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Feb 8, 2022

Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate: Which One Matters In SEO?

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Exit Rate vs Bounce Rate: Which One Matters In SEO?

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There are two often misunderstood and confusing terms; Bounce Rate and Exit Rate.

You might see a metric in Google Analytics or Web Analytics, known as exit rate. Bounce rate and Exit rate are important terms in the conversion funnel.

But, what is the difference between the Bounce rate and Exit rate?

In this article, we have compared the Exit rate and Bounce rate and why do they matter.

Bounce Rate Definition

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a website that leave without viewing any other pages.

In other words, bounce rate is a metric that shows us how many visitors have left the website after visiting the page they have clicked on.

The formula for bounce rate is: (Bounces / Sessions) * 100%

Bounces: The number of sessions in which visitors viewed an entry page but did not proceed to a subsequent page view, goal conversion, or eCommerce conversion.

Exit Rate Definition

Exit rate happens when a user visits another website after visiting one or any number of pages on your site.

In short, the exit rate is the percentage of site visitors who have clicked on a link and exited from your website. Sometimes, exit rate can be used to measure whether or not users leave your site after viewing your page.

Exit rate = (Total number of exits / Total number of sessions) * 100%

Exits: Total pageviews for a page that was counted last during that session.

Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate: What is the difference? 

When it comes to comparing bounce rate with exit rate, you must first understand what they both do for your website.

Let's say that if someone visits your website from Google search results, they will have a bounce rate of 100%. This means that the visitor has returned back to the browser after visiting the page they landed on.

On the other hand, if someone visits other pages of your site using an internal link or even directly from your homepage, then the exit rate will be 0%.

To make this difference easier, we consider a website consisting of four pages; Home Page, Product Page, Confirmation Page, and Contact Us Page.

In a week, we would notice different sessions. For example, let us consider this data taken from the Google developers page:

  • Monday: Page B > Page A > Page C > Exit
  • Tuesday: Page B > Exit
  • Wednesday: Page A > Page C > Page B > Exit
  • Thursday: Page C > Exit
  • Friday: Page B > Page C > Page A > Exit

Exit rate %

33% on page A (3 sessions included Page A, 1 session exited from Page A)

50% on page B (4 sessions included Page B, 2 sessions exited from Page B)

50% on page C (4 sessions included Page C, 2 sessions exited from Page C)

Bounce rate %

0% on Page A (one session began with Page A, but that was not a single-page session, so it has no Bounce Rate)

33% on page B (Exit rate is more than the bounce rate because 3 sessions started with Page B and one ended on a bounce.)

Page C: 100% (one session started with Page C, and it led to a bounce).

The bounce rate is calculated by the percentage of visitors that enter the site and leave. 

Exit rate compares the number of people who leave your website after landing on a page to the total number of views received by the page.

Now, we understand why there is confusion between the two terms. That's because the goal of these two metrics is almost the same; to calculate the percentage of people who leave a page after opening it. 

This implies that bounces are only registered when a user moves directly from the page they entered, whereas exit rates are registered regardless of the user's previous activity on your website.

Bounce rate Glossaries

Good Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate can indicate that your website is not good enough for the users. It might be because of bad design, slow page speed or lack of interesting content.

A lower bounce rate means that you have a great product and people are constantly coming back to view it again and again.

A high bounce rate does not mean that you need to worry about losing your audience but it might be time to think about improving what you offer on your site.

Average Bounce Rate

According to GoRocketfuel, a bounce rate of 26 to 40% is considered excellent. The range is roughly 41 to 55 percent.

The range of 56 to 70% is a bit higher. However, it may not be cause for concern depending on the website. Anything higher than 70% is unsatisfactory for everything outside of blogs, news, and events.

Bounce Rate for Single-Page Websites

The bounce rate for a single-page website is always 100%, and it is the same as the exit rate. This is because the user has no option but to return to the browser or navigate to a web page of another website.

Pageview Bounce Rate

This metric is the most common and widely used. It shows you how many people click on your page but then leave without ever getting to see any of your content besides the one they landed on or without scrolling. 

Pageview Bounce Rate measures the percentage of users who exit after visiting only one page.

Key terms for Exit rate

High Exit Rate

High Exit Rate measures the percentage of users who leave your site after visiting only one page but still manage to click on links or interact with other elements on that page.

Funnel exits

The pages that were browsed after a visitor exited the funnel are displayed in the funnel exits. This usually indicates that someone exited your funnel in the middle using the navigation element or another link on the page to navigate to another page on your site.

For example, if someone gets stuck on your homepage and doesn't navigate to another page for 30 seconds (that's one funnel exit), then it will be counted as an exit from that page even though the visitor didn't leave yet.

Specific Page Exits

Specific Page Exits are users who leave your website without navigating to another page and spend some amount of time. They're the only kind of exits that Google Analytics can measure because they happen in a single step.

Particular Page Exits

This metric tells us how many people leave your website after navigating to a specific page on your site.

It's important because it shows you which pages are the most popular and where users tend to hang around for a longer period.

Exiting Pageviews

Exiting Pageviews works well in conjunction with Landing Page Exits, as we can use this metric to find out which specific pages keep visitors engaged and give them the chance to explore other parts of our site.

This metric is more useful when compared to Total Pageviews because it gives you the opportunity to see which specific pages are key in keeping visitors engaged and spending time on your site.

How to view these metrics on Google Analytics?

Viewing Bounce rate

In the Google Analytics dashboard, go to Audience > Overview to see your site's overall bounce rate. On that page, you'll find a number of metrics. The bounce rate metric can be found near the bottom.

To see the bounce rate by page, navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

On that chart, you'll notice a bounce rate column, which allows you to see the overall bounce rate at the top. Then you can view the metric by page.

Viewing Exit Rate

Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages to see the exit rate. The exit rate by page is shown in the column labeled percent Exit.

How do Bounce Rate and Exit Rate Impact SEO?

A high exit rate means that visitors are quickly leaving your website, and a low bounce rate means that the visitor has scrolled down to the subsequent pages, rather than returning from the first page itself. This could be related to the content of those pages or their design (i.e., the ease of navigation).

While bounce rate can negatively affect your SEO and hurt your rankings, exit rate has no impact on SEO.

Pogo-sticking occurs when a visitor sees your website via a search engine result, then use the return button to turn back to the search engine homepage and clicks on another listing. This is what causes bounce rate to be detrimental to your SEO.

If this bounce happens often, Google thinks of them as a negative signal and impacts your ranking.

Conclusion

If you want to boost your conversion rates, the bounce rate should be the first thing you look at. However, if you want to increase your revenue or improve your ROI, focus on the exit rate. 

That said, bounce rate and exit rate are both important for your website and hence you should focus on both these metrics. 

FAQs

What do you mean by Page Sessions?

Page Sessions include the users who come to your website, click on a link, and then stay there for at least 5 seconds. This metric tells us which pages keep visitors engaged in our site longer than others. It also helps us see how well designed our pages are so we can optimize them better in the future if need be.

What is the 'number of Pageviews?'

Pageview is a measurement that indicates how many times a visitor has visited your site in one month.

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