Analytics are an aspect of website design that I see mentioned quite often, with videos and articles discussing how to best utilize the information you can get from built-in metrics and website additions such as Google Analytics.
In the artist world, you would only need to focus on analytics if you’re trying to find freelance work or an industry job in the field. Since I make art as a hobby, I have little use in analyzing the pieces I post (especially since they’re made for fun 90% of the time).
In the past, I have lost motivation and passion for art because I was constantly checking my engagement rates, optimal timing, and post formatting. Although I don’t resent the art I’ve made purely to appeal to trends and popular media, I find that it doesn’t genuinely represent me and my style. My personal art journey has also been stunted from such attempts for engagement, since I try not to add anything experimental or “weird” in order to appear more palatable.
Because of these reasons, I choose to ignore analytics on social media and focus on engaging with my friends, creating art that is true to myself, and relying on the miraculous and constantly shifting nature of the algorithms and individuals to decide how each post fares.
When discussing this website, I have a much more impersonal view of the content I create. I am less confident in my writing, and analyzing works will always be more stressful to make public than something like art which can be interpreted in infinitely many ways.
On the rare occasion that I do check my analytics, I’m mostly looking for information about the people who use my website and whether I’m meeting their needs well enough. For example, I found that 89.4% of my user base views my website on desktop which helps me prioritize which elements to update or fix. I also enjoy seeing which posts people visit my site for; there are a surprising number of users who choose to view my classwork instead of the blog content itself.
I enjoy browsing different user reports and seeing if there’s any visitors who come back to the blog often (35.7% currently). Interestingly, a majority of my audience finds my website through organic searching, which suggests a user base outside of just my fellow classmates. My overall bounce rate is 52.63% which I hope will stay in that range for the rest of this term.
I keep a filter on known bots and spiders, but there’s always a gnawing feeling in the back of my head that much of these analytics are taken up by non-human users. Despite this, I still find it fun to peruse the different tabs and wonder why each person has chosen to stop by my site.
I am usually on my computer into the late hours of the night, which has always been reflected in when I post my art. Surprisingly, that trait has carried over into the content of this website, with many posts being completed after 9pm. While posting late would typically be considered a bad practice (afternoons are usually more preferable), many people happen to visit my blog in the evening. This could also be due to different time zones (where it would be earlier in the day for the rest of North America), but there are very few users reading outside of the lower mainland.
As a whole, analytics are a valuable source of user feedback, especially if you don’t receive more obvious sources like comments or emails like me.