As the title of this post implies, I am about to tell you why you want to know how much of a web page gets viewed. Not to be confused with if a webpage gets viewed. Those are Sessions.
What I am talking about is much more granular. Okay, let’s be honest, I am anal. This is a blog post about why being anal is good.
SEO folks (such as Helen) will tell you over and over again that “content is King”. I couldn’t agree more. What I am postulating is that since your content is King, people should read all of it. And if they don’t, you have work to do.
For example, I can go into any Google Analytics account and see whether or not a specific page has been viewed (Sessions!). I can also see how long people have been on that page (Average Session Duration). So far, we are on track.
Well, that’s simply not good enough! Let me explain. Under the assumption that content is King, we will assume that every King needs to be known by his subjects. With the current state of affairs in most of the Google Analytics implementations I have seen, I’d say that the King is not that well-known. He has been seen by most of the populace. But how well do they really know him?
In real world terms, we can easily measure if a page has been viewed. We can also make some rudimentary calculations as to whether or not it has been read. Or so we hope!
It’s funny how some things come about. I have been getting more exercised by web pages that go on and on (Scroll, scroll, scroll!). You know the ones I mean. Some have fancy parallax designs. They look wonderful. Marketers are taking great advantage of this to put great content from top to bottom of each page. Problem is the more of these uber long pages there are, the more challenging it becomes to measure the effectiveness of the content that has taken so much time and effort to create.
So how does one measure the efficacy of the pages and pages of great content? Do we know if people are getting to the bottom of the page – where your Call to Action may be lurking (for example).
Enter scroll depth. Say what? It’s a fancy way of saying “How deep do they scroll down the page?”.
I divide things into quarters – because more than that is even too anal for me to handle. IE 25% equals ¼ way down the page before the viewer (Subject!) goes elsewhere. 50% = half way. And so on until you reach 100% or the bottom of the page.
The obvious goal is to get 100% of the King’s Subject to know him really well. A lofty albeit unrealistic goal.
Viewing & Understanding the Event Data
You can implement this technique on as many or as few pages as you wish. My rule of thumb is to implement it on conversion pages (at a minimum). Otherwise you’ll be buried in data. Judging from the volume of traffic in the screenie below, that’s alot of analysis.
It’s pretty simple. But I’ll run through it anyways. The data shows up in GA under Events. Keep in mind that this is not an out of the box solution.
Behavior > Events > Top Events
The Event Category we are looking for is “Scroll Depth”. The Event Action is “Percentage” (we only have one Action in this particular Event). And the magic is in the Event Labels.
Yikes! Over the past 30 days, only 10,985 people made it to the bottom of this website’s pages – out of some 329,098 sessions? That’s awful! Heads will roll (in reference to my King Content). Note that this is sitewide data.
Let’s be smart about this. Perhaps we should drill down into the numbers a bit? Time for a Secondary Dimension (Landing Page). I chose the site’s homepage. You can choose any page you like!
This is a bit better. Here we can see page specific detail – along with some handy percentages of the site’s total. All is not lost. But there is work to do as clearly most people never make it past the middle of the page. And almost half go elsewhere after arriving (Baseline).
I am only scratching the surface in terms of the minutia one can track using this methodology. You can get data right down to the Element level if you want!
If you write content and want to know if it’s actually being read, this is a technique I recommend you implement. If you are a Marketer, and are all over Calls to Action (CTAs), you just need it!
Google sets limits on data collection activities. Before implementing any scenario of this type, you should familiarize yourself with the current set of limitations (they do change from time to time).
Think of the possibilities and applicability to your online scenario, and how this technique can help you and your business.
If you feel the aforementioned concept would help your online Marketing, we’d be glad to help implement this solution on your web property.
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