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?
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:
- Update outdated content.
- Fix any errors.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Highlight your email sign up, especially if you have a freebie or lead magnet to offer.
- 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.
- If the page is a logical exit page and visitors are likely to leave anyway, consider including an ad or an affiliate link.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.