How Bad Timing is Damaging Your SEO, Traffic and Earnings. And it’s Not Just Your Publish Time.

52 Intelligent Opinions, Leave Yours.

timing

Okay so you’ve written a great post, hit publish and now you’re waiting for the influx of visitors. But they don’t come.

It’s depressingly silent.

Well, it might have something to do with your timing.

And I’m not just talking about when you publish your blog posts. I’m talking about a bunch of subtle timings that no one seems to mention. It’s a real shame because if you get these wrong you can lose rankings, traffic an earnings.

Let’s have a look at what they are.

The most important timings of blog promotion

Alright so some of these you might know about while others might be completely new to you. As always, it’s not my goal to give you a complete plan but just start thinking about things and playing around with them on your own blog.

1. Publishing a post for your target market

This is the really obvious one that I didn’t really even want to mention but it does play a huge role in how successful your blog post is.

The current wisdom is that you want to publish blog posts (and send out mail outs) when people are in front of their computers at work, but not when they’re too busy. So we generally aim for 9:30am to 11am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday is not considered to be very good, nor is Friday or the weekend. Although this post I did on the best time to publish a blog post kind of ruined that idea.

Oh, and we’re talking about United States East Coast time here. That is when most US traffic is online. But if you’re targeting a local audience you’ll want to change that, of course.

The main lesson here, is that you need to test it for your own audience and see what works well.

2. Your main social media influx

Fair warning, this point is completely un-tested paranoid rumor that I’m not sure anyone else agrees with except for me.

Firstly, I have noticed a correlation between faster Google rankings and getting a big influx of social media traffic. This could be because you end up getting more back links straight away but I’ve often wondered whether Google actually monitors shares and likes and Tweets, even though they say that they don’t.

From a momentum point of view it also seems to be that if you don’t get a lot of social traction early on you don’t ever seem to get it. This is another reason to get more email subscribers because that initial mail out can land you thousands of social shares.

3. Paid promotion for regular blog posts

This is something that I used to do a little bit but have been doing more and more since seeing it done by other smarter internet marketers.

The idea is that you should help your social media coverage along by paying to promote your post using Facebook Ads, Paid Discovery or Adwords. Here’s an example of something Frank Kern is promoting in our Facebook News Feeds.

Frank Kern

The great thing about this, especially on Facebook, is that you can get a pretty large boost of traffic and shares for just a few dollars investment. Just cap it at $10 for the day.

4. Assistance from networks

The next thing I wanted to mention is that your networks of other blog owners can come in really handy if you engage with them at the right time.

For example, let’s say you’ve just published a really big guide and you want to get the word out there. You’ve mentioned some big bloggers in the article and want to email them to let them know that they’re in there. Well, you don’t want to leave it to the last minute to get the word out there – especially because everyone is on a different time zone.

It’s a good idea to give people at least a few hours notice if you want them to have the time and space to promote your post, better yet link back to it.

5. Build up of back links

The last thing I want to mention today is that the timing of your back links is really important.

When bloggers start getting into SEO they think that the more links you can get the better it will look. Well, it doesn’t really work like that. Not all links are created equal. And you absolutely don’t want to have a back link profile that looks unnatural.

If you think about it, you want your back link profile to look a certain way. Natural link come in quickly (once a post is published) and then taper off for a while.

I don’t buy back links. Never have. But if you are getting involved with that you want to make sure the person doing it is timing them so that they resemble a natural pattern.

Every blog requires testing

Every blog is different when it comes to timing.

Sunday is a really bad day for my stuff but Chris Brogan regularly publishes a newsletter on Sundays and does extremely well from it.

It’s important to test and test again.

Some of this is really low-tech testing as well. You might want to just keep a little spreadsheet file that records the post name, the time and day that you post and the reaction that it gets in various places.

Make notes of the subject, the numbers and then the results in terms of sign ups, Google rankings and so on.

Have you noticed this on your blog?

