You’ve done everything by the book:
✓ your website has racked up top positions in Google search
✓ visitors are landing on well-designed pages with clear CTAs
✓ your offers are too good to skip…
But the conversions are subpar at best.
You visit the Google Analytics reports to investigate and see the exit rates are through the roof!
The first question that comes to mind:
Exit rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave your website from any page after interacting with it. A high exit rate is a sure signal a page might need optimization. For example, a high exit rate on a “Thank you” page after purchase is completely normal. But a high exit rate right before completing a purchase indicates something’s wrong.
Think of exit rate as your helpful sidekick to a great customer journey (and more conversions). It pops up in the most important places and points you in the right direction to catch the culprit.
Maintaining a good exit rate for strategic pages on your website is often deprioritized. Needless to say, decyphering the percentages you see in your Google Analytics reports is your best bet to properly optimizing conversion rates.
What is a good exit rate for a website?
While that depends on your line of business and the type of content you’re serving on any landing page, a 2022 report shows that most site owners either see an exit rate below 25% or between 26%-40%.
And to better understand what these percentages represent, you can refer to the following formula to calculate exit rate:
A huge part of optimizing for more conversions is understanding user behavior, the online decision-making processes, and the role of emotions and cognitive biases.
Whether you're improving your website design and loading speed or introducing user engagement elements, you need to pay close attention to well-established rules of user psychology on the web.
Some of the items that address cognitive biases and ensure visitors complete an action on your website are:
Optimizing your landing page and shifting your focus on your visitors' behavior is crucial for improving user engagement, reducing bounce rates, increasing conversion rates, and ultimately driving more revenue for your website.
Often used interchangeably, exit rate and bounce rate are fundamentally different:
High exit pages are most commonly a result of:
Your first step to smart exit rate optimization is to confirm you’ve identified all pages that need improving. Check exit rates for each page of your website with Google Analytics (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages).
Expert tip: Start with the top-traffic pages that drive actual value to your online business and compare the exit rate of each with the average of the entire website to spot inconsistencies.
Now let’s move on to the most effective methods for reducing high exit rates.
Clear navigation and an intuitive design are the backbones of well-optimized websites that convert visitors into paying customers. Here are several make-or-break aspects to consider in your next iteration:
Image source: Justinmind
70% of web traffic comes from smartphones, and 61% of users will never return to a website if it’s not mobile-friendly. Here are some tips that can help retain more visitors:
Image source: Toptal
Did you know that 57% of online consumers experience high stress (and even anger) levels if a site doesn’t load within 3 seconds? Here are some tips for increasing your website's page loading speed:
By using keyword research tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs you can better understand what your target audience is searching for and create content that is relevant to their interests. Here are some tips to start with:
Headlines and subheadings can break up your content and make it easier to read and understand. Here are some tips for using headlines and subheadings effectively:
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are buttons or links that encourage users to take action, such as "Sign up now," "Subscribe," or "Buy now." CTAs should be visually prominent and placed strategically on the page. The language used in the CTA should be clear, specific, and action-oriented.
Image source: UXmovement
Expert tip: High-converting CTAs always acknowledge their surroundings. Instead of using a generic call-to-action, like “Request Demo,” focus on highlighting the value users will receive once they click on that button, i.e., “Book a free demo” or “Try it for free”.
Incentives, such as free trials, discounts, or eBooks, can entice users to stay on the site and take action. These incentives should be relevant to the user's needs and interests. Lead magnets, such as newsletters or eBooks, can be used to capture a user's email address for future marketing efforts.
Image source: Wisepops
Expert tip: Position exit-intent popups in critical moments when a visitor is about to leave the site offering a last-minute incentive or message to encourage them to stay. These popups can be used to collect email addresses or offer a discount code. However, use them judiciously, as they can easily become too intrusive and annoying.
A complicated checkout process or form-fill can lead to frustration and high exit rates. Simplify these processes by removing unnecessary fields or steps and making it easy for users to complete their purchase or form submission.
Consider offering guest checkout or social login options to streamline the process. Don’t forget to offer customers to save their details for an even faster checkout next time.
Expert tip: Personalized content and recommendations can make users feel seen and understood, leading to increased engagement and conversion. Use data such as user behavior and demographics to tailor content and recommendations to the user's needs and interests. This can be done through email marketing, personalized landing pages, or recommendation algorithms with better-price CRMs like HubSpot and EngageBay.
Social proof refers to the phenomenon where people are more likely to trust and take action based on the actions and opinions of others. A whopping 93% of consumers read online reviews before deciding whether to purchase.
Examples of social proof include customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Incorporate social proof into your site through product reviews, testimonials, or social media posts. And with the increasing prevalence of video content, it's no surprise that video testimonial solutions have become a popular medium to showcase user experience and satisfaction, offering a realistic and powerful form of social proof.
In addition to social proof, building user trust is crucial to reducing high exit rates. Make sure your site has clear and transparent policies, such as shipping and return policies, and prominently display trust badges, such as SSL certificates or industry certifications.
Even if you didn’t convince a visitor to convert the first time, you can still re-engage them after they exit your website. Remember the exit-intent popups we mentioned earlier?
Use the email addresses you collected there to send targeted email campaigns to offer incentives, personalized content, or product recommendations to get users back on your website.
For example, the tool for visual collaboration, Miro, cleverly nudges inactive users on a free plan back to the platform with productivity tips:
Reducing high exit rates is an ongoing process that requires continuous testing and optimization.
Use A/B testing, heatmaps, and click tracking to identify areas of the site that need improvement and test how effective your new optimizations are. Analyze user behavior data regularly to make informed decisions about site changes:
Now that you’ve got all the tools and strategies for optimizing your customer journey, it’s time you rolled up your sleeves and made every visit count!
Lora has 7+ years of experience developing in-depth, specialized content for SaaS companies in the CEE region. She has sourced and collaborated with subject-matter experts on site speed optimization for WordPress, Core Web Vitals, and the future of web performance. "If you can't explain it to a 7-year-old, you've not researched it well enough" is Lora's guiding principle when publishing professional insight for complex technical topics.