If you are learning about SEO, you must have come across two SEO metrics, which almost appear the same. These are – Exit Rate and Bounce Rate. Both Exit Rate and Bounce Rate are important metrics in SEO. However, the two are different and measure a completely different thing. Hence, read this post to know everything about Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate.
Let’s delve into the details!
What is Bounce Rate?
This is the rate that measures the total percentage of visitors to your website who occur at your website on a specific page and soon navigate away or simply bounce off from your website by only viewing that single webpage.
A bounce is measured if a visitor exits or shifts from the same page that they have entered your site and does not intervene with any components or aspects on that page. In such a case, the user does not fill the opt-in form, or leaves a comment, and more.
One core trait of a bounce is that it is a single-page session.
What Does High Bounce Rate Means?
Usually, a high bounce rate is not a good indicator of a website. It is because a high bounce rate implies that user’s or visitors don’t like anything on your website, and do not find anything relevant to them or useful for them.
A higher bounce rate on a home page of a website is a matter of concern because a home page is usually designed to distribute traffic to the remaining website.
Is High Bounce Rate Always Bad?
Though a high bounce rate is considered a bad signal, it is not always the case.
There are some webpages like landing pages that capture leads, or pages that contain no links to other pages and is focused on visitors completing one main action, which is submitting an email address or targeting to a specific group. Such pages and others like them inevitably generate a high bounce rate, which is not directly harmful or bad for the website.
Similarly, a post that precisely answers all questions that a searcher entered into Google will often contain a high bounce rate. Besides from being negative, a bounce rate that is high in this scenario indicates that the content you offered is not delivering what the visitors wanted.
Since the searcher was not able to find what they are looking for, they leave.
Important Industry Standards for the Bounce Rate
There are some kinds of websites or industries that by their specific nature hold a higher bounce rate as compared to other websites.
According to MonsterInsights, there is some typical bounce rate related to industries:
- Lead Generation Websites – 35-50%
- Content Websites – 45 – 60%
- Service Websites – 20 – 30%
- Portals – 20 – 30%
- Websites with Simple Landing Pages – 60 – 90%
- Retail Websites – 20 – 45%
Conversion notes which blog websites usually have a higher bounce rate than the normal bounce rate. As compared with service websites, a typical bounce rate of up to 30%, blogs usually have a high bounce rate of 75 – 90%.
How Can You Check the Bounce Rate?
To check the bounce rate, you need to log in the Google Analytics and then check the behavior, website content, and all pages of your site.
What is Exit Rate?
The exit rate for a specific page is the total percentage of visitors who left your website from that specific page. For a specific web page on the website, Exit Rate is the total percentage of the visitors who left the website from that page.
Alternatively, Bounce Rate just record visitors who entered and exit from the website from the same page. Exit Rate comes with single-page and multiple-page sessions.
Exit Rate is not about where a visitor entered the website, it focuses only on the page from where they made an exit.
What Does High Exit Rate Indicates?
A high exit rate is not the same as a high bounce rate. A high exit rate is primarily not negative. It simply indicates that the visitor did not found what exactly they were searching for and then left the website.
But, a high exit rate for a specific page means that your visitors must be taken further into the website, which indicates that something has gone wrong. Particular pages with high exit rate usually indicate an issue within the conversion funnel.
How to Estimate the Exit Rate?
In order to check the exit rate of your webpage, you need to check the Google Analytics, check behavior and then overview.
Also, you can find the exit rate by entering the behavior, website content, then checking all pages.
Bounce Rate vs Exit Rate:
Exit Rate and Bounce Rate are often confused and considered the same. But now you know that the two are different.
Some of the major differences between the exit rate and bounce rate are:
- Bounces are always single-page visits where the exit rate is more than multiple page visits.
- Exit Rate refers to the total percentage of visits where a specific page last appeared in the session. However, the bounce rate is the percentage of visits where that particular page was only visited in that session.
- The bounce rate is the first page that a visitor lands on. Alternatively, the exit rate is measured for the last page a visitor sees on before they exit from a website.
SEO and Bounce Rate:
One important thing to note is that Google has continuously denied that it utilizes the bounce rate estimated in Google Analytics is an important ranking element in its algorithm.
Even, this statement is supported by good reasons.
- First, it creates an uneven or rough playing field. Since around half of the sites in the world are still not registered with Google Analytics.
- Next, as we have witnessed above, a higher bounce rate is not merely negative. It may sometimes simply imply that your webpage precisely addressed the query of a searcher.
- Third, the standard bounce rate varies a lot between industries.
There was an experiment conducted by Rand Fishkin, who is formerly from Moz. He checked hundreds of volunteers to click on the bottom listings on page 1 of the SERP for a specific search query. He asked them to instantly click away from the website.