I’d be really keen to know whether or not you’ve had any experience with this on your blog or whether you actively try to time certain things for maximum effect. Leave a comment and let me know.

 

Ramsay WROTE THIS

Did you enjoy this post? Why not subscribe for future stuff

LEARN MORE

52 Comments... Leave yours.

  • Steve

    Ramsay, another excellent post.

    There are sites out there that will tell you the perfect time to ‘tweet’. I wonder if there is a high correlation between that time and the times you publish your blog posts. Might be worth investigating.

    One assumption is that your twitter followers are representative (on the whole) of your blog readers!


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting question there. I guess it also depends when that audience is online…


  • Marc

    You’re right, every site is different and testing is the only way to know what works. I typically send emails to my email lists Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday mornings for the reasons that you mentioned. One of my sites sells digital products to photographers and the audience is a combination of amateurs/hobbyists and professionals. I’ve noticed recently that sales tend to be higher on weekends than weekdays, and I’m thinking it is probably because a lot of the hobbyists are browsing on their off time. I’m planning to try sending email newsletters on weekends instead of weekdays and see what happens.


    1. Ramsay

      Please let me know how that works out. Very interested.


      1. Marc

        Hi Ramsay,
        Just to follow up on this, I did send out an email to the list over the weekend, and overall the results were pretty good. I sent it Saturday morning. Open rates and clicks were a little lower compared to the emails I send during the weekend, but sales were pretty good. In the case of this particular list sales are more important to me than clicks, so I’ll take those results. It wasn’t anything earth shattering, but definitely good enough that I will do some experimenting and at least work in the occasional weekend email.


  • chris

    I find sending my newsletter on Monday is the best day of the week. In my case, people involved in my niche work in that field on the weekends. Therefore, the topic is fresh on their mind come Monday morning.

    I’ve been up since 3am…that’s all I can think to say. :)


    1. Ramsay

      Get some sleep, boss!


  • Darius

    Hey Ramsay, Great Post. I always mostly thought about the time I publish my posts and when to send out newsletters. I have to remember the timing for everything else too. I didn’t know Mondays was a bad day, planning for Tuesdays. Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      Test and track it though.


      1. Darius

        Ok I will.


  • Erin

    Great post – thanks.

    One thing I do wonder about that you mentioned,though: With Facebooks’s ridiculous new metrics,how is promoting on there bringing in new traffic for you past that initial follow?


    1. Ramsay

      Glen has a really good post about how to get the most out of FB ads. Have you seen that one?


      1. Erin

        No, I hadn’t-I’ll go check it out. Thanks!


  • jamie flexman

    I’ve just considered something…

    Do you publish your articles at the same absolute time or different times in different time zones? For example, I just received your email at 13:51 (GMT) but that equates to 8:51 United States East Coast time…

    Just wondering how that fits to your 9:30 – 11:00 idea?

    Or are you just getting in their inboxes right before the peak period hits, so your article is ready and waiting to feed their first procrastination period of the day?


    1. Ramsay

      Its 12:45 am where I live. I’m just too tired today to be up for the big time slot! ha ha.


      1. jamie flexman

        Ahh of course – because you hang around to answer the first batch of comments! Otherwise you could just use your subscription service to send it out at say, 10am.

        Makes sense now!


        1. Ramsay

          Yeah, I find if I don’t stay around for 30 mins or so comments and shares are way down.

          And with that – good night!


  • Elizabeth Hall (@SmartOfficeHelp)

    Testing is definitely needed. I find that syndicating my blog post on social networks is best late afternoons and early mornings. That is across the board on all the social media networks I participate on. I never listen to the recommended posting times. Checking your stats can give you valuable timing info. Great article. Thanks.


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting! Thanks Elizabeth.


