One of the best known secrets to making a successful website is through making content that can be classed as ‘evergreen’. By this, this is content that will not diminish over time, making it as valuable to web users now as it will be in years and years time. The great thing about evergreen content is the consistent level of traffic it has the potential to bring. Compare this to time-based content, such as news articles, tech product articles and today’s topics of conversation, the content will slowly get outdated, reducing in traffic over time.
However, with both types of content, especially time-based content, something that is often overlooked is when the content should be published – this makes a huge difference to the traffic generation and success of the article. With this, here are some tips to help you determine the best time to publish content online.
No matter what type of website you have, the time that suits your website best to publish will be unique for you, as it is for many different websites. For this reason, it is extremely important to experiment.
If you have time-based content:
- How long after an event do you publish?
- What channels do you publish with regards to social media?
With evergreen content:
- What day works best for optimum traffic?
- What time of the day works best to publish?
In general, 1-3pm and 5-7pm on weekdays (especially Wednesday) is a good starting point to go by. However, do not take this as gospel truth. Through experimenting, you may find something totally different that works for your website.
Analyse Google Analytics
It is so so important to analyse any experiment you make in great detail. The best and most cost effective way to do this is through Google Analytics. When you publish content online, you should analyse the impact of the time of day and the day of the week by how it affects:
- Traffic in general
- Bounce rate
- Exit rate
- Rate of referral/share
- Average time on the web page
You can use the ‘Compare’ functionality in the graphs of Google Analytics to compare the statistics from now to before the article, to see how the timing of the article publishing affected traffic.
Although this seems a little odd that it impacts how much traffic an article get, it greatly impacts the mindset of web users, which, in turns, will bring you more traffic. This is because as your audience starts to learn of the consistency of when you publish content online, they will become more aware of staying proactively updated with your website. Great examples of this occurring include:
- Player ratings after sporting events
- News stories
- TV programs that have weekly schedules for episodes