Hacking Google Analytics — Part 2

Connecting Goals with scroll behavior

In the previous post, I explained how to view the basic Google Analytics Event data recorded by Scroll Depth. I also talked about how to use Advanced Segments to isolate traffic based on scroll behavior.

This post is about hooking up scroll depth events to Google Analytics Goals.

Goal conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfills business objectives. A Goal conversion occurs once a visitor completes a desired action on your site, such as a registration or download. You’ll be able to see the conversion rates and number of completions for each Goal you set up.

Does scroll activity map to a business objective? In most cases probably not. But there are a few cases where it might make sense.

For example, if you have a blog or if you work on a news site, you may want to know whether people are actually reading your posts. Scroll behavior is one indicator you can use.

Here’s how to do it.

First, assuming you have the Scroll Depth plugin already installed, we tell the plugin to send an event whenever a user reaches the end of an article. (Note: all this requires is that you have a unique DOM element near the end of the article and that you specify the element in the plugins “elements” option.)

Then we can create a Goal that registers a conversion whenever a user triggers that event. Setting up the goal looks like this:

Admin > View > Goals > New Goal

Now whenever a user scrolls to the end of an article, Google Analytics will count that as a conversion.

Looking at the data

In the Conversions section you can see the overall conversion data, as well as the pages (“Goal Completion Locations”) with the highest number of conversions.

Conversions > Goals > Overview

Conversion metrics also pop up in other spots—for example, on the Acquisition Overview screen, where you can see a relationship between traffic source and scroll depth conversion rate.

Other things you can do with Goals

Unfortunately, some of the cooler Goal/Conversion features, like funnels and flow reports, are limited to destination goals (conversions based on URLs instead of events). So there’s only so much you can do.

But other options include things like associating scroll conversion goals with Campaigns. Or using scroll conversions to trigger custom alerts.

And probably some other things I’m not thinking of.

Have a suggestion? Leave a note!