Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate: How It Impact The SEO in 2020?

Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate major differences

Like me, every website owner is tracking in Google analytics what is the Bounce rate and what is the exit rate of the website but very few knew the major differences between the Bounce rate vs Exit rate.

In brief, the bounce rate is the percentage of the user exit from the first page of a session, from where they entered into the site and the exit rate is the last page of the session from where the user exit from the website.

Bit confusing right?   Even I know you may be searching for a few other queries like.

  • Is the bounce rate important or not from the point of an SEO?
  • Can the bounce rate affect our website ranking or not?

The simple answer to both of your queries is yes or no but how? I will share the detail reason for each one of them in the later guide.

I will also highlight what is bounce rate and what is exit rate and how you can check or verify both in Google Analytics.

We will also focus on,  What are good bounce rate benchmarks and How do I decrease the bounce rate? and many more other things like Pogo sticking, the impact of reverse to SERP, etc.

Must Read: 11 Fundamentals of Blogging

This guide is collective information of various sources, in case you have any question in mind then describe your problem in the comment box, I will respond back 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 SEO world, as few people taking this in the serious note which impacting their search engine ranking and others consider this just as a user matrix to judge the reader engagement.

Before deep-diving, let first clarify the actual definition of both in separate with detail explanation.

But if willing to learn the summary then do check out this quick video.

What is Bounce Rate and How to Check Bounce Rate?

Whenever, if any visitor visits your site and for the duration, he remains active on your site is known as a session, and in this session, visitors can visit the single page or can visit multiple pages of your site.

If any user in a particular session came to your site page A  and without performing any action like watching videos or filling the Email form or clicking to the interlink provided on that page close the browser and left your site is known as Bounce rate.

What is Bounce rate for a website

In mathematical term, bounce rate is:

Bounce rate =(Number of visitors left the website from a page A/Number of visitors entered the site from Page A )*100

Bounce rate is a way to judge, how many visitors on your site left the website or close the web browser after visiting the only page to which they entered into your site.

Let me explain using an example, how you can judge the bounce rate of any page.

Case 1:

Imagine a user has entered your site and visited Three pages.

The first page A > Moved to Page B > Left the site from Page C

In this case, the bounce rate for Page A, Page B, and Page C will be 0% as the user visited three pages in a single session and not exit from Page A.

Case 2:

Imagine a user has entered your site and left from the same page.

The First Page is A> Left the site or close the browser from A only.

In this case, user not navigated to any other pages and just entered and left from the same page and this cause page A bounce rate will be 100%

Case 3:

Let imagine, 2 users visited your site and left from different pages 

The first user Visited Page A > Moved to Page C > Moved to Page E>Left from Page E

The second user Visited Page A > Left from Page A

In this case, Page A is visited 2 times and the bounce rate for page A will be 50% only as in the First case user moved to other pages and in the second case only left the site from Page A.

Case 4: 

If out of 2 users one of them never entered from Page A

The first user visited Page A > Moved to Page B> Left the site from Page C

The Second user visited Page B > Moved to Page A> Left the site from Page C

The Third user visited Page A > Left the site from Page A only

In this case, if you check the bounce rate for page A then it will be only 50%, but why 50% it should be 33% right?

Because, if you will focus on the definition of bounce rate then it will be only calculated if the user entered from the same page from where he left the site.

But here the second user entered the site from Page B, not from A, hence we should consider only 2 users to find out the average of Bounce rate.

Isn’t it simple? still not clear then go through all the 3 cases once again.

After reading these 3 examples, I am pretty sure that you got the answer for what is bounce rate?

How to Check the bounce rate of the Website?

The only way to check the bounce rate of the website is from Google analytics and in Analytics, you have two ways to judge the bounce rate.

  • Website level bounce rate.
  • Page-level bounce rate.

Based on every individual page bounce rate, an average will be calculated which will be named as the website level bounce rate.

To check, you can visit the Google Analytics > Audience >Overview

How to check the bounce rate in Google Analytics

From the above screenshot, you can see the bounce rate is 43.84%. In, similar way you can check your website level bounce rate.

Similarly, if you want to check the page level bounce rate then do follow below navigations.