But this experiment or study does not generate any predictable changes in the SERP rankings of a website. It suggested that it is rather the situation that Bounce Rate does not impact SEO.
But, another study was carried on the same subject by LarryKim of Moz. Rather than checking other websites, he checked the content on their own website and identified that there was a detectable correlation between SERP rankings and Bounce Rate.
As per this relation, webpages with Higher Bounce Rate rank lower in the Search Engine Ranking pages.
Even, backlinko conducted a study for over one million search results on Google and found a clear relationship between Google Ranking and Bounce Rate.
Hence, no matter what Google states or announces, there is evidence available from experts that clearly indicate that the Bounce Rate does impact the SERP rankings of a web page. According to these studies, a webpage with a higher bounce rate is expected to gain lower SERP rankings.
But this is not it. There is another vital metric, which is Return to SERP. This plays a highly important role in the SERP rankings in Google than the bounce rate.
Time On-Page and Bounce Rate:
The Bounce Rate does not estimate or keep a record of the volume of time that a user spends on the webpage before he finally exits your website from that page.
For example, a person may spend around 20 minutes to read your long-form article and may then exit from your website, having visited that single page.
And this is primarily a major reason why a high bounce rate is not always negative.
Dwell Time or Time on Page is almost certain and one of the vital metrics which contributes to the Google ranking algorithm.
Return to SERP vs. Bounce Rate
In addition to the bounce rate, there is another important metric that Google considers important. It also records the time-on-page.
This metric is known as Return to SERP. This metric calculates the time that a visitor spends on a page before it clicks back to the SERPs.
Returning back to SERP is the bounce rate. But unlike other bounces, this bounce is great and is always SEO negative.
In simple terms, the Return to SERP metric records the total time that a visitor spends on a specific webpage before it returns to the Search Engine Ranking pages.
The main reason why a higher Return to SERP is not good for search engine rankings is that it informs Google that your webpage did not answer all search queries of the visitor. Since the main concern of Google is to improve the correlation between search results and search queries, so a webpage that experiences high Returns to SERP will move down in the search rankings fast than otherwise.
Pogo-Sticking and Bounce Rate:
Pogo-Sticking occurs when visitors clicks on the SERP listing and identifies that the page is not answering all their queries. This way, it quickly clicks back to search results.
Pogo-sticking happens when one webpage holds a high rate of Return to SERP. While a bounce can be negative or positive, a higher incidence of pogo-sticking is always unfavorable.
There is no clear understanding available on how short a visit must be to induce a pogo-sticking algorithm. But one thing is clear that the shorter the intervals between arriving on the webpage and returning to SERPs, it is more likely that this algorithm will be induced.
Pogo-sticking is tracked by Google by recording short and long clicks. Long clicks let Google know about a convinced searcher. Short clicks occur when the visitor clicks on search results and soon clicks back to SERP pages.
Tips to Reduce the Bounce Rate:
You now know what bounce rate is and how it is different from the Dwell Time, Exit Rate, Pogo-Sticking, and Return to SERP. You would want to know the ways to keep your bounce rate low.
But before you begin reducing the bounce rate, it is vital to be clear that if it is negative or positive. The bounce rate may appear simply as the result of visitors searching the information they require. In this case, there is no requirement to reduce the bounce rate.
Alternatively, if a webpage has a bounce rate and visitors to that page do not complete the actions that the page intends for, then you may look at ways to reduce the bounce rate of that page.
1. Enhance Your Content’s Readability:
Break the entire content with bullet points, images, and headings.
2. Include a Clear CTA to Your Page:
Your webpage must have a well-defined purpose. It can be signing up an email list, writing a comment, sharing the page on social media, etc.
Add a clear CTA to your page to gain necessary action from the visitors.
3. Optimize the Load Time of Your Page:
More than 50% of people expect webpages to load in less than two seconds. Therefore, optimize the webpage to improve its load time.
4. Optimize Webpage for Mobile:
Check Google Analytics to identify the bounce rate of your webpage on mobile devices. In this case, optimize the website for mobile.
5. Write Concise Paragraphs and Sentences:
Sentences and paragraphs online must be much shorter in comparison to print media. Make sure the paragraphs are up to three sentences and keep the sentence length to 65 characters or even less.
6. Use Keywords:
Use relevant keywords in the webpage. If the page is receiving traffic from inappropriate search queries, this will increase the bounce rate.
The bounce rate and exit rate are absolutely different from each other. While a high exit rate is not definitely negative for SERP, a high bounce rate is surely not good for the SERP rankings. Hence, use the above-mentioned tips and make sure you keep the bounce rate of your webpage low.