What’s the difference between bounce rate and exit rate?

November 29, 2021

Bounce Rate and Exit Rate are two statistics that Google Analytics gives you about the pages on your site.

They both give you important information about your visitor’s journey after they read your content, but they’re calculated differently and you should do different things with the information:

  • Bounce Rate is the percentage of sessions where a visitor visited only that page. (A “session” is, basically, a “visit” to your website.)
  • Exit Rate is the percentage of all pageviews for that page, where the pageview was the last one in the session. Another way to say this is: Where the visitor stopped reading your site after visiting that page.

Typically, people view Bounce Rate as a more important indicator for the quality of content. If someone hits your site, and then leaves right away, that suggests the content wasn’t all that satisfying – whereas if they simply exit, it could mean lots of things.

Strategies to improve Bounce Rate include:

  • Improving the on-page experience (e.g. removing popups, reducing page load speed)
  • Improving the content (e.g. removing fluff, adding more relevant information)

And perhaps most important,

  • Inferring the intent of your visitor and adding calls to action within your content that are also helpful for them

For example, if your visitor lands on a page detailing efficient methods for putting up drywall, you want to link other relevant tutorials within the post, and maybe add a call to action for your Ultimate Guide to Hanging Drywall.

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