Login to Google Analytics>Acquisition>Search Console>Landing Pages and there you can check the bounce rate matrix.

Bounce rate for eadch individual pages in Google Analytics

In the above bounce rate matrix, you can see, for #1 page it is 19.42% and for #2 it is 32.11% and in a similar way, the average for all top 10 pages is 44.52% bounce rate.

Must Read: What is CTR in Google Adsense?

If you are good with how to check the bounce rate then let me give you reasons for the increase of bounce rate.

Reasons for why Bounce Rate Got Increase on Your Website?

When it comes to leaving your site then there may be different reasons, which cause the bounce rate for that page of your website to get increased.

There are many other reasons but in this list, below are a few major reasons.

  • The website loading speed is not as expected.
  • Website content is not worthy enough to engage the reader.
  • The website layout is not what the reader is expecting.
  • May be user has received, what he was expecting from the same page.
  • Lack of interlinking to other pages of the website.

Do remember all these reasons, as we will focus on the later guides, on how to reduce the bounce rate to deal with each individual reason.

Now let focus on What is Exit Rate?

What is Exit Rate and How to Check the Exit rate?

In a particular session, there may be chances that visitors visit more than 1 page at a time and if this is so then instead of Bounce rate an exit rate comes into the picture.

The exit rate is more named as an exit page rate why?

Because the exit rate is the percentage of visitors leaving your site from any particular page in a defined session, that is why it is also known as the exit page rate.

What is Exit Rate in Websit SEO

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.

Cas 1:

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.

Must Read: 100+ SEO Glossary for Beginner

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

How to check the exit rate of website in Google Analytics

In a similar way, we can have Page-level Exit rate and you can go to Google Analytics>Behaviour>Site Content>Exit Page

How to check the Exit rate of Website page in google analytics

From the above screenshot, you can see the percentage in terms of the Exit rate to identify from which page your visitors are leaving the website.

Reason for increase in the Exit Rate of Website?

If you understand the core of Exit Rate then it is not bad for your site but up to a certain level and if any specific page is getting more than a 60% Exit rate, then this could be a concern to focus for your site.

There are a few reasons which cause that particular page can have more Exit Rate.

  • That page content is not matching to the user intent.
  • You may have linked that page with the wrong anchor text as part of interlinking.
  • You may have falsely promised to the reader to visit that page as part of interlinking.
  • That page content is not reader engaging, as it may have a lack of media or long paragraphs.

There could be many more reasons but ultimately this is the last page of that session, which means your site is working as expected.

But you need to take a look for the Exit page on a particular page basis, to fix, if it has a serious issue and people are leaving your site from that page only.

Well, till this point you already got a clear idea, on what is the Bounce rate and what is Exit rate.

Hence this time is to compare the Bounce rate vs Exit rate and how both are different from each other.

Compare the Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate 

If you have gone through each individual definition then you already got an idea but here is brief on the major point of comparisons in between Bounce rate vs Exit rate.

Bounce Rate: It will be calculated if in a session a visitor enters your site to Page A and leave the site from Page A only, which means a session with only a single page and no further visits of the internal pages.

Exit rate: It will be counted, if a visitor enters your site from page A and exit from any other page like C, then the Exit rate will be counted for the page C from which the user is leaving your site. 

Do remember, all these rates will be calculated in a particular session, in which it could be added as a bounce rate or Exit rate for your site or pages.

Here, the Exit rate will be always calculated for the last page of the session and the Bounce rate will be calculated for the first page of the session and if there is any Exit rate then the user has already visited the number of pages.

If you got an idea the differences in between exit rate vs Bounce rate.

But if you are thinking about, can bounce rate or exit rate affects our website ranking?

If so, then keep reading to get a descriptive analysis.

Is the bounce rate important or not from the point of an SEO?

If you are familiar with Google SEO then it is a technique to optimize website pages to rank faster and higher in Google SERP, but what if your site Bounce Rate is higher?

Can the bounce rate affect our website ranking?

The answer is maybe Yes or No, but why?

Google Analytics, is a tool to help the website owner to monitor their website traffic and as Googe Garry IIIyes tweeted long back in 2017 that they are not using any data from Google Analytics to rank any webpages.

