Website owners spend a lot of time, money, brain and sweat for bringing traffic to their websites, but most of them don’t track how many of these visitors leave immediately after landing on their website i.e. (Bounce Rate) and very few keep a track of the number of visitors exiting the landing page after browsing the other pages of their website i.e. (Exit Rate).
– What is exit rate and bounce rate?
– What is the difference between the two?
– Analytics that can be used to track them.
– Some quick tips to reduce the exit rate and bounce rate of your website.
When a visitor lands on your web page and exits immediately or after some time without visiting any other page, it is called a bounce.
Bounce Rate = Bounces / Entrances
Lands on Page A → Leaves Website
Expert Tip – Optimize landing pages and top entry pages. Take care of the first impression and keyword optimization
Every page on your website has an exit rate. It is based on the number of visitors that leave your website through that particular page. This is irrespective of the number of pages they have browsed on your website before reaching that page.
Exit Rate = Exits / Page Views
Lands on Page A → Leaves Website
Lands on Page B → Page C → Page A → Leaves Website
Lands on Page A → Page B → Again Page A → Leaves Website
Expert Tip – Optimize your process pages. Focus on the flow.
Exits include bounce as well as internal-traffic exit. So, it goes one step ahead and also tells you that there are other leakages in your website.
Nobody landing on your website should ‘bounce’ just after viewing a single page. So, your site will always have an average bounce rate which you should continuously try to reduce.
Someone who visits your website “will exit” at some point of time. So your overall exits sum up to be 100%. Lowering the exit rate for one page will increase it for the other. It will always be compensated some place or the other.
If you do not have the time to manage critical details about your website’s traffic and performance
Your website or webpages are bound to have exits, unless you have no visitors at all. If a person visits your webpage (home page or any other internal page), browses quickly, finds the content totally irrelevant, feels lost and returns to the search results within 10 seconds, then,it is an “actual bounce” and is counted as one in Google Analytics and is considered bad for SERPs also.
Another person organically lands on the same web page, finds what he is looking for, spends around 15 minutes reading the information provided on the web page and exits. This is counted as a bounce by Google Analytics but not bad for SERPs.
For search engines, what is more important is the visitor’s “dwell time” – the actual time spent on a web page by visitor. Search engines will not just depend on the numbers measured by Google Analytics.
This is why your Google Analytics account also gives you information about the time spent by the visitor on the web page.
After installing Google Analytics, most website owners either do not know how to use it or get alarmed by the big numbers & data. Our advice is that you give the website some time to perform and have reasonable expectations from the individual web pages. Being a little conservative would be better.
Your product might be such, maybe complex or a little expensive, that the visitor cannot decide to buy immediately. All your visitors will not be impulse buyers. Give them time to decide. If they like your website, they would probably come back. You need to understand the nature of your product and the psyche of your visitors.
When a visitor is still in the research mode, they will broadly scan your webpages and finally exit. This does not mean that the last page where they left your website is under-performing. They might bookmark your website and come back later. Some visitors might add a product to the cart and finish the payment process a day later. This is also not something you need to worry about.
Some pages of your website are the logical exit points. For instance, the checkout confirmation page/thank you page or email subscription page. If a visitor reaches these pages, they will leave the website.You can of course try to persuade the visitor to shop further but all will not do so. A high exit rate for such pages is desirable.
If a visitor comes to an informative page like a user manual or a blog post, stays there for a long time, reads carefully, in some cases prints the data and leaves, this is also not a reason to worry. The page has served its purpose well. As discussed earlier, if the dwell time is appropriate, the exit rate does not matter.
Some of your visitors might refrain from filling up your RFQ form. They instead decide to call you back or mail you on the email address mentioned on the same RFQ page and exit. All this will still be counted in Google Analytics.
So, the bottom line is that you should not always go by the numbers.
The numbers are there to tell you if something is strikingly wrong. You need to analyze the nature of the page, behavior of your visitors and use your fair judgment. Do not always go by the overall figures.
