exit rate vs. bounce rate: how to keep people on your website



One of the biggest challenges for businesses is keeping people on their websites long enough to take some form of action. Whether it’s making a purchase, filling out a contact form, or signing up for a newsletter – the longer someone stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert into a customer or lead.

Some of the most commonly confused metrics when it comes to website analytics are exit rate vs. bounce rate. We’ll explore more about the differences between these two metrics later, but think of it like this: 

A website’s bounce rate is like a visitor walking into your store, realizing it’s not what they were looking for, and immediately walking back out. On the other hand, the exit rate is like a visitor browsing through your store, browsing a few aisles, but ultimately deciding not to make a purchase and leaving.

Managing a business website requires staying on top of your web analytics – that’s just part of the job. These metrics can provide a lot of valuable insights to help you improve your website and keep visitors interested.

In this post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about exit rate vs. bounce rate – without the jargon, we promise.

defining exit rate and bounce rate

Before we dive into the differences between exit rate and bounce rate, let’s define these terms more clearly.

exit rate

The phrase “exit rate” refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website from a specific page. It’s not that the visitors arrived at your website and immediately left – they stayed and navigated through your website but decided to leave from that particular page.

In terms of the math, your exit rate equals the number of exits from that page divided by the total number of page views multiplied by 100.

So, why would you need to know where your exit pages are and what their rate is?

Well, a high exit rate on a specific page could indicate some big issues with that page. Perhaps it’s not user-friendly, the content is outdated, or the page is simply not relevant to what the visitor was looking for. When you measure and track your exit rate, you can pinpoint which pages need some work and make improvements to keep visitors on your website longer.

bounce rate

Many people use the terms “exit rate” and “bounce rate” interchangeably, but they are actually quite different. A bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who land on a page and then leave without interacting with any other pages on your website. They essentially “bounce” off the page and leave immediately.

The bounce rate is calculated by dividing the number of single-page sessions by the total number of sessions and multiplying by 100.

A “session” is a group of interactions a visitor has with your website within a given time frame. Therefore, a single-page session occurs when a visitor lands on a page and then exits without any further interaction.

A high bounce rate is a major red flag for your website. It likely means that your landing page is not engaging enough or does not meet the expectations of visitors. This can result in lost conversion opportunities and a lower overall website performance.

What’s a high bound rate? It depends on the type of page. For instance, a bounce rate below 20% is considered strong on an eCommerce site. Whereas for blogs, a rate below 65% is considered pretty good.

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the significance of tracking exit rate and bounce rate

Exit and bounce rates are important web analytic metrics that provide valuable insights into behavior, user engagement, website performance, and conversions. Rather than being overly concerned when you see a high bounce or exit rate, think of it as an opportunity to make improvements to your website.

Monitoring and improving metrics such as these can help you create a better user interface, improve the user experience, and ultimately increase conversions. You just need to know what’s working – and what’s not.

how to analyze exit rates?

So, we went over how to calculate exit rates, but how do you get those numbers in the first place?

We recommend using Google Analytics. This is one of the most widely used web analytics tools, and it offers comprehensive insights into all aspects of user behavior – including exit rates on different pages.

There are many other web analytics tools, other than Google Analytics, that you can use to track your exit pages on your website – so pick the one that works best for you. Better yet, partner with a website development agency that can access your needs and interpret all the data for you.

As you look at your exit rates, you’ll notice that some pages have consistently high rates while others have lower rates. For example, an eCommerce’s checkout page might have a high rate as people leave due to unexpected shipping fees or confusing forms.

Other common exit pages might include landing pages, product pages, or blog posts. You may also notice high exit rates on 404 error pages, which means you need to improve your site’s internal linking structure and look for disconnects.

To identify the reasons behind high exit rates on any given page, you’ll want to use your web analytics tool to look deeper into the data. Additionally, you can conduct user surveys, collect feedback, and perform usability tests to gain further insights.

how to analyze bounce rates?

As with exit rates, web analytic tools can also help you track and access your website’s bounce rates. When looking at your bounce rates, you’ll likely find that the pages with the highest bounce rates are those that…

  • Have slow loading times
  • Don’t align well with the search results they appear in
  • Have poor design or layout
  • Lack relevant and engaging content
  • Are not mobile-friendly
  • Have distracting pop-ups


Another common reason for high bounce rates is that there is no clear call-to-action (CTA) on the page. Visitors may be interested in the content, but if there is no clear next step for them to take, they will simply leave the site.

