What’s the Best Time to Publish Your Blog Posts?

question_mark_personHave you ever wondered if it makes a difference when you submit your blog posts? I mean is it better to post in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Is it better say on Monday than on Thursday? Does it even matter?

Well interestingly – it does.

Want to know when’s the best time to publish?

Of course you do, but it’s not that easy. Heck if I had that magic button to share with you, I’d sell it and be rich, and be able to live the IM guru life. Like all things in this business, there’s no magic button, there’s no magic answer, but there are handy tracking reports. And this report comes to you through Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a fabulous free tool loaded with priceless information about the effectiveness of your sites and the behavior of your visitors. You can learn where your visitors call home, their demographics, which operating system they used to visit your site, what search keywords they may have used to find your site, and so much more.

I put together a short overview video on using Google Analytics that you can watch if you’re new to GA, it’s pretty helpful but covers just the surface of what Google Analytics can do for you. Watch it here.

Today, let me help you create a report for understanding when the best day and time may be to publish your blog posts. It’s so easy to do I wish I had done so months ago.

Creating Your Visitor Best Day Tracking Report

Step 1 –

  • Log into your Google Analytics account and select one of your websites if you have more than one. Then click on the Customization tab along the top and select New Custom Report.
  • Be sure to also select the days you want to track if you want to use dates other than the default calendar. This is found along the top right hand corner.
  • Give the report a title such as “Best Day/Time to Post”
  • Then under Report Content:
  • Name your report something like “Day of Week”
  • Select the Explorer type
  • Name the Metric Group “Visits” which is listed in the dropdown
  • Select Day of Week from the Dimensions dropdown
  • Do not change the filter of Views settings
  • Click Save

Google Analytics will now generate a report of your daily visitor traffic. Now you need to create the “Time of Day” report

Step 2 –

  • Click the Edit button and you will be back on the Edit Custom Report screen, click where it reads Duplicate this tab over to the right
  • Name this Copy tab “Time of Day”
  • Leave all settings the same except the Dimension Drilldowns. Change this to Time / Hour
  • Click Save

Google Analytics goes to work again and now you have a cool little report with two tabs “Day of Week” and “Time of Day”. These are snapshots of mine.

Day of Week

best day report

Now I know it’s difficult to read but let me explain and you’ll understand more as you create your own reports.

The column listing 1 through 7 is the ranking of each day and the opposing number is the day of the week. My week starts on Monday and is shown as the number 1, Sunday is number 0. Your week may be different if somewhere other than the U.S.

My ranking listed the days numbered as:

3 – Wednesday

5 – Friday

1 – Monday

2- Tuesday

4 – Thursday

6 – Saturday

0 – Sunday

Meaning that most visitor traffic for Marilyn Thompson Solutions comes on Wednesday, followed by Friday, and not much on Sunday

Time of Day

best time reportNow this report shows that on those days most of my visitor traffic arrived around 10am, 11am, and 3pm based on a 24-hour clock

1 – 10

2 – 11

3 – 15

4 – 14

5 – 12

6 – 13

7 – 09

Along the right hand side of both reports shows the actual number of visits for the particular day and time.

So why is this information helpful?

With this information you can put your content in front of your visitor when they are most likely to be looking for it. In my case I need to be sure I always have a post published or scheduled to publish on Wednesdays by 10am and not necessarily on Sundays.

Interestingly it makes me wonder if I will need to change the time my newsletter is broadcast since it goes out on Sundays, but those stats will not come from Google Analytics and I’ll visit them later.

Another factor to note is if you have a regular themed posting schedule as I do with my Fab Friday Blog Shares, I’m pretty sure that’s why Friday visits rank as the second most popular day.

Now go run your reports and when you do you may wish to track varying time frames such as monthly or quarterly if your site is seasonally based.

What are your thoughts on this data, helpful or simply too much information?

 

Kindly,
Marilyn T

Comments

  1. Interesting. I just ran this for one of my niche sites, and my top day is also Friday and my lowest is Sunday. Will be interesting to run these for all my niche’s and compare.

  2. Really great information Marilyn! I’ve been wanting to understanding Google Analytics more but it seems so overwhelming. Thanks for the breakdown.

  3. This is a super helpful post. I just finally figured out where to put my GA code to get it to work! I pinned for reference and plan on making these reports in the next day or so. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. That is actually really useful and good information on traffic. I would love those stats for my Twitter account and Facebook page too.

  5. Great post! I have never given this much thought, but it is something I’ll have to look at going forward!

    Thanks!

    Michael

    • Thanks everyone for the kind words and I’m so glad the information was helpful. I’ll be running my reports occasionally to see if the pattern changes, who knows maybe we can direct our traffic to certain timeframes.

  6. Thanks, Marilyn. Interesting info. Two things though – Where you have”Watch it here” – there’s no link. And in your list of ranked days – you have Wednesday as 3 and Friday as 5. To me it looks as if Friday is the higher ranked day…unless it’s a typo. ;( Now… with that all said – I’m dyslexic – so I might be seeing something different. LOL

    I recently read an article written by Neil Patel stating that Monday’s and Thursdays are the best days to post a new blog article. But, don’t you think that it all depends on your readers/subscribers? Also, I’m only blogging on Monday’s and Thursdays (nothing to do with Neil Patel’s article), and I would assume that those are my highest traffic days – especially being in UBC.

    BUT – your post has opened up a lot to think about.

    Eydie 🙂

    • Thanks Eydie for letting me know, had much on my mind and forgot to add the link, should be working now.

      The number 3 and 5 corresponding to Wednesday and Friday confused me too at first but all they refer to is the day of the week. Monday is #1, Tuesday #2, Wednesday #3, etc. The ranking is based on where they are listed and in this case Wednesday ranked above Friday. I hope this makes more sense.

      I saw a similar report that listed Monday and Thursday as key days to post but yes I definitely agree that it depends on your individual readers.

      Thanks so much for the comments!

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge