SEO and Publish Times

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I’m no SEO king, but I have noticed a few trends in the meager traffic my website generates. This useful bit of info can be a big help when deciding to publish a blog post or release new content.

SEO and Publish Times

I read a piece of advice in the Startup book I mentioned way back in an earlier post. The author mentions writing a few unpublished blog posts out and saving them in a draft folder for a rainy day. Initially I wrote this off as hogwash, I’ll have plenty of time to write and even more topics to write about. I had forgotten that the reason most people write books is because they have some experience in the subject.

Another reason to have those backup posts is because you sometimes need a break from it all. Life happens and catastrophes abound in a startup. Having posts on hand to release into the wild is a great way to boost traffic and keep awareness going for your small site. From my Google Analytics data I can see that I get about 30 hits on the days I release a blog post. On non-activity days I might get 1 view (and no it’s not me because I excluded my IP from data collection). That represents a significant jump in traffic in the relative scale of my traffic. Look at the peaks and valleys in this image. Peaks are blog post days, valleys indicate no activity.

google analytics data seo publish times

Don’t laugh.

But There’s More

You can do better though. If you look at the Publish toolbar in your WordPress New Post page you’ll notice that you can schedule the publish time of your posts. For me, as someone that has linked all of my blog posts to my social media, the release time can have a thunderous effect or a smattering of random applause from the back row. Now you’re probably wondering how this relates to SEO. The answer is “traffic”. A great site gets viewers and viewers come, more often than not, from social media.

Matt Cutts, from Google, says it best:

Be on social media not for search rankings but to build up your brand and drive qualified traffic.

Google doesn’t use social media signals (post count, followers, etc.) in their rankings index, however, posting your content at the right time, when people are reading, does help to build your brand and drive that qualified traffic. If you’re interested in reading more, check out this blog post by Mark Traphagen.

Think About It

You want your alert to be seen by everyone when they are looking at a screen. Those times are well documented and probably up for much debate, but you can formulate a good idea if you think about it. You probably check your phone when you first wake up, probably around 7 or 8am. You don’t really want to read a blog post, but Instagram and Facebook are probably your first daily interactions. Maybe by 9 or 10am people are on a break at work (or avoiding work altogether) and might like to read an interesting post that motivates them to spend a few minutes on your site.

Working in Germany right now I have to be very conscious of my publish times. I typically write in the morning, which means it’s about 4am in the US (or earlier). I like to try and post in that 10 am to 3 pm window for the biggest results – aka qualified traffic.

Conclusions

  • Create some backup content to release on a rainy day;
  • Use the Publish scheduler to release your content at optimum times;
  • Social media doesn’t drive rankings, but qualified traffic does.

I’ll try to start writing about SEO soon to catch everyone up with where I’m at. Happy posting, be sure to share any SEO tips you might have in the comments.

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