Take a hard look at your bounce pages and see if there are any areas for improvement. The more you can unearth the reasons for high bounce rates, the better you can fine-tune your website to keep visitors engaged and on your page longer.

explore strategies to reduce bounce rates

strategies to reduce exit rates

Now, we want to share some strategies to help reduce exit rates on your website – especially if you’re not sure about what’s causing them in the first place:

improve page loading speed

One of the most common reasons for high exit rates is poor website performance – and a page’s loading speed is a major factor in that. This is especially true when it comes to mobile devices, where users have even less patience for slow loading times.

In 2023, the average page load time is 2.5 seconds on a desktop and 8.6 seconds on a mobile device. If your website is taking longer than this, it may be time to take a closer look at your website’s performance.

We could write a full blog post on how to improve page loading speed, but here are a few quick tactics you can try:

  • Optimize image sizes and file types
  • Use a reliable hosting provider
  • Minify code to reduce the amount of data that needs to be transferred
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to spread out the load of your website across different servers

The important thing is that you’re focusing on improving the user experience – and that starts with a fast-loading website. Don’t let small web development problems push away hundreds (if not thousands) of frustrated potential customers.

optimize content relevance

Creating relevant and engaging content is another way to keep visitors on your website longer. This may seem obvious, but content quality is often overlooked as a factor in high exit rates.

When visitors come to your site, they want to find information that meets their needs. If your content is outdated, irrelevant, or just plain boring, they are more likely to leave and search for what they need elsewhere. That’s a bad user experience.

As you craft your content strategy, think about who your target audience is and what they are looking for. Align your web content with their presumed search intent, and think about how you’ll reel them in.

A great way to do this is by addressing your customer’s pain points, questions, or concerns in your content. Through personalized and informative content, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and build trust with your audience. This will keep them coming back for more and increase the chances of converting them into paying customers.

enhance website navigation

Website navigation plays a crucial role in reducing exit rates and improving website engagement. A well-structured and intuitive navigation menu can help visitors easily find what they are looking for, leading them to stay on your site longer.

We’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to navigate a poorly designed website. Too many drop-down menus, broken links, or confusing layouts have likely driven you away from a website, never to return again. Don’t let this happen to your site!

Add an easy-to-use search bar. Organize your subpages in a way that makes sense to your visitors. Use descriptive and concise labels for your navigation buttons. These small but significant improvements can make a huge difference in improving the user experience on your website.

strategies to reduce bounce rates

Here are a few tips to help you lower your bounce pages:

improve first impressions

You wouldn’t wear a tattered shirt to a job interview, would you? So why let your website make a bad first impression?

Improving the design, layout, and overall aesthetics is crucial for reducing bounce rates. When users have a positive initial experience on your site, they are more likely to explore further and stay longer.

Everything from your website’s compelling headlines to its colors and fonts should capture your visitors’ attention and leave a lasting impression. It takes a long time to recover from a bad first impression, so make sure your website is putting its best foot forward.

optimize for mobile

As mentioned earlier, more and more people are using their smartphones to access the internet. As such, they have high expectations when it comes to mobile responsiveness nowadays. Your mobile site should load quickly, but it also needs to encourage user retention and engagement.

Ensure that your website is responsive and easy to navigate on all devices. If it includes forms or other interactive elements, make sure they work seamlessly on mobile devices as well. Make your CTA buttons tappable and ensure your fonts are easy to read.

A low bounce rate on your mobile site will translate to a low bounce rate overall.

create better calls-to-action

A call-to-action (CTA) is a crucial element of your website’s design. It directs users to take a specific action, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form.

Try polishing your CTA buttons with compelling text and eye-catching design. Use action-oriented language and make sure they stand out on your page. Additionally, strategically placing multiple CTAs throughout your site can also help reduce bounce rates.

When users have a clear direction, they’re more likely to engage with your site’s content rather than leaving.

contact us to enhance your website’s performance

turn to the professionals

Understanding exit rates vs. bounce rates and taking the necessary steps to reduce them is crucial for the success of your website. But knowing how to make the right adjustments is a task best left to the professionals.

At Wildish Agency, we specialize in creating user-friendly, engaging websites that not only attract visitors but also keep them on your page. From SEO-optimized content to responsive design, we have all the tools to increase user retention.

Contact us today to see how we can take your website to the next level!