Google analytics fails to explain “Percentage Exits of entire website” post revamp

Geno Thampi by - 12/28/2011 7014 Views

What does percentage exits of entire website means in Google Analytics?

* % Exits mentioned in this article refers only to the total metrics of an entire website and not of the individual pages.

Google analytics has come a long way than just a tool to track the number of visitors of a website. With a great new look and added cutting edge features such as behavior, visitors flow, in page analytics and a lot more, Google analytics without doubt gets you total, in depth analysis of your websites performance. Of all the reports presented by Google analytics, the most important ones are number of visits, number of bounces, number of conversions, and percentage of exits. While most of the parameters reported in Google analytics is very simple to understand, there is always a question adhered to the % Exits of the entire website. Before we get into that, let’s clear a novice question – “What is the difference between bounce rate and % Exits?” Remember that bounce rate and % exits are 2 different entities which has no relation between each other. The following definitions would tell you why:

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors landing on a particular page of your website and leaving the site from the SAME LANDING PAGE itself. They do not visit any other pages of the website. * A detailed explanation about the causes and the remedy for high bounce rates was explained in my news post earlier last week.

Exit Rate the percentage of visitors leaving your web page(s) who entered the website through some other pages.  Unlike the bounce rate, this exit percentage does not indicate single page visits. The value denotes users who exit after visiting more than one page of your website.

What looks like a blunder in Google Analytics about Exit percentage?
It is obvious that % Exit of “individual pages” of a website is a valuable metric. However, you would be thinking that it is pointless to monitor the exit rate of the “entire website” as a whole because of the simple fact that “All visitors to a website must exit from some page”. So the total exit rate of the entire website obviously should be 100%. However, that’s not you see in Google Analytics. Is that nonsense? Let’s find out!

Exit rate for the entire website is not 100%? Is it a stupidity from Google?

See the image (taken from 2 parts of the analytics report and merged together for easy understanding).


It is very clear that the analytics data is right about one thing that all visitors entering the website are leaving the website at some point of time (Number of visits = Number of Exits = 16964). However, why is the % Exit just 38.31% when it should have been logically 100%. Doesn’t make sense does it. This is what makes many to come to a conclusion that Google analytics data is not reliable or some even think Google is stupid. If you ask me if I agree with that fact, the answer is a big “NO”. Google is not stupid, nor is it trying to make us stupid. With proper understanding, you would know what Google means by the exit percentage of an entire site.

What exactly is the % Exit of the entire website” and how it is calculated?
Google explains it as “%Exit is the percentage of site exits that occurred from a specified page or set of pages.” This statement is what makes people puzzled. Before I explain what exactly this represents, below is the formula which is used to calculate the % Exit.

This formula makes sense for individual pages. However, what does it explain when it comes to representing the information for an entire website? Exit for an “entire website” is a measure of “how deep” your visitors are going into your website before they skip from it. Some of them may visit 2 pages before they skip while some go beyond 10 pages. Now things are getting clear to you?  That is the reason why “Page Views” is taken into consideration. The lower the % exit, deeper your visitors are digging into your website!

Category :

SEO News

Tags :

Google Analytics, Exit percentage, Google analytics exit percentage, Google analytics help

About Geno Thampi

Geno Thampi Not a born Shakespeare! But I still write articles and blogs to share my ideas and thoughts on SEO and SMO. Being a part of SEO research team of SubmitINme, I keep my ears and eyes open, and the pen ready to grab, write and share trending topics in search engine .... more info