A high exit rate on a page is not necessarily a bad thing. All visitors will exit your website eventually. We just want to make sure they are exiting after they have found what they were looking for or after they have made a purchase or contacted you about services (or whatever else your goal is).
Keep in mind that an exit rate is different from a bounce rate. Visitors that bounce, enter your website on one page and then leave before clicking another page. Pages with high exit rates simply mean that a lot of visitors exited your website from that page. Any particular visitor may actually have clicked around on your website and looked at more than one page before they exited from that page.
Remember, there are two types of exits – good ones and unnecessary ones. A good exit is when someone views your thank you page or fills out a contact form and then leaves. An unnecessary exit might be someone who read an article on your website and then just “exits” rather than continuing to click around. Understanding this difference, and then analyzing the pages on your website with high exit rates can patch some big holes in visitors leaving for no “real” reason.
Steps to complete this task
Find the pages on your website with high exit rates.
Visit them on both a desktop and mobile phone and look for the following things to fix:
- Are you essentially requiring people to exit? Is there another step for the visitor to do (i.e. read a related article, buy a product, look at similar products, contact you, etc..)?
- If there is no “next step,” consider adding one.
- Does the visitor encounter an imposing wall of text or is the page readable and friendly? Make sure it is the later and consider breaking content into bite-sized chunks when necessary.
- Is the page fast? Large images can take too long too load and people tend to just exit instead of wait.
- Anything weird about the page? We had a client that was a shoe company once and they forgot to add sizes as a variant for one manufacturer. Not surprisingly people exited.
Consider doing some “spring cleaning” on your site to make sure that visitors are exiting when and where you want them to exit. Spend a few hours looking at as many pages on your site as possible and make sure nothing is outdated or unusual. We can’t stress enough how quickly people exit a website when they see a “Happy Holidays” banner still up in August!
- Make your website load faster.
- Make your website navigation simple and intuitive.
- Write web content that your visitors love.
- Identify pages with high exit rates and improve them.
- Create a funnel to improve goal completions.
- Embed social media functionality within your website.
- Use pop-ups and forms correctly.
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