Measure Page Scrolling in Google Analytics

A Google Analytics plugin for measuring page scrolling

Earlier today I came across a Google Analytics plugin called Scroll Depth, developed by Rob Flaherty. Here’s how he describes Scroll Depth:

Scroll Depth is a small Google Analytics plugin that allows you to measure how far down the page your users are scrolling. It monitors the 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% scroll points, sending a Google Analytics Event at each one.

You can also track when specific elements on the page are scrolled into view. On a blog, for example, you could send a Scroll Depth event whenever the user reaches the end of a post.

The plugin supports Universal Analytics, Classic Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager.

Scroll Depth is available on GitHub and on it’s project page. Getting it setup is easy, the only two requirements are Google Analytics and jQuery.

Below is a basic setup.

<script src="jquery.scrolldepth.min.js"></script>
<script>
$(function() {
  $.scrollDepth();
});
</script>

Just be sure to include jquery.scrolldepth.min.js and the call to .scrollDepth() is made after Google Analytics has been loaded up.

There’s a number of options you can pass, too:. I especially like the elements option. It allows you to define a unique element to record scroll events for. So, if you want to track when users scroll to the footer of a post in WordPress, you could easily set that up!

$.scrollDepth({
  minHeight: 2000,
  elements: ['#comments', 'footer'],
  percentage: false,
  userTiming: false,
  pixelDepth: false
});

As stated, the only requirements are Google Analytics and jQuery. If it doesn’t seem to be working for you, ensure that Scroll Depth isn’t being loaded before your Google Analytics tracking code.

Here’s Performancing Metrics

Performancing, the guys who brought us a great blogging tool for Firefox, have recently launched Performancing Metrics. It’s their new statistics package, designed specifically for blogs. Now, I love Mint, it lets me easily see how many people read posts and all that good stuff. Performancing Metrics basically gives the same types of data, they just have a different (and in my opinion better) method for displaying the data.

Performancing Metrics is still in beta, although they’re still accepting new signups. The service is free and will most likely remain free. In the most recent post at the Performancing blog, they mention they hope to release Performancing Metrics as an Open Source package eventually. That is absolutely, 100%, certified, killer!

About 24 hours after Performancing Metrics launched, 2500 blogs were already being tracked. I think Performancing is really on to something here. They’ve got a very unique interface for displaying all the data. You can even track more than one blog from your Performancing account.

Rather than me going into details, just go to Solution Watch and read what Performancing Metrics has in store for you. They’ve got a really nice write-up along with screenshots. ProBlogger also has an extensive review of Metrics.

More on Google Analytics

I really like Google Analytics right off the bat. After getting to see some of the reports generated, I’m basically hooked. It just has an overall nice and pleasant way of showing what’s been happening on your site. I like the map, although I’d prefer an integrated Google Maps interface, instead of the Flash. But, there’s a lot of things that could really improve Google Analytics in my eyes.

Hopefully Google has some nice changes in store for Google Analytics, formerly Urchin, now that they’ve changed the name and have gone a totally different direction as far as marketing and product branding goes.

I don’t like the fact that the data used to generate the reports isn’t live. It took about 36 hours for any data to show up in my reports. And it took even longer for Analytics to realize I had installed the code on another site I had setup. I have no doubt they’re experiencing some pretty extreme server loads. Hopefully this is one of those things that will get better as the initial hype dies down. Google Reader was unusable for at least a couple days after it’s initial announcement. Performance got better after a couple days but didn’t improve enough for me to possibly use it as my every day feed reader.

One feature I’d really appreciate in Google Analytics would be the ability to export reports to PDF. I may have to try exporting one of the report pages to PDF in IE. I’m not sure if there’s a FireFox extension to create PDF’s from webpages.

Google Analytics

I’m sorta surprised to see Google offer a free web reporting tool before they have a free live web stats package. Especially a tool like Urchin/Google Analytics, it’s got to have serious potential to make money. Maybe I’m wrong though, maybe that’s why the previous owners sold it to Google.

It’s gonna be useful to me no matter what. I’m excited to hopefully try it out on a few sites that make use of AdWords. There’s a lot of features in Google Analytics that are specifically for conversion tracking from AdWords and I believe Overture. All that’s involved is tagging links used in your search marketing campaigns and then letting Google Analytics know about those tags. That’s only if you use a paid search service other than AdWords. Google AdWords accounts automatically share conversion data with Analytics, provided the accounts are properly linked. There’s even a URL builder to assist in building tagged links for ads.

Should be fun.

Google Analytics

So, I signed up for Google Analytics yesterday. Google Analytics is basically Urchin, but it’s free. Urchin was bought by Google a year ago or so, I’m not exactly sure. We were looking into using Urchin for our sites at work. Google is now offering Urchin for free under the name “Google Analytics”.

I’ve been waiting nearly 24 hours now and still no data is showing up for the sites I installed the code on. Hopefully Google set aside a server or network for current paying Urchin customers. Although it appears they didn’t as some paying Urchin customers are upset. Google Analytics performance yesterday was piss poor, probably due to the huge influx of traffic after the service announcement showed up on Slashdot.

Some others are still waiting on data to show up for their sites too. Luckily I just got Mint, so I’m not totally in the dark. I’ll give it a few more days. If there’s still no data by Thursday evening I’ll stop checking. Google Analytics says it’s still “waiting for data.”