There are some pages of a website on which a visitor can never land directly from an external source. This could be your conversion form or the checkout pages of an ecommerce website. If these pages have a high exit rate, there are some things you need to think:
If the visitor exits from the initial pages of a multiple page newsletter, it means your content is not engaging enough or maybe too long.
Some of your landing pages might have a very high bounce rate. That can be a major issue because the traffic for that page might be generated through paid advertisements.
All these are red flags that need to be taken care of when you analyze the exit rates of your web pages.
Understanding the visitor psychology from numbers needs detailed analysis and expertise
Your landing page is the greatest impression & conversion maker. This entry page will decide if the visitor will browse any further. If these pages have a high bounce rate, finding answers to following questions can greatly help:
Make sure that your advertising is reaching your target audience and not generating irrelevant traffic. Create dedicated landing pages for all your ads to convert greater number of visitors.
A landing page should answer all the needs of the visitor that you tried to question through the advertisement. If your ad and the landing page are not in sync, the probability of an immediate bounce is very high.
The best people to tell you about what is wrong with your website are either industry experts or your visitors. So, it is best that you take actionable feedback from both of them
The navigation though your website should be easy and intuitive. You can experiment as much as you want with the look and feel of the website but the navigation should be conventional so that even the first time visitors do not face any difficult while browsing.
The webpage should be designed in such a way that call-to-action elements are clearly visible, and properly guide the visitor to the next step of the conversion process. They should remove all apprehensions from visitor’s minds and clearly state where the ‘click’ will take them.
You can see if your call to action button is getting noticed and getting clicks through heat maps generated by some online tools. These tools will track the movement of a visitor’s mouse, giving you a fair idea about what is going wrong.
Some of these tools are:
Keep a check on the number of abandoned carts and see if there is any trend. Maybe the cart is abandoned at the stage where shipping charges are added. This is a clear indicator that your visitors were not comfortable with the charges and left. Try to retarget the visitors who left midway through ads or an email reminding them about their planned purchase and about limited period offer (if any).
You can track step by step performance of your “add to cart” option through Google Analytics.
The checkout process, especially for an ecommerce website, should be very quick and with minimum steps.
Here is a quick guide from FATbit to help you with conversion form improvements.
Your homepage is the gateway to almost all internal web pages. It might also serve as the landing page for a lot of marketing endeavors. It can make or break your brand image. The layout, content, architecture and navigation of the homepage should be engaging, and prompt the visitor to visit the internal pages.
Click to see a perfect home page example.
Sometimes, the site search results page has a very high exit rate. See the list of search terms used by your visitors and the results they were shown. If people are searching for unrelated things, it means you are probably promoting your website for the wrong keywords through search engines and paid ads. If the results were unrelated, you need to check what is causing the issue.
Check this guide from Google for better understanding.
The content of an informative page should be unique and engaging with a lot of visual elements so that the reader stays on the page for longer time. The content should be rich with relevant phrases & keywords so that visitor is immediately reassured. Your every page should be doorway to other pages so that you can delay the exit of a visitor.
If your website is only for lead generation, then, you cannot do much to reduce the exit rate of your acknowledgement page (that appears after filling the conversion form). You can prompt the visitor to read about other services or share on social media platforms.
If you have used an external link as anchor for your page content, make sure it opens in a new tab. This way, a visitor will never be forced to leave your page immediately, resulting in a low exit rate.
There are two types of pages: pathway pages and information pages. A pathway page should prompt a visitor to scan, choose and move ahead. An information page is where they need to stay, read carefully. Instead of worrying about the overall bounce rate and exit rate, try to see the nature of the page. A visitor spending too much time on a pathway page means he is unable to get the required information. If he stays too long on an information page, it means he is confused and not engaged.
By focusing on the above mentioned points and correctly reading the Analytics findings, you can drastically improve conversion chances, improve visitor engagement and of course manage exit & bounce rate smartly.
Though we made every effort to cover all the important points, please get in touch with FATbit team if we missed anything.
Our conversion experts will be glad to assist you with your queries & doubts.
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