Scroll Depth: A New Tool to Understand Your Engagement

Is your WordPress landing page instantly turning customers away, or is it not answering the questions people are looking for? Scroll depth tracking will let you know.

Bounce Rates & Scroll Depth
Bounce Rates & Scroll Depth

Scroll depth is a new metric to understand your engagement on a page. It measures how far people scroll down the page and can indicate interest in your content. Tracking this metric can help you identify areas where you could improve the user experience or engagement levels and pages with low bounce rates because they are too short of triggering them. This blog post will take you through what it is, why it’s essential for SEO rankings, and how to track it with Google Analytics data.

What is Bounce Rate?

A Bounce Rate is the percentage of people that land on a page and immediately leave. Exit Rate is the percentage of people that leave a specific page (even if they didn’t initially land on that page).

What is a Good Bounce Rate?

Bounce rates are subjective. If a user finds quantifiable answers and leaves, then a 100% bounce rate is acceptable. 

If a user does not find the answers, they were looking for and pogo sticks down the search engine result pages, then even a 40% bounce rate would be alarming.

Pogo sticking is when search engine users visit several different search results to find a result that satisfies their search query.

Why Track Scrolling Behavior?

Scroll depth tracking lets you understand how an end-user digests your content and user experience trends. Scroll depth tracking can also validate other marketing metrics, such as bounce rates or conversion rates, to give your analysis a different dimension.

What is a good scroll depth?

A best practice is to use your scroll depth benchmarks. Short-form content of 1250 words per page and under; a scroll depth of 50% would be good, whereas, for Long-form content of 2000 words or more per page, a 75% scroll depth would be acceptable.

What is Scroll Rate?

Scroll-depth represents the percentage of the webpage a visitor has viewed. Scroll Rate is the scroll-depth percentage averaged out across all page views. If your Scroll Rate is 25%, on average, most users only view 25% of your screen.

tracking high bounce rates with scroll depth
Tracking High Bounce Rates

How-to: Track Scroll Depth in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager

Tracking Scroll Depth in Google Analytics and Tag Manager helps you distinguish whether high bounce rates are good or bad.

This exercise assumes you’ve already set up and installed Google Tag Manager on your website.

Login to your Google Tag Manager (GTM) account

This exercise assumes you’ve already set up and installed Google Tag Manager on your website.

1. Add Scroll Depth Variables in GTM settings

Under the Variables tab, click on Configure (top right corner).

new variable
Add a new Variable

Go down the pop-out until you see Scroll variables, select all Scroll settings to activate. (shown below)

scroll settings
Scroll Settings

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Select Variables from the left navigation
  • Click on Configure in the top right corner
  • Select all three Scroll Variables
  • Save

2. Add a Trigger

Go to your Triggers Tab, click on New.

new trigger
Add a new Trigger
  • Click on the empty trigger area
trigger area
Click on the Trigger Configuration
  • Select Trigger Type: Scroll Depth
scroll depth
Scroll Depth Trigger Types

Add the following information to the trigger:

  • Check Vertical Scroll Depth
  • Pick Percentages
  • Add: 25, 50, 75, 100 (or percentages of your choosing)
  • Enable this trigger on: Window Load (gtm.load)
  • This trigger fires on: All Pages (select Some Pages if you want to specify which pages it loads on)
  • Name your Trigger
  • Save
scroll trigger
Trigger Settings

3. Add a new Tag

Click on the Tags tab on the left-hand side, then click on New.

new tag
Add a new Tag
  • Click on the empty Tag Area
empty tag area
Click on Empty Tag Area
  • Select Google Analytics: Universal Analytics
Google analytics tag
Select Google Analytics tag

Add the following information to the tag:

  • Track Type: Event
  • Category: Scroll Depth
  • Action: {{Page Path}}
  • Label: {{Scroll Depth Threshold}}%
  • Non-Interaction Hit: True
  • Google Analytics settings: {{GA}} (If not set up, see below)
scroll depth settings
Tag Configuration

Add a unique name to your tag and save the information:

  • Name your Tag
  • Save the Tag

3a. Add a Google Analytics Variable

Skip this step if you’ve already set up Google Analytics Variables.

  • Click on New Variable
GA Variable
GA variable
  • Add your Google Analytics ID
    • If you aren’t sure where to find it, here is how to find your ID.
  • Save your new variable.
new variable
New variable

Ensure the Variable is selected in your tag

Google Analytics Settings
GA Added

3b. Select the Scroll Trigger

Add your prebuilt Trigger to the Tag you want it to fire on

add trigger
Add the Trigger to the Tag

4. Publish in GTM

Publish your new Tag/Tigger in Google Tag Manager.

Submit your Settings

If you do not submit your new settings, it will not take effect.

5. Google Analytics

Next, in Google Analytics, you will need to set up Goals.

Navigate to the Goal settings:

  • Under Admin in GA
  • Select Goals
goal settings
Google Analytics Goals
  • Create a new Goal (+ NEW GOAL)
new goal
Add a new Goal

Add the following information to the goal settings:

  • Goal setup: Custom
  • Goal description
    • Name: Scroll Depth
    • Type: Event
  • Goal details:
    • Category (Equals to): Scroll Depth
    • Label (Equals to): 50%
  • Save
goal settings
Goal Settings

Now, wait for the analytics to build up data.


  • What is Scroll Depth?
  • What does Dwell Time mean in SEO?
  • What is a good Scroll Depth?

Published on: 2020-12-21
Updated on: 2022-11-05

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is the SEO Director at SEO North, a company that provides Search Engine Optimization services. As an SEO Professional, Isaac has considerable expertise in On-page SEO, Off-page SEO, and Technical SEO, which gives him a leg up against the competition.