10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Exit Pages

Updated March 4, 2016

Exit pages are the pages on your site from which people leave your site. An exit page is the last page they are on before they go somewhere else online. Ideally, visitors would stay on your site forever. Of course that’s not possible, but it is possible to improve your exit pages to increase the chances.

Why should I optimize or improve my exit pages?

By “optimize” I mean you should make your exit pages more interesting so when people visit, they will stay on your site longer and not click away so quickly.

How do I know what my top exit pages are?

Login to Google Analytics. (Here’s how to install Google Analytics on your site if you haven’t already.)

From your Account Home, click on the appropriate account and then the web property you want to view (usually your domain).

In the left column, go to Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages.

Your top exit pages will be listed in the main column.

How do I optimize exit pages?

There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution since different exit pages exist for different reasons. It’s a good idea to take a look at your top ones though, to see if there’s anything you can do to lessen their exit-proneness.

Things you can do to improve them:

  1. Update outdated content.
  2. Fix any errors.
  3. Sprinkle more internal, relevant links throughout the content of your post or page. It’s likely you have written more posts or pages related to the topic since this one was published, so read through the post body again and link to newer posts.
  4. Add related and relevant links to other posts on your site at the end of the post. The idea here is to provide further reading to someone who has made it through your post and wants to know more. There are plugins and services that do this automatically. I’m not a huge fan of plugins or extra code on my site, so I prefer to do it manually, but LinkWithin (a widget you can use on WordPress or Blogger) or nRelate (a WordPress plugin) are popular. (Here’s how to install a plugin if you’re unsure.)
  5. Highlight your email sign up, especially if you have a freebie or lead magnet to offer.
  6. Offer a lead magnet not related to your newsletter sign up but specifically related to the post or page. This is called a content upgrade. It’s like bonus material. You can see my example of this on my post How to Make Money Blogging.
  7. If the page is a logical exit page and visitors are likely to leave anyway, consider including an ad or an affiliate link.
  8. Adopt the role of tour guide. What do you think they would like to read next? Is there a next step you could direct them to? Insert a link to that post.
  9. If you are getting a lot of people coming from other sites like Pinterest and then leaving again, add a section at the bottom of your post that says, “Did you come here from Pinterest? Here are the other posts that Pinterest users love!” and link to those other posts that have the same source of traffic.
  10. Ask that they share on social media or verbally encourage visitors join you other places on the web.

I wouldn’t recommend doing all of these things. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Just put yourself in your reader’s shoes.

Imagine what type of person they are and what type of information they’re looking for. Then figure out something more you can offer that would be of interest.

Presenting too many calls to action is another reason people click away. (What is a call to action?) So, look at your page and think about the one thing you’d like people to do by the end of it. Focus on making that choice irresistible.

33 thoughts on “10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Exit Pages”

  1. Hi Amy, gosh I love your posts. Do you have any opinions on nrelate vs linkwithin? It is on my ‘to do’ list to chose one and install it.
    The other major task on my list is to start using Mailchimp then somehow add a sign up on the bottom of some pages. Is there a plugin or way you would advise to do this? At the moment my only subscription sign up is on my sidebar.
    Sincere thanks. Libby x

  2. So basically the idea is to lower the bounce rate of those pages. Never thought about optimizing exit pages before. I will definitely give it a try (thanks 4 this nice advice Amy) 🙂

  3. Amy, part of the issue is that I know so little about blogging that I don’t even know what to ask. What I do know is that I need to create an exit page in order to optimize it. I don’t even know how to create one. Would you minding pointing me in the right direction. I am using a Word Press blog in case that makes a difference.

    1. Hi Scott,

      No worries. There’s such a huge learning curve with all of this stuff!

      You actually don’t need to create exit pages. The pages on your site from which visitors click away become your “exit pages.” So, it’s just a matter of looking in Analytics to see which of your pages people leave from and then try to make those pages more interesting so people stay a while longer.

      Does that help at all?

  4. Hi Amy
    I had never even thought of an exit strategy from my site I have just been concentrating on keeping people on my site and as interesting as possible and have just seen my page view stats creep up over 3 for the first time which for me is good. Going to go check out google analytics to see where people are leaving from only checked landing pages up to now.

    For great heads up thanks lee

  5. I’ve seen lots of temporary traffic come in from Pinterest on a few key posts. I don’t know why I hadn’t even thought of doing some to try and change that. Off to make a few changes now–thank you!

  6. Great tips Amy. I just spent some time this past weekend doing some of what you suggest here. I’ve only been blogging for a week but I knew there had to be more to offer than just a quick read-thru. I’m going to bank no. 9 for adding later on. Thanks so much for helping me get started out here.

  7. Hola Amy!

    You read my mind! I was such searching on this topic of optimizing exit pages. Thanks for all the great tips!
    I would also like to optimize my 404 error page to include a “call to action”. Would you happen to know how to do that?
    Thanks!
    Emilia

    1. It depends on your theme as to how you might be able to do this, but you should be able to find the file in Appearance –> Editor. Be super careful when editing it though and be sure to backup first!

  8. Thanks for the ideas for exit pages. I recently had an old deal post (cheap peanut butter at local NJ stores back when the price was quickly going up in 2011) that suddenly started receiving a ton of traffic from searches recently. By going back to the page and directing readers using some of the “sticky strategies” you mentioned, I gained a few readers I may have lost. Thanks!

  9. Hi Amy: We have very special people in common (I’ll email you about that)… They told me about your amazing site. Quick question, can I use google analytics with my wordpress.com blog? I’m new to blogging and am just starting to pour over your advice.

    1. Wow Martha! We’re in nearly the same boat! Well……..except for the special people in common thing……..
      I found Amys site a couple of weeks ago and she convinced me to give it a go. Pour over is right! I just registered my domain name this morning. Now to design the site! Take care and good luck with your projects.

  10. This is an amazingly helpful tip! I just spent the last hour updating my “exit pages” and my “about me” page with links. I can’t believe I missed all those opportunities to retain readers!! I’ll definitely be more careful bout this in the future. Thank you for pointing out this (what should be) obvious rookie mistake!

  11. So what kind of suggestions would you have for sites that have daily content posted that is time sensitive to that day? How do you get someone to stay on a site that offers daily “deals” or “coupons”?

    1. If you can naturally link to evergreen content, you could try that. Or, suggest they subscribe to your feed to get all your deals as you post them.

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