Like me, every website owner knows in Google Analytics what the bounce rate is and what the website’s external rate is, but very few people knew the significant difference between bounce rate vs. exit rate.
In short, the bounce rate is the percentage of a user’s exit from the first page of a session, from which they entered the site, and the exit rate is the last page of the session from which the user exits the website.
It’s a little confusing, isn’t it? I even know you are looking for some other questions.
Is bounce rate important from an SEO point of view or not?
Can bounce rate affect our website ranking or not?
The simple answer to both your questions is yes or no, but how? I will explain the reasons for each of these in a later guide.
I will also highlight the bounce rate and the exit rate and how you can check or verify both in Google Analytics.
We will also look at what are the bounce rate standards and how can I reduce the bounce rate? And many other things like pogo-sticking, SERP reversal effect and so on.
.. Must Read: 11 Basic Principles of Blogging
This guide is a collection of information from various sources. If you have any questions, explain your problem in the comment box, I will answer it as soon as possible.
What is the difference between bounce rate vs. exit rate?
Both the bounce rate and the exit rate are confusing in the world of SEO, as very few people take it seriously, which affects their search engine rankings and others decide to engage their readers. Understand the matrix as a user.
Before diving deeper, clarify the original definition of both separately with the first detail.
But if you are ready to know the summary, then watch this quick video.
What is bounce rate and how to check bounce rate?
Whenever, if a visitor visits your site and for that period, he stays active on your site, which is called session, and in that session, visitors can go to one page or your site. Visit multiple pages.
If a user visits your site A in a specific session and without any action such as watching a video or filling out an email form or clicking on an interlink provided on that page, the browser closes and your site Known as the bounce rate.
In mathematical terms, the bounce rate is:
Bounce rate = (Number of visitors left the site from page A / Number of visitors entered the site from page A) * 100
Bounce rate is a way of deciding how many visitors to your site have left the site or closed the web browser after visiting the only page that enters your site.
Let me explain using an example, how you can determine the bounce rate of any page.
Imagine that a user entered your site and visited three pages.
Leave the site from Page A> Move to Page B> Page C
In this case, the bounce rate for page A, page B, and page C will be 0% because the user visited three pages in the same session and will not exit page A.
Imagine that a user enters your site and leaves the same page.
First page A> Leave the site or close the browser with A only.
In this case, the user did not go to any other page and only logged in from that page and therefore the bounce rate per page will be 100%.
Imagine, 2 users visited your site and separated from different pages
The first user visited Page A> Move to Page C> Move to Page E> Left of Page E
See Second User Page A> Page A to the left
In this case, page A has been viewed 2 times and the bounce rate for page A will be only 50% as in the first case the user has moved to other pages and in the second case only the site has been left from page A ۔
If one of the 2 users never logged in to page A
The first user left the site on page A> moved to page B> from page C.
Another user left the site from Page B> Move to Page A> Page C.
The third user left the site on page A> page only
In that case, if you check the bounce rate for page A, it will be only 50%, but 50%. Why should it be 33% right?
Because, if you focus on the definition of bounce rate, then it will only be calculated if the user entered from the same page from which he left the site.
But here another user entered the site from page B, not A, so we should consider only 2 users to find the average bounce rate.
Isn’t it easy? Still not clear then going through all 3 cases again.
After reading these 3 examples, I’m pretty sure you got the answer, what is the bounce rate?
How to check website bounce rate?
The only way to check a website’s bounce rate is through Google Analytics, and in Analytics, you have two ways to determine your bounce rate.
Website level bounce rate
Page-level bounce rate
Based on each page’s bounce rate, the average will be calculated, which will be called the website’s bounce rate.
To check you out, you can go to Google Analytics> Audience> Overview
From the above screenshot, you can see that the bounce rate is 43.84%. Similarly, you can check your website’s bounce rate.
Similarly, if you want to check the page-level bounce rate, then follow the navigation below.
Log in to Google Analytics> Acquisitions> Search Console> Landing Pages and there you can check the bounce rate metrics.
In the bounce rate matrix listed above, you can see, for page # 1 it is .4 19.42 and for page # 2 it is. 32.11 and similarly, the average bounce rate for all 10 pages is .5 44.52.
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If you are good at checking bounce rates, let me tell you the reasons for increasing bounce rates.
Reasons to increase bounce rate on your site?
When it comes to leaving your site, there are various reasons for this, which increase the bounce rate of this page of your website.
There are many other reasons but in this list, below are some of the major reasons.
- Website loading speed is not as expected.
- The content of the website is not able to engage the readers.
- Website layout is not what the reader is expecting.
- The user may have found the page they were looking for.
- Lack of linking to other pages on the website.
- Do you remember all these reasons, because we will focus on later leaders, how to reduce the bounce rate to deal with each individual reason.
Now pay attention to what is the exit rate?
What is exit rate and how to check exit rate?
In a particular session, visitors may view more than 1 page at a time, and if so, an exit rate image appears instead of a bounce rate.
Why is the exit rate higher than the exit page rate?
