There is a difference between exit and bounce rate, and the exit rate marks a section of users who leave the site. Let’s say a user lands on a page on your website and then navigates to a few additional pages. Exit rate marks the percentage of users who left your site from the last within the session whereas the bounce rate is the percentage of visits that were the only one of the sessions. Multiple page views differentiate exit rate from bounce rate, where the bounce rate is based on sessions that start and end with a certain page
Exit rate refers to the number of people who exit from your website after landing on a page and compares it to the total number of views the page received. A high exit rate doesn’t necessarily mean a high bounce rate as users might have landed on the page from somewhere else on the site. Similarly, a low bounce rate does not mean a low exit rate as bounce rate doesn’t account for most exits, only those that occur on the first page the user lands on. Always remember that exits can be more than one-page visits while bounces are always one-page visits. Exit rate, much like bounce rate, emphasizes on-site UX. Indicative of navigational issues, bad UI, poor content, or even slow load times, high exit rates signal potential breaks in the user journey which could be directly impacting things conversions.
It is needed to measure this metric while keeping in mind the context of the visitor and how their journey is placed. For example, if you have an article – say four pages – and the exit rate on the last page is high, the implication might be different than a user falling off within the conversion funnel. Site pages that should naturally create further engagement or are designed to elicit action, but don’t, should be optimized accordingly.
How do you reduce the exit rate?
If your website is experiencing a high exit rate when the intent of the page is to push the user further down your conversion funnel (e.g. lead them to a different part of the website), you might want to make some adjustments to your website.
Firstly, you’ll have to determine why people are leaving. This might be because of
- Distracting Content: exit pop-ups, videos, music etc.
- Slow Load Speeds: visitors (especially mobile users) will give up and exit if the page load time is more than about 3 seconds
- Bad UI/UX: Poor design structure of the website might confuse the visitor and lead them to exit the website.
- Navigation Issues: unclear pathing and/or lack of linked content spells
Second, you’ll have to give your visitor a reason to stay. This doesn’t mean simply fixing the website design, or the load time or the navigation issues.
Third, you might think of installing heat-mapping software to help you understand how your visitor interacts with your website, where they are clicking, and where their focus is and which part of the website is experiencing high engagement and from where are the users exiting.