Google Analytics: What is Exit Percentage and Why Should You Care

For those of you out there not fully leveraging analytic data to improve your conversions and user experience, you are missing out on half the game. Google Analytics is an amazing analytics platform that allows you to review traffic on your website.

Setting up Google Analytics is very simple, especially if you are using a Content Management System like WordPress. Most commercial themes (and many free ones) provide a way for you to embed the Google Analytics javascript code into your dashboard without having to mess with any code, FTP, etc…

Once the tracking code is installed on your website, you’ll be able to view a variety of data including overall traffic volume, source of traffic, visitor demographics and detailed insight about their visit and navigation throughout your website.

With a little research you can use this data to determine what areas of the website are performing well, and what areas of the site could use some fine-tuning (or a complete revamp).  One metric in particular we suggest taking a look at is the Exit percentage for different pages throughout your website.

What is an Exit?

As described by Google:

“Exit% is the percentage of site exits that occurred from a specified page or set of pages.”  More simply, it’s the page on your site that the visitor left from.

What is the Difference Between Exit Rate and Bounce Rate?

Google describes the difference between Exit Rate and Bounce Rate as follows:

“To understand the difference between exit and bounce rates for a particular page in your site, keep in mind three things:

  1. For all pageviews to the page, the exit rate is the percentage that were the last in the session.
  2. For all sessions that start with the page, bounce rate is the percentage that were the only one of the session.
  3. The bounce rate calculation for a page is based only on visits that start with that page.”

Why is Exit Percentage important?

If you’re looking to convert more visitors in buyers, you need to know how they navigate your site.  You can use Exit% to help you pinpoint areas on your website in which visitors leave, before converting.

What Should I Do About Pages With a High Exit Percentage?

Well, that kind of depends. For some pages on your site, a high Exit percentage might not be a big issue.  For example, if you have a basic Contact page that simply includes your address or phone number, you might find that this page has a high Exit%.  This might simply mean that people were searching for your phone number or address, found the information they needed, and may “convert” in a different way.  In this case, a high Exit% isn’t too alarming.

However, if you find that your products or services pages have a high Exit%, you’re probably losing revenue!  In this case, we suggest looking closely at those pages to determine why people are leaving.  Consider adjusting the content or images on those page to make them more appealing.  You may want to adjust your call to action (or add one if it’s missing) so that visitors know what the next step should be.

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Analytics & AdWords certified growth engineer with over a decade experience in making businesses successful. I own and operate AXZM and often speak at top national industry conferences on the topics of strategy, design and marketing technology. Work with me or learn more about me here. Follow me @nawlready

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