Occasionally it’s worthwhile revisiting a well established / standard metric or report and taking a fresh look at it. The first metric I tend to look at is Visitors (Visits, Unique Visitors). The second metric, which I am going to focus on in this post, is a very standard metric Exit Rate and one specific report in particular.
Exit rates are not often the first metric marketers look at when analysing their sites performance. In Google Analytics, Exit page can be found in:
Content > Site Content > Exit Pages. This report gives you a breakdown of the number of Exits, pageviews and the % Exits.
GA takes the last page viewed in each user’s session and the report simply shows the pages that appear most frequently as the last one in visitor sessions.
Many marketers confuse bounce rate with exit rate but exit rates shows a site’s outflow. Where do users leave from after they start their session? This report should show and highlight which pages businesses should focus on to increase the chances of conversion.
It’s important to note that looking at this report you will clearly see that a lot of the high exit rate pages may not have anything to do with the conversion funnel. Users may visit your site for various reasons and it’s important to highlight these scenarios and their journeys.
It is also important to understand that most websites will have exit rates of around 97% (mainly e-commerce). Most of these exit pages will be pages you don’t want them to exit on. It’s hard to decide whether this is success or failure.
Exit rate is difficult, it’s important to understand the data and understand what your users may be doing. The reasons for an exit could be down to a user reading a review and then looking to buy in store, or picks up the phone to contact your company or are they exiting your site because of usability issues.
Top exit page analysis is a good way to highlight areas that may need focus but it is important to understand that there are more factors to site exit than just poor usability or communication. When using the Exit Report it’s vital to note what roles each page may be playing in onsite and offsite conversion and factoring that into your marketing decisions.