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A Look Behind the Website Curtain

Hi! Today I want to talk about my website, more importantly some of the backend stuff that goes on. There is something I want to implement in the near future.

I’m not sure I have written twice in the same month yet, maybe back in May.

First, I want to show you a sad snapshot of my Google Analytics.

Google Analytics snapshot from January 19, 2019.  The website had 28 sessions and a 96.43% bounce rate.
Pretty pathetic…

I have been using Analytics for years but I still can’t tell you how to really unlock its potential. I can look at sources, see where people are coming from, where they are going on the site, and some other things. What my suspicions are, because it has been the case since I integrated Analytics, is a lot of this is bot and crawler traffic. The referral source struggle is still going strong, despite Google’s attempts to fix it.

What worries me the most if the 00:00:01 average session rate. One second. I have no idea if traffic is being properly recorded, or if this is further damage from the crawlers. I have looked on Reddit quite a bit, but I am unable to find very concrete advice.

The site has an SEO (search engine optimization) tool. After a recent post, I came to the realization that making content is more important than optimizing at this time. However, SEO is still an important aspect of the site. I have seen my practice here improve the performance of my pages at work.

Now to my plans!

One time I came across an artist’s website I really liked! I know it is in my bookmarks, but I forget which site it actually was. Many art and photography websites I come across simply utilize a lightbox or post the image.

What I plan on doing is keeping the gallery page itself intact. However, when you click on a thumbnail it will go to a page or page-like overlay. You would see a nice large version of the full image on the left. To the right is the title, materials, category, and some artist notes. Somewhere on the page (I forgot about it making the mockup below) would be share buttons. I want to put its available products below. Finally, I would have thumbnails of the previous gallery item and the next.

A mockup of my gallery plans for the website.
Something I cooked up in InDesign!

I think the biggest obstacle is figuring out how to implement it. It may have to be a combination of plugins, coding, and time. I may consult Reddit on the matter and work in Wamp.

I may try a new SEO tactic called A/B testing. From my understanding you make two versions of your website, page or function. After some time Google Analytics will have reports on whether style A or B performed better. There are plugins and stuff, so I may just need to mock up the alternative gallery.

I think that’s about it! These posts are either super quick or take all day to write.

I still need to do a Valentine’s Day art…

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