When to Publish Blog Posts to Avoid Crickets?
Our site traffic has grown steadily since Christmas. Which is, of course, awesome! Until last Saturday. Last week we had our highest traffic numbers since forever. But when I took a look at Saturday, April 8th, I saw a slight decline.
No worries, I thought, random fluctuation. But then every day after was lower than previous weeks. I got worried. Now what? SEO update I missed? Some problem with the site? Our service providers had a short outage a week ago. But that shouldn’t impact the site that much.
I had no clue what had happened!
It’s now safe to panic!
Good Friday traffic drop
The answer came from an unexpected source. I was teaching a class of entrepreneurs and startups about the basics of SEO and content marketing. I use our site’s Google Analytics as a teaching aid. When I passingly mentioned this unexpected traffic drop since last week. One of the participants suggested that maybe it’s the Good Friday.
Later I went back to my Google Analytics and sure enough year after year when there’s a free Friday the traffic’s down. Sessions start to trend down already from the Saturday before.
If your visitors come from countries where Good Friday is an important holiday then knowing this will save you some stress.
And here’s what Christmas and New Year’s look like.
Don’t publish on holidays!
There are other holidays that may tank your traffic. The most important is, of course, Christmas. Traffic on most sites goes down a lot during the Christmas season followed by the New Year’s Day. But we know that! The holidays that surprise some us are:
- the less known holidays,
- the ones that keep moving (Good Friday, Martin Luther King Day),
- 4th of July in the US and independence days in most countries,
- Midsummer Day in some countries,
- Labor Day in the US (1st Monday in September)
The most important holidays can impact traffic a week before and after the actual date.
A few years back I wrote an awesome post! It was great! It’s true! The best post. And then I published it, expecting the traffic to go where no traffic has gone before. But the result…
I was a bit disappointed, to put it mildly. Oh, well… I called my friend, who is a commodities trader in the US to ask how he’s day is going. He answered, cheerfully, that it was his day off as the stock market is closed due to Martin Luther King’s day.
I then unpublished the post and scheduled it to go live on the next Monday. It was a success.
There are a lot more holidays, but you need to know the ones that are important in your primary markets. Put them in your content calendar so that you don’t publish your best material on the days when nobody’s reading.
This also means that for most businesses weekends aren’t the right time to post. But it depends on your reader’s persona. If you write for a Chinese market then Good Friday probably doesn’t matter.