Introduction

There are many metrics to consider when assessing your website's performance. However, bounce rate and exit rate are two key ones you can't overlook! They clearly reflect whether your site is keeping visitors engaged or losing their attention.

Our guide will explore the difference between bounce rate and exit rate and how to improve both. Keep scrolling.

What Is The Difference Between Bounce Rate And Exit Rate?

Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate either suggests visitors aren't finding what they're looking for. (Image source: StringeeX). 

Bounce rate measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only the first page. 

Specifically, it's the rate at which people visit your site and then immediately leave without clicking on anything or visiting other pages. Hence, a high bounce rate either suggests that visitors aren't finding what they're looking for or implies your site is difficult to navigate.

Formula: The number of single-page visits / The total number of visits = bounce rate (%).

Suppose a blog post on your website gets 500 visitors in a week. Out of those 500, only 120 people left after visiting just the landing page. Others might click on related articles, author information, or leave comments.

The bounce rate calculation for the blog post would be: (120 single-page visits) / (500 total visits) * 100% = 24%. This result indicates the landing page is very engaging and keeps readers interested in your website as a whole.

Exit Rate

Exit rate focuses on how visitors leave a specific webpage, not the entire website. 

It measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website from a particular webpage. They might exit after viewing just that page or already browse multiple other pages before exiting on a specific one.

Formula: The number of exits / The total number of pageviews = Exit rate (Percentage)

Let's say a product category page on your e-commerce website receives 150 visitors in a week. Out of those, 27 left the site after viewing the category page without clicking on any specific product from that category.

The exit rate would be: (27 exits) / (150 pageviews) * 100% = 18%.

The Key Differences

A bounce rate focuses on the entire website, indicating whether:

  • Your landing page (often the homepage) is relevant or engaging to visitors
  • The website design or navigation is straightforward
  • The loading speed is fast 

On the other hand, the exit rate centres on a specific webpage to calculate how many visitors leave the website from that particular webpage (regardless of their previous browsing behaviour). It sheds light on whether:

  • The content on that specific page is informative or engaging
  • The call to action (CTA) is clear and effective
  • The page design is attractive or has great visual appeal

To sum up, the bounce rate indicates how well your website initially captures visitor interest (often on the homepage), while the exit rate informs you where visitors will likely drop off in the website flow.

Analysing both will give you valuable insights into user behaviour and pinpoint specific areas for future improvements!

Why Do Your Bounce Rate And Exit Rate Increase?

Bounce Rate

Self-Sufficient Content

Let's say you have a web page answering the question, "What is the capital of India?" The answer clearly states "New Delhi'' in a very easy-to-spot location. The user finds their exact answer and leaves!

While a bounce isn't necessarily bad in this case, it depends on other metrics. Suppose visitors spend minimal time on the page (indicating they just scanned for the answer); in that case, your content might be too isolated and have no other related info to spark further exploration.

Poor Quality Content

Back to our "capital of India" example.

When the webpage answering this question is full of grammatical errors, outdated information, or irrelevant details about French cuisine, visitors will likely be confused or frustrated. And since disappointed users are unlikely to stick around, they will leave to find a better source of content and information. That's what leads to the bounce!

Slow-Loading Speed

Many websites (especially freshly built ones) take more than 10 seconds to load and are often filled with large images and unoptimised code. 

The result is inevitable: most visitors get impatient and leave before the page even finishes loading. This issue can be especially detrimental if your website struggles to load on the phones, given how everyone has been glued to one in recent years. 

Unfriendly Design 

Does your webpage annoy everyone with cluttered ads, have a confusing menu, or use a tiny font size on a busy background? That's likely the culprit! Even when your site provides the answers they need, users will still click back in frustration if they have to wrestle for too long just to find where that information is even located.

Exit Rate

Your content is interesting but gives users no clear direction on what to do next. (Image source: DeviantArt). 

No Compelling CTAs (Calls To Action)

Users might read your blog post down to the last sentence but aren't enticed to take any further action. Why? There are no clear CTAs like "Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips" or "Download our free ebook." 

Long story short: your content is interesting but gives users no clear direction on what to do next. They simply leave the page and move on.

Irrelevant Content Or Recommendations

Let's say a user searches for "running shoes for beginners" but ends up on something entirely different - either a generic introduction about athletic footwear that everyone already knows about or irrelevant product recommendations (expensive, professional shoes instead of beginner ones).

As the content fails to cater to their specific needs, users will exit to find another website with more accurate information and/or product suggestions.

This reason is self-explanatory. When a visitor eagerly clicks on a link for a "Summer Sale" but only ends up at a 404 error page or Page Not Found, why should they stay there any longer? Leaving your website for another is the only logical solution.

How To Decrease Your Bounce Rate and Exit Rate

You should remove unnecessary code, scripts, and plugins that slow down loading (Image source: Needpix). 

Do Research

Conduct keyword research to understand the specific questions and information users seek. 

For example, if someone searches for "best hiking boots for women," make sure your landing page focuses on features relevant to women hikers, showcases top picks with clear comparisons, provides buying guides or reviews, etc.

Improve The Loading Speed

Pay attention to the loading speed! Testing tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help here. Based on the results, you can take actions steps accordingly: 

  • Reduce image file size using compression tools (without sacrificing quality).
  • Remove unnecessary code, scripts, and plugins that slow down loading.
  • Enable browser caching to store website elements locally.

Invest In Web Design

First impressions matter, so only use the highest-quality visuals to grab attention and keep users engaged. 

Add dynamic elements to your content where possible, and consider including engaging videos to explain complex concepts or showcase product demonstrations. That's sure to leave a much longer impression than a 1000-word article. 

Nevertheless, do not clutter your website. Colours and details aside, you should still leave some strategic white space to create a clean, visually appealing layout for better readability. Fix broken links, if any.

Write A Strong CTA

Never leave your visitors guessing; tell them clearly what you want them to do next with strong verbs like "Download," "Subscribe," "Learn More," or "Shop Now."

Also, remember to place these CTAs at logical points in the user journey. For example, on product pages, you can encourage them to "Add to Cart" or "Learn More" about product features.

Customer Support Is Key

A readily available live chat or support team will likely encourage users to stay longer, even when they find some parts difficult to navigate. But if building a live chatbot solely for the website seems costly to you, no worries — StringeeX offers a convenient omnichannel solution. 

This virtual centre connects you with customers and visitors across all communication channels, such as phone calls, emails, social media, and websites, all in one place. Switching platforms is unnecessary and, therefore, doesn't require a separate investment in website support. Your business can save lots of money as a result!

Conclusion

There might be a difference between bounce rate and exit rate, but it all boils down to optimised content, loading speed, and web design.

Remember our tips, and reach out to StringeeX anytime to build reliable omnichannel support for your customers and visitors! Learn more about its features here