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Find out how much of your long posts gets read with WP Scroll Depth

A lot of new plugins are discovered by our detection tools every single day. Some of them have names that make you wonder something like yet another plugin to do that?. But there are some new plugins that catch my attention, so every now and then I go check how they look like. And sometimes I find very ingenious ideas converted into WordPress plugins.

In fact, I´m thinking about periodically posting reviews of new plugins that are being discovered by our plugin detection tools. Today I´m going to talk about a new plugin named WP Scroll Depth.

A plugin to track how deep users scroll

When you publish a lengthy post on your blog, you may end up wondering whether you´ll be able to keep your reader´s interest down to the end. Sometimes you just can´t tell all you need your readers to know in a short post, like in the case of some tutorials.

But how to measure how far your reader gets before getting tired, bored, or just not interested in the rest?

Despite the title of this post, there is no way of knowing how much gets really read (sorry about that). But there is a way now to see how far down your users scroll on your posts, and that can be a good indication of how much is really read: the WP Scroll Depth plugin.

wp-scroll-depth

WP Scroll Depth is a free plugin that was first discovered in a website by our plugin detection tools last weekend. It was released at the WordPress Plugin Directory earlier this month. As I´m writing this post the plugin only had 153 downloads, but it has already been found by WPTD in a few websites.

This plugin is based on the jQuery plugin Scroll Depth by Rob Flaherty. WP Scroll Depth loads and calls the Scroll Depth jQuery script and adds an admin panel to configure all the available options from your WordPress admin area.

On the Scroll Depth page, its author defines the original plugin like this:

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.

As we´ll see in a moment, the plugin not only monitors scroll percentage points, but also scroll distance in pixels.

What you need to track scroll depth

As you read above, the plugin works by sending the data to Google Analytics via Events. So you´ll need to use Google Analytics if you want to track scroll depth for your site.

But if you do care about getting this kind of metrics at all, chances are that you´re using Google Analytics already, aren´t you?

How to use WP Scroll Depth

Once you´ve installed and activated the WP Scroll Depth plugin, you´ll find the available options under Settings > ScrollDepth from your WordPress admin area:

wp-scroll-depth-options

Main Scroll Depth options

The first option, Minimum Scroll Height,  lets you disable scroll tracking for documents that don’t meet a height requirement. The plugin tracks all pages by default, but you can specify a minimum height for a page to be tracked. You might want the plugin to track only scroll events for pages that are taller than a particular amount of pixels.

You also have the option to track events of three different types:

  • Percentage: Percentage events are fired at the 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% scrolling points. There’s also a Baseline event which fires as soon as the page loads.
  • Pixel Depth: Pixel Depth events record the scroll distance in pixels, rounded down to the nearest 250px increment. While the percentage events provide a relative measure of scroll depth, pixel depth events provide an absolute measure. This can be useful for comparing across devices where the relative percentage heights vary greatly (e.g., desktop vs mobile).
  • Elements: 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.

Checking your metrics

Once you have WP Scroll Depth working in your site, you can go to your Google Analytics account to see the date sent by the plugin via Google Analytics Events.

On the following image, for instance, event data for the last 30 minutes is displayed by going to Real Time > Events. All optional events were enabled: percentage, pixel depth and one element (which in this case was the #comment-wrap ID) :

wp-scroll-depth-real-time

You can also see Scroll Depth data for any data range you want to set on your Google Analytics. First choose your Data Range and then go to Behavior > Events > Top Events and then click on the Scroll Depth Event Category.

Under Event Action you can now select the event types you want to see. If you enabled all the three available options, you will get something like this:

wp-scroll-depth-events

By clicking on any of the event types, Google Analytics will show you the corresponding metrics. For example, percentages:

wp-scroll-depth-percentage

If you want to get some more tips on using scroll depth metrics, here you have a couple of interesting posts by Rob Flaherty, the author of the jQuery original plugin:

Luis Alejandre

Luis is the creator of the WPThemeDetector tool and the chief editor of this blog. You can read more about Luis in our About page.
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28 Comments

  1. helpful info. Thanks for share Luis.

  2. i think you creating great job because no one give the example like you so thanx to you ..!! <3

  3. Very good, useful and interesting plugin. Thank you Luis Alejandre for this share

  4. This a pretty neat plugin! Have to have a go with this 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Thanks for share the useful tips, plugin seems good. I’ll must be test it.

  6. Great tutorial .Thanx for sharing

  7. Thanks for making great additional info available.
    Harold

  8. Great plugin, there times you were looking for a plugin to do this functionality. Thank you.

  9. Great plugin to analyse how my blog visitor react and does my blog getting real visitors or not.
    Thanks

  10. great plugin thank you

  11. I’ve never come across a plugin like this before. It could be useful though. Do you use it on this blog?

  12. Hey Luis, you have covered a nice post. Thanks to share. Keep it up. 🙂

  13. Superb Plugin.Really Awesome.Easily Track our blog visitor.Thanks for sharing this with us keep up it.

  14. Nice Plugin and Tutorial guide very well Thanks.

  15. Nice post! that is good information, it is useful to me thanks.

  16. Great post! thanks for the tutorial.

  17. Such a great article. I was looking for this

  18. nice posts, thanks for sharing with us. can’t get easily these kinds of plugin with out the information . its really helpful.

  19. This is a helpful plugin, especially when anyone planning to sell ads spaces or planning to start affiliate products selling.This plugin helps to know the best place to paste the ads so get more impression and clicks.

    Thank you

  20. Very Useful Information, Very Helpful For A Beginner. Thanks…

  21. Thats a really useful piece of information. Opened up WPThemeDetector for finding info about a Theme and taking away information of a great Plugin.

    Since my posts are anywhere between 1200-3000 words, and my target audience are Indians who are known for their impatient behavior, this will surely help me analyze if i should actually start writing 2 or 3 small posts of 1000 words rather than 1 Long post of 2000-3000 words.

    Thanks again 🙂

  22. Hello Luis

    Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    This tutorial will help me a lot. I’m busy implementing the steps and installing the plugin now, and will be using this to improve my blog!

  23. Nice Plugin and Tutorial guide very well Thanks.

  24. Hi,

    I have never used WP-scroll depth plugin. sounds interesting. It is always good to learn about new plugins or sometimes the plugins that we have missed during blog installation.

    This will surely help to find out how attractive and article is and how deep a reader can dig for the information..

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. i love this plugin thanks for the great plugin sir.

  26. thanx for sharing great plugin nd also thanx for sharing valuable information.

  27. Great plugin thanks for sharing this good plugin.