Because the exit rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site from a particular page in a particular session, it is also called the exit page rate.
Bit confusing right? And you may be asking, that how it is different from the Bounce rate?
No worries will clear your doubt in section the differences between the Bounce rate vs Exit rate.
But at this moment remember, Exit Rate will be only calculated for the last page of the session means the user has already visited more than 1 or 2 pages and right now on 3rd or maybe any other page, from where he is planning to Exit the website.
In mathematical explanation, Exit rate may be calculated as
Exit rate =(Number of visitors visited the last page C in any session / Number of visitors left site from that page in that particular session)*100
Let me explain the Exit rate using Three examples as we did for the Bounce rate.
If a single user visited 3 Pages in a session.
Entered from Page A > Moved to Page B > Moved to C and Left from Page C
In this case, the exit rate for pages A and B will be 0% and Page B will be 100%.
Case 2: If two user visited pages in different orders
Entered from Page B > Moved to Page A > Moved to C and Left from Page C
Entered from Page A > Moved to Page c > Moved to B and Left from Page B
In this case, Page C will have a 50% Exit rate as in two cases only 1-time user exit from Page C.
Your doubt should be clear from the Exit rate examples that in a particular session if a reader visited more than one page and decided to leave the website from the same page, which is part of that session then that will be calculated as Exit rate.
When it comes to checking the Exit rate of any website then it will be same from the Google Analytics.
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How to check the Exit Rate of the Website?
In Google Analytics, we have the same website and page-level exit rate and to check you can go through the below steps.
To check for website level, go to Google Analytics>Behaviour>Overview
Similarly, we can have a page level exit rate and you can go to Google Analytics> Behavior> Site Site> Exit Page
From the screenshot above, you can see the percentage in terms of exit rate to indicate which page your visitors are leaving the website from.
The reason for the increase in the exit rate of the website?
If you understand the basic part of exit rate, then it is not bad for your site but it is up to a certain level and if a particular page is getting more than 60% exit rate, then it is you. It can be a hassle to focus on the site.
There are a number of reasons why this page may have a high rate.
- The content of this page does not match the intent of the user.
- You have linked this page with incorrect anchor text as part of a link.
- You have promised the link reader that you will view this page as part of the link.
- The content of this page is not engaging to readers, as it lacks media or long paragraphs.
There can be many more reasons but this is the last page of this session, which means your site is working as expected.
But if you have a serious problem and people are leaving your site from that page, to fix it, you need to take a look at the exit page based on a particular page.
Well, by this time you already have a clear idea of what the bounce rate is and what the exit rate is.
So this time we have to compare the bounce rate versus the exit rate and how the two are different from each other.
Compare bounce rate vs. exit rate
If you’ve gone through each individual definition, you’ve already figured it out, but here’s a brief look at the key points in comparing bounce rates versus exit rates.
Bounce rate: This will be calculated if a visitor enters your site in page A in a session and leaves the site from page A only, which means a session containing only one page and No more visiting internal pages.
Exit rate: This will count, if a visitor enters your site from page A and exits another page like C, then this exit rate will be calculated for page C from where The user is leaving your site.
Remember, all of these rates will be calculated in a special session, which can be added as a bounce rate or exit rate for your site or pages.
Here, the exit rate will always be calculated for the last page of the session and the bounce rate for the first page of the session will be calculated and if there is an exit rate the user can already see the number of pages.
If you have guessed the difference between bounce rate vs. Exit rate.
But if you’re wondering, can bounce rate or external rate affect our website ranking?
If so, keep reading to get an explanatory analysis.
Is bounce rate important from an SEO point of view or not?
If you are familiar with Google SEO then this is a technique to improve the website pages in Google SERP fast and high level, but what if your site bounce rate is high?
Can Bounce Rate Affect Our Website Rankings?
The answer is probably yes or no, but why?
Google Analytics is a tool to help a website owner monitor their website traffic, and as Googery IIIys tweeted long ago in 2017, they can add any of Google Analytics data to any web pages. Are not used to classify.
So this is a relief for those who already have a very high bounce rate for their website and here is the reason why?
Imagine you have a website based on Enquire detail, where the user may visit and get specific detail, if so then there is a very high chance that the user may leave your website from the same page only.
But that does not mean the information or the quality of the page is bad or not worth enough to rank as the page may have delivered what the user is expected and user intent fulfilled on the same page only.
In other cases, imagine a product selling website where it is obvious that once the user landed may visit a few more pages to check which product is best.
However, the analytics has recorded a high bounce rate for the first case and in product selling site recorded a low bounce rate.
But in reality, the Enquiry site has provided quality information however Product site not and that is why Google ignore this matrix as part of the ranking.
Easy, SImple and Clear.
Now let me get you to the side of the bounce rate.
If Google is not tracking, that does not mean it won’t impact your website SEO or ranking.
Yes, both Bounce Rate and Exit rate impacts SEO, not directly but indirectly.
Google is very clear about user engagement and user intent.
And that is why there is another factor that decides how is your bounce rate should be calculated and in the SEO industry that is known as Dwell time.
