Wondering the best time to post on YouTube?
Smart! YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. It even beats Pinterest as a search engine!
Why? Partly because it’s owned by Google. But mostly because people love to watch video.
If you want to tap into some of that success with your own channel, you need to understand what’s the best time to post on YouTube.
It works a little differently than social media sites like Facebook – or even from Pinterest.
Let’s take a look at how it works, when to post, and how to do the research for your own account.
Why posting time works differently on YouTube
With social media and Pinterest, we are trained to post at the most popular time for our audience. That’s because people are likely to see the content straight away.
But YouTube works differently.
You need to find when your best time to post is – then actually post earlier than that.
For example, if your peak viewing time is between 7 and 10 pm, then you need to post between 2 and 4 pm.
Because YouTube needs to index content in the same way Google does. It’s a lot quicker than Google, but the idea is the same. It takes some time.
That means when you post the content, it takes a little while before YouTube finishes understanding it – and then starts showing it to people.
The day of the week can impact how much earlier you need to post, too. We’ll look at all of that in a moment.
What’s the best time to post to YouTube?
Let’s start with a few general ideas on when it’s best to post your YouTube content.
Studies have shown that the average best time to publish is in the afternoon between 2 and 4 pm.
This means the video will be indexed and ready for viewing by peak user times, which are between 7 and 10 pm.
According to Oberlo, the best days to post are Thursdays and Fridays, when people have a little more time to watch videos.
Mondays and Tuesdays can be the worst days, as people have the least time.
Another study went a little more in-depth on those time slots. They found the best times were:
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays – 2-4 pm
- Thursdays, Fridays – 12-3 pm
- Saturdays, Sundays – 9-11 am
Again, they found the best days to post were Thursday and Friday.
How to find YOUR best time to post
Now when it comes to finding the best time to post on YouTube, the best information is always from your own audience.
Everyone’s viewers are different, and you might suspect that yours are around at different times from the best times shown in studies.
But don’t worry, there are ways to find out when your audience is around!
If you have a few videos already on YouTube, you can look at the analytics section of your account for information.
If you go to YouTube Studio, then select Analytics and the Audience tab, you can find data on when your viewers are on YouTube.
This looks at the last 28 days and is based on your time zone.
You’ll see a report like this:
The darkest purple bars indicate the peak times your viewers are on YouTube.
Remember, we suggest that you post a few hours ahead of these times. But these exact peak times can be ideal times to go live, or to engage with your viewers who are commenting on your videos right then, and get a conversation going.
Top geographies report
You can get ideas about where your viewers live from the Top geographies report further down the page.
This lets you get an idea of the best times based on your viewers’ locations. If your audience is mostly in the US Eastern time zone, then this helps you decide on the times appropriate for them.
Remember, when you look at the data, this isn’t the time to post. You want to post a few hours before this for that indexing time to happen.
Get data from TubeBuddy
TubeBuddy is a Google Chrome extension that’s free to install. It gives you real-time and actionable information about your YouTube account.
Once you install it, sign in with your YouTube account. Then it appears at the top of the screen.
Tap the drop-down and select the best time to publish option.
Now you will see the same Channel Analytics page as before. But if you have enough viewer data, TubeBuddy can give recommendations about when to post in an easy-to-read format like so:
Here’s how it works in a video from TubeBuddy:
Ask your audience
If your account is new or you haven’t created many videos, it can be a little harder to get specific information. But you can always try asking your audience.
If you have an email list or Facebook Group, you can ask them when they watch the most videos.
You’ll get some ideas that will help you to plan when to add content. Plus you get a sneaky chance to promote your new channel to them!
Don’t stress about posting time
One thing I would add is not to stress too much about posting time. Yes, it does make a difference and will get eyes on your new videos faster – but YouTube videos are around for the long haul.
While those initial boosts to watch time and subscribers can be important for account growth, in the early days it’s more important to just get the content out.
But if you stress too much about posting time, you’ll never get started!
Test and track
As with much on social media and with SEO, it is important to test different things and track what works.
Standard ideas on what’s the best time to post on YouTube will help you get started.
But posting time is only a small part of how to rank on YouTube.
Ultimately your audience will tell you when they are around simply by watching your content.
Then you can continue to build a strategy that gets the most eyes on each video possible.