Bounce Rate and Exit Rate – What is the Difference and Why They’re Important

Two of the most important metrics in internet marketing are bounce rate and exit rate. Many people find it a bit confusing to know the difference between the two. If you are one of them then this article is for you as it is intended to take the mystery out of your website’s bounce rate and exit rate.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage oReducing Bounce and Exit Ratesf visitors who view only one page of your website before leaving. In other words, the visitor ‘bounces’ on and off your particular page. Exit rate is defined as the percentage of visitors who leave your site from a given page based on how many visits that the particular page has received. This visitor who leaves or exits could have been on many pages of your website but simply exited on the specific page. An example would be a visitor who has found your site after conducting an organic search, clicks a page inside your site and then leaves from that page.

In contrast, if this visitor simply landed on your site from the organic search and did not visit any internal pages, it would be considered a bounce. Generally speaking, an ideal bounce rate to shoot for is between 20% and 25% provided you are targeting relevant, core keywords. If your bounce rate increases past 35%, you should look at the usability factors of your website. Of course, some search queries do generate high bounce rates such as in the cases of specific informational queries like ‘what flavors are available in Sam’s Coffee?’

A high bounce rateIdeal Bounce Rate on a home page is usually an indicator that something is wrong so if you find that most of your visits are only to your homepage and nothing more, you will need to optimize your site by improving its functionality, user-friendliness and/or by providing nicely written content visitors will find very helpful and very informative.

If you have a high exit rate, you first must determine if the rate is high because it is a part of the natural ‘flow’ such as the end of your content series or at the checkout process. You also need to look at the average amount of time spent on your site to determine whether or not you should be alarmed by a high exit rate. If you see that your visitors are staying on your page for several minutes then it usually is indicative of them actually reading your content and that they are finding it useful.

So why are bounce rate and exit rate so important? Because they can provide you with a great deal of insight as to how your website is performing. Your bounce rate can help you to determine how well or poorly your landing pages are performing. If your bounce rate is high, it is time to fine-tune your landing page and to look at your site’s design, it’s content and your website’s functioning. In other words, fine tune your website so that it works well, is aesthetically pleasing and filled with information you would appreciate finding if you were conducting an online search using one of your targeted keywords.

Your exit rate can telDetermining Bounce and Exit Ratesl you which pages in your site are not performing well. If you find that many of your visitors are leaving your website on a particular page, optimize that page by improving the content or by finding technical bugs which need adjusting. Maybe that page loads slowly or the checkout process on that page is buggy. Fix these issues and then see if your newly designed and re-tweaked page does better at keeping people on your website.

You can determine what your bounce and exit rates are by diving into Google Analytics. This information can also be found in your Adsense earning reports. Your bounce rate shows as a percentage and could be anywhere from 0 to 100%. Right beside the bounce rate is the Exit percentage.

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9 Responses to “Bounce Rate and Exit Rate – What is the Difference and Why They’re Important”

  1. All care tips on October 19th, 2011 4:41 am

    Thanks for the beautiful writeup.

  2. chazzkorvex on November 2nd, 2011 2:32 am

    I need a little help with bounce and exit rate – I’m researching this now – Thank You for the info 🙂

  3. petsareagift on January 20th, 2012 2:15 am

    I need help with my bounce rate, but, don’t really understand what to do.

  4. Anonymous on March 25th, 2012 11:58 am

    Really nicely explained thanks.

  5. Anonymous on April 2nd, 2012 4:44 am

    You’re most welcome

  6. Tara on May 28th, 2012 1:44 pm

    Ok I think I have got it. Its either a bounce or an exit, but not both?

  7. Amy Braganza on October 23rd, 2012 10:24 am

    This was put very nicely in layman’s terms. After Scrolling through GA and not getting a very clear understanding this was very helpful! THANKS!

  8. E3lx on October 30th, 2012 7:08 pm

    Thanks for this, great article, it really cleared up my confusion between bounce and exit rate!!

  9. Anurock on February 21st, 2013 11:03 am

    Nice blog. I just want one more thing bounce rate should bee high or low for a site. Reply soon..

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