If you have been working hard on setting up your website, putting together the content, looking up the relevant keywords, analyzing performance and doing all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work in its many details, you have probably already seen the terms ‘bounce rate’ and ‘exit rate’. These terms frequently come up in information requests for the Devrun Web Agency staff. The first intuitive decision about them is to quickly lump them together and put the research into them on the backburner, as they seem to be too high-tech and hard to understand to deal with right now. But what if we told you that bounce rates and exit rates are actually of vital importance? What if we told you that they are actually not the same thing? What if we told you that all that other work you have been doing to make your website highly visible, attractive and resulting in an online sales increase would be at risk if you do not deal with the bounce rate much sooner rather than a little bit later? There is more to this than you may think.

Aren’t exit rate and bounce rate the same thing, though?

Both the exit rate and the bounce rate deal with the number of people that leave your website, but in two very different ways. The exit rate looks at the last page a person viewed when visiting your site. The bounce rate is concerned with cases when the visitor only saw the one page, didn’t interact with that page, and left.

The exit rate is thus not a disastrous number in itself, because all it shows is that people that came to your website through Page A and then went to a Page B and then to a Page C had gathered all of the information they needed about your product or service from these three pages, and so they left (possibly, to make a phone call to you to place the order or talk to their colleagues about working with you). The bounce rate, if it is particularly high for a certain page, most probably demonstrates that something is wrong with either the setup of your analytics software or with the page or site itself.

What are some reasons for a high bounce rate?

One of the easiest ways to get a very high bounce rate is to have your entire website made up of only one page. Then, if all of your contact and other pertinent information is right there on the screen when the person visits the site, your bounce rates will go up with every visit.

The easiest solution for this would, of course, be adding more pages to the site. Tracking code problems would be another reason for unusually high bounce rates. The most frequent reason, however, lies in the way your website speaks or doesn’t speak to the visitors – if the content, layout or design are not what the visitor would have expected, they will quickly leave for the competition, which further underlines the importance of using the analytics tools to understand visitor behaviour and improve your website performance. Need help? Devrun Web Agency professionals are standing by.