What Is Meant By ‘Exit Rate’ In Digital Marketing And How To Keep Your Website Visitors Sticking Around For Longer?

What Is Meant By 'Exit Rate' In Digital Marketing And How To Keep Your Website Visitors Sticking Around For Longer

The terms ‘bounce rate’ and ‘exit rate’ are often used interchangeably in digital marketing despite the fact that both are very different. Certainly, there is overlap between the two but understanding the fundamental differences is paramount. Let’s get stuck in!

What is bounce rate?

The ‘bounce rate’ refers to the number of people who visit your website and then leave having only visited one page.

What is exit rate?

The ‘exit rate’ refers to the number of website visits that ended on one specific page (despite all previous movement).

What’s the difference between bounce and exit rate?

To put it simply: the moment a website visitor clicks onto another page on your website, ‘bounce rate’ no longer applies.

However, whichever page that website visitor ends up on, should they abandon the website, they will factor toward that page’s ‘exit rate’.

Google has an excellent breakdown of both here.

Why is exit rate an important metric?

Having a high exit rate is typically a very good indicator that there is something wrong with your website. It could be a result of having poor content, irrelevant imagery, or simply that your prices are too high. However, in order to determine what the problem is, you can examine the exit rate and the page in question, and then split-test several pages with different alterations to see how the exit rate changes.

Let’s say for example you took your web page with the highest exit rate and then you created two versions of this page; one where you refined the copy and another where you removed your pricing. In split-testing both pages you can see which changes will have had a positive impact (if at all) and refine your optimizations from there.

How to reduce exit rate?

In order to reduce your exit rate and up those conversions, you’re going to need to get a little creative. First of all:

  • Understand audience behaviour: there are various tools you can use to track audience behaviour from the moment they click on your website. Which pages are they spending the most time on? How many people exit on which page? Collect as much data as you can, deep dive into it, and identify why people are leaving. Then fix it!
  • Make it easier for people to stay on your website: there are many things you can do to keep your audience sticking around that little bit longer. For example, even if a customer goes through your marketing funnel and makes a purchase as intended – rather than dismiss them with a Thank You page, you could include additional content on the post-purchase page that may be useful to them (e.g., product tutorials). Suggest helpful content and create good internal linking to keep your audience occupied.
  • Ask your audience for advice: you can create and send customer-feedback popups and encourage your audience to offer the input on your website. Did they find the information they were looking for? How could you improve the user experience? Most may ignore it, but some will happily offer their insights – of which could be most valuable.
  • Add more social proof: certain visitors may be leaving simply because you don’t have enough social proof on your website. If they are to make such a big investment and sign up for your services, how can your audience do that with confidence if you’ve got no case studies or positive reviews? This SEO company in Abu Dhabi overcomes objections with ease by simply offering up hundreds and hundreds of 5* reviews and real-life case studies.
  • Maintain your website for maximum performance: just as you need to maintain your computers properly, you also need to keep the software up to date as well. For example, when was the last time you updated your website plugins? Are you 100% certain your website is loading as quickly as it could? Do you have any broken internal links that could be putting people off?

Final thoughts: Know your audience and create a flawless UX

Arguably one of the biggest causes of high exit rates and low conversions is not understanding user intent. When optimising your website for SEO and choosing your focus keywords, how much thought are you putting into the intention behind those searches? When people arrive on your website do you meet their expectations?

The more you focus on the customer and provide a seamless user experience, the far more likely they will be to stick around and (more importantly) spend their money! 

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