Sooner or later, you’re going to want to know how deep users scroll on a page. Whether this is for your blog, for your FAQs page, your pricing page or your product tour, you need to know to what extent do visitors search on your website and how much of your content is actually being read.

Based on this new information, you can decide to make optimizations on your content, make changes on how the pages are structured and see what’s mostly working with your content and what’s not.

You could also respond to business and marketing questions and increase your conversions.

  • Do users that see more than 60% of the page convert more than those that don’t? Logic says yes, but do you have the data supporting it?
  • Is my blog assisting the conversions? Could the hypothesis “ People that read the blog, then read to a more depth my product tour and convert to customers” by true?
  • Do users that watch the video on my home page, tend to view the entire page? So, does it worth it to invest money on producing more video content?
  • If there is a “Sign up now” button or a coupon offer at the bottom of the page, what percentage of our users see it? Perhaps, should I consider moving it up higher? Should I generally make user optimizations on my website as for my content to reach more people?

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

In order to answer these questions and more, scroll tracking will help you out! If you didn’t know until now that it was possible to track users scrolling through your content… well, it is! And it’s fairly simple!

To start with, there are some tools or plugins that surely can do this work. Nevertheless, most of the times it is not that convenient to monitor the heatmap using a third-party tool or the client doesn’t understand its use and/or hasn’t already installed it and you want to take decisions based on this data.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could track vertical scroll percentage of the page and view it easily in Google Analytics? Indeed, when you have the data in one place within Google Analytics, everything is more streamlined. It is easier to create segments and see how scroll impacts conversion, engagement and other on-site behaviors!

Good news for you…There are some ways and we are going to get to them at this article!

First things first! Let’s clear some common misunderstandings before we move on.

Why Google Analytics is not “enough” as you analyze them right now?

Let’s take the scenario when someone raises this question  “Do you know if your website visitors read your blog?”.

What could someone do with Google Analytics?

  1. S/he would check his/her Google Analytics and check the Pageviews. If they were a lot of Pageviews, s/he would respond that “sure my product tour is being read by a lot of visitors”.
  2. S/he would check his/her Google Analytics and check the bounce rate or the average session duration. If the bounce rate was high or the average session duration was low, s/he would respond that “not really”.

WROOOONG! Or at least, not that correct!

The bounce rate is an engagement rate of the website but not of the blog post or the specific page. Also, the average session duration is not metric that can give us the 100% correct information about the engagement of a blog post as it only includes data from the non-bounced sessions.

This definitely sounds a bit messed up! Don’t you think? We should be able to respond with certainty and take decisions based on data.

We can by using a scrolling event. It is such a crucial metric that Google should have already pre-implemented!

📝  Let’s do this!



💡 Implementation #1 – Using Google Tag Manager:

Once we login to our Google Tag Manager account, we select to create a new Tag.

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

Before you start anything, be sure to state your Google Analytics ID as a Custom Variable. Just to make sure that this is done correctly, here is how to do it:

From the menu on the left, we select variables >> user-defined variables >> NEW >> Google Analytics settings and we fill in with our Google analytics ID. Then, click Save.

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

Then select tag type >> universal analytics from the left menu.

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

We choose the event as “track type” and we can give to the event whichever label we want.

Remember, this label will also appear in Google Analytics.

As action select the scroll depth, so it will dynamically use what we have set as a percentage of the page. As the label, we put the page URL, so we can see the percentage of scrolling on specific pages.

Important tip: Do not forget to select true as “non-interaction hit”. In this way, we will not affect the bounce rate with the scrolling event.

Them we select the trigger from the list. We want the “Scroll Depth” trigger from the user engagement category.

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

Then, we select the percentages that we wish to monitor (for example 25% of the page, 50% percent of the page and 80% of the page) and to which page we want the event to be triggered.

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

Once you click Save, you will see your new tag on your tag list. Submit it and you are all set!  

💡  Implementation #2 – Without using Google Tag Manager:

For this option, we have created a script that triggers events when a visitor reaches the percentages 25%, 50%, 75% and 90%.

Of course, you can change the percentages or add even more. Whatever makes more senses to your website’s needs!

Here is the code script:

As for the code:

if (percent == 25): this is the percentage that will trigger the event. This is at your own discretion and you can put the percentage that you want.

{{Page URL}}: It dynamically reads the URL of the page on which the events are triggered. So then you will be able to see on specific pages, how many times the users reached up to 100%.

{ ‘nonInteraction’: 1 }:  We use “nonIteraction” as to make sure that when triggering this event, it will not affect other metrics, such as bounce rate or avg. Session duration.

Here is how it now looks at Google Analytics:

Google Analytics Events: Scroll Tracking

We select Top Events >> Scrolling from the left menu. Then select Page as secondary dimension, and put in the Advanced filter field the URL of the page that we are interested in.

We look at the columns with Unique events and not total events. Total events metric refers to the total of times triggering these events, while unique events in unique visits triggered by events.

Before you go

We hope you try one for these techniques and use scroll depth tracking data to make more informed decisions. Use that data to improve and understand. Your traffic. Your audience behavior. Your goals. Your marketing.

That’s all for today! 👋

Sotiris is a data oriented Engineer. He uses his skills in Analytics, SEO and PPC to plan and build Growth processes. His ability to extract insights from data, combined with his knowledge in frameworks such as AngularJS, acts as a catalyst to execute fast and precisely.