Setting up a custom report in Google Analytics
If you have added Google Analytics tracking to your Shorthand story we'd recommend following the steps below to set up a custom report in GA before publishing your story, to help track section linger data.
Step 1: Add the Section Linger Report to Google Analytics
You can add this report to the appropriate web property within your Google Analytics account by visiting the following URL:
After you click this link you will be presented with a form that looks like the one shown below.
From the dropdown box, select the view that contains the analytics data for your Shorthand stories, choose a name for this report ('Section Linger Time' by default), and click 'Create'.
This will add the report to the selected view, and open it. The report will be empty, but it’s now ready to start receiving and displaying data from your Shorthand stories. You only need to do this once, and then data for all future stories with the relevant tracking ID in will be imported.
Whenever you need to access this report, open the relevant view, and then click the 'Customization' link at the top of the window. See the image below.
Step 2: Configure your Shorthand story
As outlined here, add the relevant Google Analytics Tracking ID to your Shorthand story via 'Settings'.
Step 3: Publish your story and view the report
Once you’ve published your story and people begin to read it, your Section Linger Time report will start to show some data. Note that it can take some time (in the order of hours) for this data to show up in your report.
The Section Linger Time report has two tabs: Section Linger and Section Linger by Page.
The first of these tabs provides aggregate information about linger time for each section type across all of your Shorthand stories.
The second tab, Section Linger by Page, displays the section linger statistics for each of your Shorthand stories.
Click on one of the page links to see the section linger data for that Shorthand story. See the image below.
Here you’ll see the section linger time for each section in the story.
The first column (1) tells you the ID of the section. To sort the rows in the same order that they appear in the story (i.e., from title section to last section), click the “Event Label” row heading twice.
The second column shows you the cumulative number of seconds readers have lingered over each section. This information by itself is not very useful. The third column, however, shows you the average time someone lingers over a particular section (2 ).
If you are interested in the cumulative time spent by all readers on a particular section, we’ve found that clicking the 'Performance' button (3) shows the data in a more digestible way.
Note: please interpret data with caution
While the section analytics can be helpful, they should be interpreted with care.
Please note, for example, that there is a threshold (five seconds) on the minimum time a user has to linger over a section before a linger event will be sent to GA.
In addition, because it is often the case that two sections will be simultaneously visible in the viewport, the linger timer will be running for both sections.
So in some cases the sum of the linger times may be less than the total page dwell times, and in other cases longer.
The per section analytics are there to give you an overall sense of which sections are "working" from an engagement perspective, nothing more.