Exit rates can be fascinating things, particularly when site exits all seem to be concentrated around a specific page. The exit rate is defined as the number of site users who (whether or not they have previously visited other pages on your site) click away from your site on a particular page. The exit rate is not the same as the bounce rate, though the two are sometimes confused.
The bounce rate is the percentage of customers who leave right after entering your site, before clicking through to any other pages on your site. Different pages on your site will have different exit rates: some pages will seem to scare customers away more rapidly and more frequently than others! Of course, it is perfectly healthy for payment pages on an e-commerce site to have a high exit rate. After all, once a customer has completed a transaction on your site it is perfectly natural for them to then leave the site – nothing for you to worry about there.
What is most worrying, however, is when exit rates occur where you do not want them to be. This is why exit rate analysis and reduction techniques are so important: it’s essential to identify where your exit rates are, and what you can do to reduce them for specific pages.
Analyzing and reducing your exit rate need not pose any extra work for you at all. There is no need for you to crunch numbers by hand when you can simply install web traffic analysis software. Integrating your e-commerce site with an exit rate analysis platform behind the scenes will enable you to pinpoint exactly where those exit rates are. Then, once you have done this you can get to work on reducing those exit rates in a targeted fashion.
That could be improving the content on a specific page of a site, or making links to purchase products more visible and attractive. It is important not to pressure the customer, as this can have the opposite effect and cause them to exit even more quickly! Unwanted pop-ups are a key example of tactics that, though designed to halt a customer’s departure from your site, can actually hasten their departure due to annoyance and make them less keen to return. Using a web traffic analysis platform will provide you with valuable data insight that can be used to inform conversion campaigns aimed at reducing your exit rates.
One important factor to consider is how long a customer lingers on a particular page before exiting your site. If they exit almost immediately, it could be that the visuals are not appealing enough and are instantly turning customers ‘off’. However, if you find that customers frequently exit after spending a long time on a certain page, it could be the content of the page that is the issue. Solve this problem by ensuring that the content is engaging and informative, relevant and useful to the customer.
Make sure that any links work and that the customer is encouraged not to leave the site but rather to make a purchase (and then leave!). This is all speculative and of course, the best way to improve your exit rate is to apply conversion optimization techniques to your page and test to see the uplift achieved. Smart conversion analytics platforms work to identify weak spots in your customer journey. This data is then used to deploy the most effective campaign to help reduce your exit rate and nurture more visitors through to your desired conversion – whether it’s a sign up, sale or download.
An improvement in your exit rates, achieved through continual analysis and data insights, will inevitably lead to revenue uplifts as you reduce the number of visits leaving your site and drive more customers through to conversion. The value this can add to your bottom line should not be underestimated – an increase in website conversion rate of just 0.2% could lead to a 10% uplift in revenue.
Sound ambitious? It’s not – most eCommerce businesses typically convert just 2-3% of visitors into customers, so even a tiny increase in conversion could drive significant revenue for your business. It all starts with analysis and understanding your exit rates and how you can improve them.
Tim Aldiss writes for Cloud IQ the conversion optimization specialists.