SEO 101- Understanding Bounce and Exit Rates

SEO 101- Understanding Bounce and Exit Rates

We all know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays an important role in making your website stand out from your competition. Understanding more than that, though, is often difficult. After spending time going over Google Analytics, sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking at. The terminology, charts, and numbers don’t always make sense– it’s enough to make your head spin!

This is when it helps to have a professional step in and help you understand the Analytics and the SEO world. JB Systems has an in-house SEO Strategist who takes the confusion out of SEO and assists our clients in understanding their Analytics. Two SEO vocab words that seem to have people confused as of late are Bounce Rates and Exit Rates.

The bounce rate shows you how many people (or users) visit your website, and then leave after only one pageview. This means that either the user clicked on your website by accident, they weren’t getting the information they needed, or they DID get the information they needed in one page, so they left.

The exit rate refers to anytime a user leaves your website, regardless of how many pages they viewed of your website.

Make sense? Let’s dig into this a little more. Let’s say you have three web pages that are visited throughout the work week:

  • Home page
  • About Us page
  • Contact Us page

On Monday, a person visits your website they start on the Home page. From there they go to the About Us page. Lastly, they visit your Contact page before exiting your website. (Home pageAbout Us pageContact page> Exit)

On Tuesday, another person visits your website. They start on the About Us page, and after reading more about your company they realize they clicked on the wrong link so they bounce off your site. (About Us page > Exit)

On Wednesday, a different person comes to your website and they start on your Home page. Next, they visit your Contact page. Lastly, they view the About Us page and then leave your site. (Home page> Contact Page > About Us Page> Exit)

Thursday rolls around and a new visitor comes to your website. They enter your site on the Contact page. They fill it out, and since that’s all they needed, they leave your website. (Contact page > Exit)

Finally it’s Friday, and one more person visits your site. They arrive on the About Us page and read a little bit about your company before clicking over to your Contact page. Then they check out your Home page. From there, they exit your site. (About Us page > Contact page > Home page> Exit)

Let’s summarize the week:

  • Monday: Home pageAbout Us pageContact page> Exit
  • Tuesday: About Us page > Exit
  • Wednesday: Home page> Contact Page > About Us Page> Exit
  • Thursday: Contact page > Exit
  • Friday: About Us page > Contact page > Home page> Exit

Using the summary above as a reference, let’s look at the Bounce Rate for each page. The Bounce Rates for this example are as follows:

  • Home page: 0% (one session began with the Home page but it led to other pageviews on the site, so it has no Bounce Rate)
  • About Us page: 33% (3 sessions started with the About Us page, but only one of those sessions led to a bounce)
  • Contact page: 100% (one session started with the Contact page, and it lead to a bounce)

Now let’s look at the exit rate. Remember, the Exit Rate refers to the page of the website that the user left on. The Exit Rates for this example are:

  • Home page: Out of the 3 sessions that included the Home page, only in 1 session did the user exit on the Home page
  • About page: Out of the 4 sessions that included the About page, in 2 session the user exited on the About page
  • Contact page:  Out of the 4 sessions that included the Contact page, in 2 session the user exited on the Contact page

Make sense? If you’re still confused about bounce rates or exit rates, or have any SEO related questions, please Contact JB Systems. We’ll work together to make sure you have a solid grasp on SEO!