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 allows you to acquire insight into 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-for content of 1250 words per page and under; a scroll-depth of 50% would be good, whereas Long-form content of 2000 words or more per page; 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 pageviews. 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 Google Tag Manager helps you distinguish if high bounce rates are good or bad.

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

Open Google Tag Manager (GTM)

scroll depth

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

Add a new Tag

scroll depth settings
  • Select Google Analytics: Universal Analytics
  • 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)
  • Save Tag

Add a Google Analytics Variable

new variable

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

  • Click on New 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.

Add a Scroll Depth Variable

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

Add a Trigger

scroll trigger
  • Venture back to your Tags
  • Select your Scroll Trigger Tag
  • Add a Trigger at the bottom
  • Select Trigger Type: Scroll Depth
  • Check Vertical Scroll Depth
  • Pick Percentages
  • Add: 25, 50, 75, 100
  • 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)
  • Save

Publish in GTM

publish

Publish your new Tag/Tigger in Google Tag Manager.

Next, in Google Analytics

goal settings
  • Under Admin in GA
  • Select Goals
  • Create a new Goal (+ NEW GOAL)
  • Goal setup: Custom
  • Goal description 
    • Name: Scroll Depth
    • Type: Event
  • Goal details: 
    • Category (Equals to): Scroll Depth
    • Label (Equals to): 50%
  • Save

Now, wait for the analytics to build up data.


Published on: 2020-12-21
Updated on: 2021-08-24

Avatar for Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands

Isaac Adams-Hands is SEO Director with SEO North, where he helps the team plan marketing goals that are keyword-optimized and measurable for over 30 clients simultaneously. He has worked at Microsoft, The institute of chartered accountants in Australia, Auto Trader, Le Cordon Bleu, and Algonquin College in various Digital Marketing Roles. Isaac is qualified as a Full-stack developer, Server Administrator, and Cyber Security expert, adding additional experience to his Search Engine Optimization knowledge. His Inuit heritage brought him to the Arctic to hunt and fish for most summers, which grew his passion for 4-wheelers and dirtbikes.