Dwell time is the time for which any user is active on your site or a particular page of the website, the higher the dwell time means the more and more user is engaging with your content and fulfilling the user intent.
Dwell time, when combining with the Bounce rate then that would be a danger sign for your website ranking.
Google has more than 200 ranking signals to rank any web pages and in this list Bounce rate due to minimum dwell time is the core focus.
The bounce rate could be Judge by Google in three ways.
User Return Back to SERP
Let say, you searched for any query and got top 10 SERP results and from that, if you clicked to one of the results and visited that page and found content is irrelevant and not what you have expected then you may press back button and return back to SERP.
Such bouncebacks will be closely monitored by Google and you will be penalized for losing Google rankings, as it clearly states that the user is not willing to stay on your site.
Exit the website by closing the browser
This is the case when the user visits your site from SERP and instead of clicking the back button, the user clicks to close the browser button, the bounce rate will be recorded but Does not affect Google rankings.
Because in this case, there is a possibility that the user has got what he was expecting.
Pogo Sticking in SERP
Pogo sticking occurs when a user visits your site and returns to the SERP, and this time clicking on other SERP results instead of you is a clear sign of losing Google ranking.
Google is closely monitoring that out of 10 results displayed in SERP, the user is giving preference to other then yours then you are not worth enough to rank in the top 10 pages.
I am sure you got cleared with your major doubt on is the bounce rate important or not for SEO?
Well, there is another advantage of a lower bounce rate is in an increase of the Adsense earning, if your site is verified with the Google Adsense and service Adsense Ads.
What are the Good Bounce Rate Benchmarks?
This topic is a bit debating in the SEO industry as we learned, how the Bounce rate can impact your website directly and indirectly.
When I tried to collect information from various sources then the below listed are few collective data received from the Customedialabs
Above listed are the bounce rate has been recorded for different categories of website but if you want to judge your site in Medium, average or high rates then.
Best Bounce Rate – 0%-25%
Low Bounce Rate – 25-%40%
Medium Bounce Rate – 40%-55%
High bounce Rate – 55%-70%
Critical Bounce Rate- 70%-100%
If you are getting more than 70% bounce rate, then you need immediate fixes for those pages and if the case is the same for the Exit rate then you need to fix the same immediately.
Both the Bounce rate vs Exit rate is very critical to judge the performance of the site but how do I reduce the bounce rate and exit rate?
How to Reduce the Bounce Rate?
We discussed the reason for the increase in bounce rate which needs to be fixed and below are the best-suggested solution on which you can work on.
Remember Bounce rate only calculated when your visitor landed on your page and if so then we need to fix the content.
Increase in Page Loading Speed
If you will focus on Google guidelines then if your page speed is increased by 1% then you may have the chance to lose 7% of potential traffic and the same case is with the bounce rate.
Below are the mobile page speed industry benchmark stats taken from the Think With Google, as per them if page load time goes from 1s to 3S then the bounce rate may increase up to 32%.
If you are using low quality hosting, server response time may increase and as a result it may take longer to load content on the open page.
I can say that you like the second better than the first and you should take care of that when writing a blog post.
Always make sure that your paragraph is no longer than 2 lines in length and try to use some words that engage the reader while reading the blog post.
A bonus tip is to ask readers some questions for which they definitely answer yes, as it maintains such a positive attitude.
- Do you want to reduce the bounce rate of the website?
- Do you really think that bounce rate can affect your ranking?
- In parallel, identify areas where users are less engaged.
There are various tools on the market that can help you identify which areas of your site are most engaged by the user.
You can use some paid tools, such as hitamps, to help you identify which areas on your site are getting the most engagement and which ones are the least.
The area which has less engagement will need your immediate attention to fix, this tool is expensive but they also offer a free trial for up to 30 days.
From the image, you can get an idea the first paragraph has higher engagement and that is why I recommend everyone to focus on the first 250 words which draws the user’s attention.
Interlink the Relevant WebPages to Each Other
We all know the reason behind the bounce rate is users are not navigating to the other pages of the website. Why?
Maybe you have not linked your other pages with that post and as a result, chances are very low that anyone explicitly searches for any post on your site.
Here are a few points to remember while creating the interlink.
- Always use relevant anchor text to interlink another page else the Exit rate of that linked page will get an increase.
- Around anchor text, do explain what information the user will get to that new interlink page.
- Always differentiate link anchor text color in the post from the rest of the content and if possible user underline.
There are numerous other ways to push the reader to move to the other pages of the website and if you can work upon interlinking than that will be the best of the solution above all.
Hence you can different tactics to get improve your google ranking.
Wrap Up on Bounce rate vs Exit Rate
Bounce is very crucial to notice if the user is returning back to SERP results and doing any Pogo sticking by clicking to other SERP results.
However, the Exit rate will be the only point of concern, if any particular page is having more than 50% Exit rate and you need to fix that either interlinking your web pages or improving the content quality.
What is your site bounce rate and Exit rate and how this is impacting your search engine ranking let me know in the comment box so we all together can fix the same.