  • Michael Gorman

    This is a resonant topic, I think there can be all kinds of subtle elements that determine interest in your posting. not least of these is the sheer volume of other blogs posting maybe similarly targeted writing…how mature your readership is (I mean how far along you have got getting your audience to turn up)and even the quantum level, besides the controllable aspects there are the ‘gods’ of blogging itself sometimes you just jag it.
    Great topic, and as always well articulated post Ramsay.


    1. Ramsay

      Great comment! Thanks Michael.


  • Stephanie

    Ramsay!
    Lots of good thoughts here. I especially liked the last part with the ‘low-tech’ testing for this low tech newbie haha. I’ve been trying to keep an unofficial list of what works best when and I may not have enough info to make a good analysis because I’m not really seeing a pattern yet. I guess you have to get the sweet spot of: good info + appealing graphics + perfect time slot to reveal. I’m realizing it all goes along with getting to know your audience. How long did it take you to figure this out on your blog?


    1. Ramsay

      I’m still trying to figure it out!


  • Jenna

    After years of testing, I get my best response sending out email blasts on Fridays at 4:30 pm. I write about the college admissions process. Your blos are excellent. Thank you


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting. Thanks Jenna.


  • Dan Sumner

    Hey Ramsey,

    I have tested both mornings, evenings and alternative days of the week. Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to work best for me. As far as times go, I have had good results aiming at the 9 am people in the US, but being from the UK, find it works well for me sending a broadcast email at 9PM GMT and hitting social media at the same times.

    Then there are the shares and likes within groups and also the title of the post and my email broadcast which I think is a big issue. My open rates are always higher for blog posts compared to promotional material, but can fluctuate due to the title I use. Obviously some are more appealing than others.

    I personally don’t think I am consistent enough i.e. time of day and day of the week, so this could be worth a try for a few weeks as a test.

    Good food for thought mate cheers :-)


    1. Ramsay

      The last point is very interesting to me. I think that’s my problem too and why Chris Brogan’s weekly Sunday thing works so well.


      1. Dan Sumner

        I used to do something with my old blog and mailing list called weekly round-up. I would simply compile all posts and promos from the previous week and send it out. It added sales and more comments. Why did I stop? I think I will start again, it’s a good excuse to mail on a Sunday and good Monday morning reading.


  • Paul Back

    Hey Ramsey

    Great post and now is probably the perfect time to ask.. With a blog such as yours ( you are in Australia) but you would have a international audience how do you time your posts?

    Do you go for US time Aus time or something in between? The same goes for when you send out your email notifications.

    I am sort of in the same position and Id love to know how you time it all out.

    P.S I finally enabled my Gravatar due to your gentle cajoling :P


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Paul.

      Look at that handsome mug! :-)

      Yeah, it’s a constant source of bad sleep for me. I publish US East Coast time which means I’m often up til 2am so I can be online and reply to comments and so on. I have scheduled it in the past but it’s just not the same.

      Occasionally I’ll do one on Australian time and do some FB and Twitter stuff letting the Aussies know it’s their turn to get the top comment spots – sometimes that works.


      1. Paul Back

        Haha you smooth talker Ramsey…. no wonder you get so many comments and shares :P

        Thanks for that advice – yeh I know how annoying that can be, use to manage my social media for my previous company with a US audience, but it is unavoidable I guess.

        Cheers man can’t wait for the next article.. better get to writing!

        Paul


  • Bonny

    Interesting, I never give much thought to when I hit publish, and I often wait days before promoting on social media (if I’ve published several articles close together) – and I don’t promote absolutely everything for fear of boring or annoying my followers. Never thought of the SEO benefits of doing lots of promotion straight after publishing.

    I often share old content instead of brand new, and have had some successes with that, especially with good content published way back before I had lots of traffic.

    I’d like to try publishing and promoting to some sort of schedule, but I know I’m too impatient to wait after I’ve spent hours writing a post.


    1. Ramsay

      Come on Bonny. You can do it!


  • John Karras

    Hey Ramsay-

    Really good post on an important topic. Seems like the actual time a blog post is published is becoming less relevant, and the timing of when you promote the blog post via: email list, social media, other bloggers, etc.

