10 Dec 2011

Web Analytics Bounce-Rate and Exit-Rate

Let’s discuss Bounce Rate v/s Exit Rate

Bounce-Rate and Exit-Rate has mystified me for some time, I clarified it for myself and thought to share with everyone.

Out of all the metrics Exit Rate and Bounce Rate are often confused with each other whereas the two are discrete and therefore, should never be mixed. Although, both of them are used to gauge efficiency of a web page, yet they are different.


Definitions

  • BOUNCE Rate is the percentage of visits that land your website on a given page and don’t visit any other pages on your site. 

  • EXIT Rate is the percentage of visitors that leave your site from a given page based on the number of visits to that page (or simply PageViews). 
Bounce-Rate for individual URLs are calculated as —> Bounces / Entrances * 100

The Site-Wide Overall Bounce-Rate is calculated as —> Sum-Total-of-Bounces / Sum-Total-of-Entrances * 100

For Example for a 9-URL Website, the Bounce-Rate is calculated as:


Bounce Rate of all your web pages combined gives a “site-wide average bounce rate” which indicates the overall efficiency of your website (all webpages collectively).

Exit-Rate for individual URLs are calculated as —> Exits-on-the-Page / Total-PageViews-of-the-Page * 100

The Site-Wide Overall Bounce-Rate is calculated as —> Sum-Total-of-Exits / Sum-Total-of-PageViews-of-Exit-Pages * 100

For Example for a 9-URL Website, the Exit-Rate is calculated as:

Now, about a Fallacy in GA Report.


Google Analytics actually shows a “site wide average” of Exit Rate if you go to Top Content report, which is a blunder.

How can a site have an average exit rate?

Also, note that any site would have same number of Visits and Exits. Agree or not?

Exit Rate cannot be averaged on a site-wide scale; it can only be summed up to 100% because all your visitors will exit your site. :)

Google Analytics compares the number of exits from a page with the number of visits on that page to determine the Exit Rate of that page, which is fine but they don’t need to give a site average for this metric.

Web-Analytics Guru, Avinash Kaushik too suggests “As a general matter of habit we should consider avoiding the aggregated top exit pages reports so easily available in our standard web analytics tools”.

My Recommendations:

Look at your Top-Bouncing Pages (on the basis of Weighted Average or Estimated True Value).

Then try to look for the Keywords through which traffic is landing on those pages and work from that insight.

Exit-Pages show “leakage” of your website: where do people exit from once they start their session. It should illustrate pages that you should “fix” to prevent “leakage”.

But, it’s very subjective, depending on navigation paths of your site. Get an insight from the Exit-Pages with subjectivity in mind and then work from there.

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