Exit Page

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Definition

An exit page is the page of a website which a visitor is accessing at the point when they exit the website. This page will be the final thing that the user has viewed before they decide to leave the website or their visiting session ends.

Exit rate is a metric which is used to measure the rate at which each web page is classified as the site’s exit page. This figure is calculated for each page of the website by measuring the number of page views of a website page, then dividing this number by how many times the page was exited by people. This step is then calculated for all of the website pages, in order to create proportional figures across these pages (which is often illustrated as percentages), so that they can be directly compared.

Through the exit rate metric, website owners can access data pertaining to which page of their website is most commonly designated as the exit page for the site. By understanding which web page is most responsible for the numbers of users choosing to leave the website, web developers can modify the website in an attempt to decrease this number.

‌How to calculate your website’s exit rate

A typical user journey through an eCommerce website would be similar to this example:

Home page > Product A > Product B > Checkout > Order Completed page

In this instance, the exit page is the Order Completed page.

A website metrics analytics platform, such as Google Analytics, can be used to help website owners access this information. These dedicated pieces of software can calculate the numbers of times which each page of the site was the exit page for a visitor, and then illustrate these measurements in terms of percentages.

Once this report has been made, website developers or owners can use this data to understand how their website is performing on a page-by-page basis.

How to improve your exit pages

In the above sectioned, we used this example of a user journey:

Home page > Product A > Product B > Checkout > Order Completed page

For this example, the fact that the Order Completed page was the exit page for this user is positive. This is because it demonstrates that the visitor successfully purchased from the website, and that the intended deliverable of the company was met.

However, there are a number of instances where a particular page having a high exit rate would be indicative of a negative trend.

For example, if the checkout page was often responsible for being the exit page, this would show that a high number of potential customers were leaving the website before making a purchase. This could show that they had some issue with the checkout process, with making a payment, or that they found the UX of your website unenjoyable at this point.

The exit rate calculation should encourage the site developers to take a closer inspection of the page responsible, and make improvements to it accordingly.

The exit rate for a specific web page could be reduced in a number of ways. However, in order to attempt this, it is essential to try and identify the potential reasons why people are exiting your website at this particular point.

A web page may be a disproportionately high contributor to your exit rate for a number of reasons. This may include a high number of pop-up ads, content that is loud or highly distracting, a slow load speed, pages not being optimized for a mobile device, poor UX, or difficulty navigating a page.

So, in order to reduce the exit rate of pages, you could try making changes such as:

  • Improving the UX of the page
  • Improving the UI of the page
  • Making the navigation of the page clearer
  • Increasing the page speed
  • Removing any noisy or distracting content
  • Optimizing the web page for different mobile devices
  • Redesigning the page
  • Limiting the amount of pop-up adverts that are on the page.

You may also wish to install software - such as mouse tracking or heat mapping software - that allows you to track the way that visitors interact with your site. This would give you a clearer insight into the parts of the page that were responsible for making a user leave the web page.

What is the difference between bounce rate and exit rate?

The terms bounce rate and exit rate are commonly confused with each other. This is because these methods of data analytics both measure the number of visitors who exit a web page that they are currently viewing.

The difference between these two types of web analytics is the fact that bounce rate only includes users who have not interacted with the web page in any way. In order for a visitor to contribute to your web page’s bounce rate, it has to have been a single-engagement session - they can not have engaged with the content on the page.

Examples of types of interactions could include leaving a comment on a blog post, clicking the ‘like’ button, following an internal link or an external link that is included in the copy.

Whereas the exit rate covers the page that is the last point in the user’s visit to your website, regardless of whether or not they have interacted with it before exiting.

In the section above, we outlined the potential reasons that could cause a page to have high exit rates. In comparison, a high bounce rate is often indicative of an issue with the way in which the web page operates, which has caused the user to quickly leave the site. This could be, for example, a long page load speed which has caused the visitor to lose interest.

‌Importance‌ ‌for‌ ‌Online‌ ‌Marketing

Considering the exit page metrics of your website is a key way to improve the impression that online users have of your brand.

A knowledge of exit pages and exit rates analytics can be used to improve the UX of your website [1], and ensure that it is more intuitive to the needs of your customers.

Furthermore, by improving your exit pages and reducing your exit rate, you can increase your conversion rates and encourage more individuals to make a purchase from your website.

References

  1. 10 Tips That Can Drastically Improve Your Website's User Experience Hubspot Blog. Retrieved 20.01.20.

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