    I’m pretty new in this game, but my most widely read blog posts so far have benefited heavily from social shares and from emailing other bloggers/leading thinkers to let them know they were mentioned in my post, who then promoted the post on Twitter.


    1. Ramsay

      I actually think there is a link between when the Google bots crawl the post and the speed at which it gets shares though, for SEO purposes. So I think the posting and the sharing has to happen close together for best effect.


      1. John Karras

        Thank you for the additional tip. Makes a lot of sense. Also goes back to your point in the blog post about the importance of gaining traction early from your email list and from social sharing…or else it seems like the sharing is much less likely to happen if it doesn’t happen fairly quickly.

        Thanks again, Ramsay.


  • Wangu

    I normally have my posts ready and proofed the night before. I prepare my broadcast message before hand too. I try to publish my posts between 9 and 9:30 am. Also two posts a week, Monday and Thursday. Monday does ok but I will test for Tuesday as well and compare.

    Thanks for the tips.


    1. Ramsay

      Nice one!


  • Alex

    I like “Paid promotion for regular blog posts” idea. Just because you wrote the most amazing, exiting, funny or whatever post, does not mean people will notice. It needs to be promoted just like anything else. That is unless you already have a super popular blog with thousands repeat visitors. In any other case an post needs a little promotional effort.


    1. Ramsay

      Hope it helps.


  • Brian Jones

    Hi Ramsey

    Another great read , and have got some good tips and ideas from post and comments thank you!!!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Brien. ;-)


  • Linda

    Hi,
    Yet another great post.
    FYI – I’m going to mention how I read emails, which might help with timing as well.
    From Friday afternoons until Monday mornings, I don’t read any mails. When I open my mailbox it is FULL (sometimes over 100 mails)
    Then I click on the ones that I know just tries to sell me something and delete them without even opening them.
    Then I open the mail of the people I know sends great stuff and read what is in the mail. If that is of interest, I read the post, otherwise I just file it to read who knows when.
    As you can see – I always open and click through on yours, because I know here I will always find valuable content.
    From Tuesdays to Thursdays I read my mail every day and open everything – this also explains why Tuesdays works better than Mondays or weekends.
    Have a great day,
    keep up the great writing
    Linda


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Linda. Appreciate the insight.


  • Susan Browne

    Dear Ramsey,
    Like an ice cold coke on a hot day, your posts it the spot every time.
    I just found your site yesterday. All the content is so necessary, I have been reading it all day and night.

    Apologies for calling you a Brit before … Aren’t Aussies just Brits with proper beaches.

    Kidding aside, you are a God send.

    Blessings and Shalom
    Susan


    1. Ramsay

      So glad you enjoyed it, Susan.

      And no, we’re not just Brits with proper beaches. We can also play cricket. ;-)


  • Darren Rhys

    Hi Ramsey great post , i have read alot of your post and find them awesome will defo be bookmarking you site.
    Only came by your site by accident,,great find !!!

    Thanks


  • SEO

    I feel that is one of the most vital info for me. And i’m happy reading your article.
    But should observation on some general things, The website style is ideal,
    the articles is in point of fact nice : D.
    Excellent job, cheers


  • Michael Gorman

    Hey Ramsay,
    interesting concept, you know I was thinking along these same lines recently-it also depends on where the bulk of your readership is located in the world. With us being in Australia we probably have to understand our main readers are in both the U.K and the USA-so our own local timing is off, and often at least a day ahead-us Aussies live in the future!-so some way of being able to ID your readers demographically would be a good idea for a plugin!
    Cheers


  • James George

    I have found that my site does it’s best on Mondays. I used to send my newsletter out on Sundays, but I switched to Mondays and my Monday traffic doubles. I set my Mailchimp account to send out my newsletter at 8AM of the timezone that the subscriber resides in. The result is the highest traffic I have ever seen.


As mentioned on...