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What Is Visitor Returning Rate? And Why Does It Matter?

Find out how adjusting the rate at which visitors come back to your website can help improve your website's rankings.

What is visitor return rate?

Visitor return rate, also known as visitor retention rate, measures the percentage of visitors who come back to a website or location after their initial visit. A high return rate indicates visitor satisfaction and engagement, while a low return rate suggests a lack of interest. Calculated by dividing returning visitors by unique visitors and multiplying by 100, this metric helps assess marketing effectiveness and user experience.

Why a good visitor return rate matters

The visitor return rate is not a direct factor for search engine rankings, but it indirectly affects rankings through user engagement signals. When visitors frequently return to a website, spend more time on it, and share its content, search engines interpret this as positive indicators of quality and authority, potentially leading to improved rankings. Additionally, a high return rate can generate organic backlinks and increase visibility, further benefiting search engine optimization efforts.

Visitor Return Rate Settings

With Traffic Creator, you can control how often visitors come back to your website based on what you need. You can set the visitor return rate in your project settings anywhere from 0% to 100%. However, please note that generating an exact visitor return rate is quite challenging.

So, it's possible that the rate may vary slightly over time by a few percent.

Visitor return rate settings in the panel

Visitor Return Rates By Industries

Visitor return rates can vary significantly depending on the industry, target audience, and various other factors. However, here are some general benchmarks for visitor return rates across different industries:

E-commerce websites typically have a wide range of return rates, but an average return rate of around 20-30% is considered normal. Factors such as the quality of products, customer service, and return policies can significantly impact return rates.

Visitor return rate by industries pie chart

Travel and Tourism:
Return rates in the travel and tourism industry can vary based on the type of business. For hotels, the return rate can range from 10-30%, while travel agencies might have a higher return rate of around 30-40% due to the complexity of planning and booking trips.

Entertainment and Events:
The return rates for entertainment and events can be relatively high, especially for recurring events or venues. Return rates of 40-60% are not uncommon, as people often enjoy revisiting their favorite entertainment destinations.

Financial Services:
Return rates in the financial services industry can be relatively low, mainly because customers tend to stick with their chosen bank or financial institution for an extended period. Return rates in this industry might range from 10-20%.

Online Media and Content:
The return rates for online media platforms, such as news websites or streaming services, can vary depending on the quality and relevance of content. Return rates typically range from 20-40%.

Visitor Returning Rate Calculation

To calculate the visitor return rate, you can follow these steps:

Determine the time period:
Decide on the specific time frame for which you want to calculate the return rate. It could be a day, week, month, or any other relevant duration.

Count the number of unique visitors:
Collect data on the total number of unique visitors to your website, location, or establishment during the chosen time period. Unique visitors are individuals who have visited once or multiple times, but are counted only once in this calculation.

Count the number of returning visitors:
Identify the number of visitors who have returned during the same time period. These are individuals who have visited more than once within the defined timeframe.

Calculate the return rate:
Divide the number of returning visitors by the number of unique visitors and multiply the result by 100 to obtain the return rate as a percentage.

Visitor Returning Rate Formula

Return Rate = (Number of Returning Visitors / Number of Unique Visitors) x 100

For example, if you had 500 unique visitors during a month and 100 of them returned within that month, the return rate would be Return Rate = (100 / 500) x 100 = 20%
This means that 20% of the visitors came back for another visit within the specified time period.