How to Track Scroll Depth in Google Analytics

By 

Rebekah Brace

 on July 3, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Joel Taylor

Reading data using Google analytics

These days, most of your blog pages, product pages, and landing page content will take up more than one screen’s worth of space. This means your users need to scroll down to finish reading and absorb all the information you have to offer.

Measuring exactly how far your users scroll on your websites can give you valuable insight into website performance, and show you whether your content is as engaging as you need it to be. The more people scroll, the more they’re likely to be interested in your content.

How Is Scroll Depth Calculated?

Scroll depth is just one of the many user metrics you can start tracking with Google Analytics to get more insight into your target audience. Google allows users to measure or calculate scroll depth by looking at both vertical (top to bottom) and horizontal (side to side) scrolling.

Typically, when you’re viewing scroll depth, Google Analytics will present your results in the form of both percentages of pixels. For instance, if you have a scroll depth of around 50%, then this means your customers are stopping in the middle of the page.

Notably, not all customers will need to scroll to the bottom of the page to get the most value from your content. For instance, they may find the information they need mid-way through a blog.

How to Add Scroll Depth to Google Analytics

If you want to examine things like checkout behavior and how much content your customers view on each page, you can add scroll depth measurements to Google Analytics. The scroll depth threshold is a built-in variable on Google Analytics, which means it's usually enabled by default.

However, you can double-check this variable is switched on by visiting the “Variables” section in your Google Analytics toolbar. Click "configure" and scroll until you see “scrolling”. Once your variable is switched on:

  1. Go to your Google Tag Manager homepage and click on “choose tags”, then “New”.
  2. Give the tag a name and connect it to your Google Analytics 4 property. A configuration box will appear to the right to allow you to submit your measurement ID—you can find the measurement ID for the page you want to track in the "Admin" section of the GA account, in "Data Streams".
  3. Add parameters—you can track specific scroll depths with parameters.
  4. Select the “+” icon on the right of your scroll tag, then add a percentage sign after the curled brackets, followed by a space, and the word “Scroll”.
  5. Create a trigger to fire your tag by selecting anywhere in the “triggering” section. You can select whether you want to track horizontal or vertical scroll, and how you want to measure (percentage or pixels).
  6. Click "Save" when you’re done.

Test your scrolling tracking by visiting the “Preview” button in your GTM account, and adding your website URL. As you scroll, you should be able to see the scroll depth information appearing in your summary box.

What Is a Good Scroll Depth?

Scroll depth won’t be a necessary metric for everyone to track, as it can be complex to understand. If you want people to consume as much content on your blog as possible, for instance, you might want a scroll depth of 70%. However, if you want people to click on your CTA button at the top of a landing page, a good scroll depth isn’t necessary. It’s important to understand what Google Analytics can’t track (like intent, and reason for viewing).

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