What’s The Difference: Bounce Rate and Exit Rate


We spend so much time analyzing how and what is driving people to our website reviewing our SEO, results from our email marketing, social media, etc. (Or a combination of all the things.) 

But what about finding out what is driving people away and causing them not to convert into customers or clients? The answer is simple:

Measuring your bounce rate and exit rate. 

If you just said, “huh?” or “my what?”…. you’re in the right place. 

What’s the big deal?

Bounce rates and exit rates measure the point at which a visitor leaves your website. Sounds important, right? We think so.

However, many people don’t pay close enough attention to these numbers, putting them at risk of losing potential customers at a pivotal point when they should be converting them. 

What is the bounce rate?

A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only visiting one page. 

So think of it like this: Visitor A comes to your tow truck website’s ‘About Page’ via a Google search of tow truck companies near me. Then they click away from your site after only a minute, without visiting any other of your pages. 

How visitors “bounce”

The most common ways visitors will bounce from your webpage are:

  • Clicking the “back” button 
  • Closing out the open window or tab 
  • Typing another URL into the address bar

Reasons visitors “bounce”

Obviously, there are a million reasons why a visitor may leave your site. While some are out of your control, there are many reasons users will leave your website faster than they found it:

  • Website speed: Users are more likely to leave your site if a page does not load within a few seconds. 
  • Poor content and website design
  • Outdated website 
  • A website that is confusing to navigate (the opposite of user-friendly)
  • Not a mobile-friendly website
  • Too many ads

(Keep in mind- these are just a few examples!)

What should my bounce rate be?

How low can you go? 

While there is no “standard,” the lower the bounce rate, the better. However, variables like your industry, search objectives and content on your site may play a part in where you should aim to be.

For example, WebMD has a pretty high bounce rate of around 65%, but that’s because most visitors go directly to the page, find the information they need, and leave. 

What is the exit rate?

Where visitors leave your website after clicking through multiple pages will tell you your exit rate. Depending on which pages have the highest exit rate, this number can tell you a lot. 

Something to think about: If you notice an increased number of exits with not many conversions on a particular item or order page, you may need to look at that content more closely. 

Differences between the two

You might be feeling like bounce rate and exit rate sound very similar to each other. We couldn’t agree more!

So what’s the main difference? Your exit rate looks at the session’s last visits, whereas your bounce rate connects to only one of the sessions.

Which number is more important?

Knowing your bounce rate and exit rate are very, very, very important! Keeping a pulse on both can help pinpoint problems on your site that are potentially causing visitors to leave. 

Since different issues cause each, monitoring both rates will ensure you leave no rock unturned.

Final thoughts

Measuring your bounce rates and exit rates through Google Analytics gives you the insight to recognize weak spots and improve them to increase conversion and profit. 

And remember: All users will exit, but not all users will bounce. (say that five times fast!)

Finding that your website has an opportunity for improvement on content and design? Here at Firon Marketing, we help businesses build an optimized online presence that gets results. See how we can help with your next project. 

Henry Mann
Henry is the Director of Operations for Firon Marketing. He keeps his eye on everything, making sure we're still moving forward and in the right direction.