Garry tweet on Google Anlytics use in Google Ranking

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.

Return back to SERP google ranking Impact

This type of bounce back will be closely monitored by Google and you will be panelized by losing Google ranking, as it clearly says that the user is not willing to stay on your site.

Exit from the Website by Closing Browser 

This is the case when the user visited your site from the SERP and instead of clicking to the Back button, the user has clicked to close the browser button then the bounce rate will be recorded but that does not impact your Google ranking.

Close the browser and Exit the website cause bounce rate

Because in this case there is a possibility that the user may have received what he was expecting.

Pogo Sticking in SERP

Pogo sticking is the case when the user visited your site and returned back to SERP and this time clicking to the other SERP results instead of yours then this is a clear sign of losing the Google ranking.What is Pogo Sticking in Google SERP

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

Types of Site Bounce Rate (%)
E-commerce and Retail Websites: 20%-45%
Lead generation website 25%-55%
Non-eCommerce content website 35%-60%
B2B Websites 25%-55%
Landing pages 60%-90%
Blogs, Directories, etc 65%-90%

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%.

Change in bounce rate based on website loading speed time

You can check the mobile page speed using the GTMatrix or Google page speed checker.

If you are using low-quality hosting, then the server response time may increase and as a result, the opened page may take more time to load the content.

Ideally, it is recommended to have mobile page loading time in between 1-2 seconds and the Desktop version of the site should open in 2-4 seconds, if there is further delay in loading then maybe the visitor will press the back button.

The hosting which I use to host my website is A2 hosting as it ensures the fastest loading speed of site else they will give you any time money-back guarantee.

Here is a detailed review of A2 Hosting, how my site performance got increased with 50%.

Remove the Images from the Topside of the content

This is the major reason, almost everyone loves to add the big size image at the beginning of the post which always covers half of the screen of the opened window.

This caus, the reader to get distracted and may leave the website, remember the reader came to your site not to watch the image but to read the content.

Use images but not to showoff in the beginning but to support the written content, but if you really need then minimize the image height like I did, so it will be less annoying and will be effective enough.

Include the Media in the post

You won’t believe but the content which has any media like video or images has more engagement as compared to the content without media.

To reduce bounce rate, our focus is to get user engagement if you can attract the user to click to the video then you got engagement and that won’t be counted as bounce rate.

But the problem with include of Media is the page size will get increase and maybe your page will start loading slowly.

Hene to optimize images, you can use ShortPixel which give 100 free credit to optimize your images every month and never upload the video but simply embed video in the blog post.

Improve the UI of Website

Website UI is key to engage users if you will use any theme which keeps flashing or distracting the user from reading the content, then you may push the reader to click on the back button.

Almost every blogger is willing to make income using the Ads network like Google Adsense and most of them over-optimize their content by placing ads on every side corner and middle of the content.

Even in some cases, content with a length of 500 words also includes more than 10 ads at various places, which is obviously annoying for the reader.

Always include very few ads based on the content length and try to optimize the sidebar with the URL which is relevant to the content, the reader is reading.

Improve the readability score

Every beginner does this mistake that they start writing in a long paragraph to share their views but they never focus from the reader’s perspective.

Let differentiate between the content displayed below, one which is a collection of multiple lines in a single paragraph without any images.

Content in Ezine article with large paragraph

The other which paragraph length is not more than 2 lines and the addition of media and a better layout.

Content with good UI and less bounce rate

I can say you like the second better than the first and that is what you need to take care of while writing the blog post.

Always make sure, the length of your paragraphs should not be more than 2 lines and try to use some words which engage the reader while reading the blog post.

A bonus tip is to ask the reader some questions for which they definitely answer in Yes, as it maintains the positive mode like

  • Do you want to reduce the bounce rate of the website?
  • Do you really think the bounce rate can impact your ranking?

Parallelly, Identify the area where the users are very less engaging.

There are different tools in the market which help you to identify on which area of your site has more user engagement.

You can use some paid tools like Hitmap, they help you to identify which is the area on your site is getting more engagement and which is less.

Hitmap User page engagement

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.

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