Misunderstood Metrics #4: Bounce Rate vs. Exit Rate
This post explains the difference between two misunderstood metrics: bounce rate and exit rate. Both of these metrics are used to understand how people are using your site, but bounce rate broadly indicates how well your site meets viewer expectations, while exit rate shows what pages were last in the session. Generally, bounce rate is a more useful metric in terms of improving site content.
Scroll down to import a custom report for Google Analytics that lays out the metrics side by side.
Bounce Rate definition
Bounce rates are the percent of single page visits, where the user arrives and doesn’t trigger any events or visit any other page.
Exit Rate definition
Exit rates are the percent exits from a page, regardless of whether the user viewed any other pages. In other words, exit rate is the percentage of pageviews that were the last pageview in the session. Bounces are actually just a specific type of exits.
This sometimes leads to the question, “If bounces are just one type of exits, how can bounce rates be larger than exit rates for my page?”
The answer to this lies in looking at the specific equations that make up each metric.
Bounce Rate: Bounces / Entrances
Exit Rate: Exits / Pageviews
So it’s important to note that the denominator is different, and the two metrics are independent. This report illustrates the difference — click to import:
Quick links to other misunderstood GA metrics: