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Stephen Logan

The Friday Afternoon Itch

25th Sep 2009 SEO 2 minutes to read

Friday afternoon is almost a dead zone for webmasters and search specialists everywhere. Not just because it’s the last few hours of the working week and a good portion of the lunch hour is spent in the local pub. No, the real issue is that any changes you make to a website will be live throughout the weekend.

This leaves you in something of a quandary. Do you a) carry on regardless, hope that the new site alterations go without a hitch, b) test, re-test and then make an informed decision on whether to set any changes live or c) just hold fire until Monday?

Well the safest option, and most preferred is c) just hold fire until Monday. The reason behind this isn’t laziness, but straightforward logic. If you leave a paid search campaign running over a weekend without monitoring, you could blow the budget and ruin your campaign’s previously creditable CTR. If you launch a new site or a page within an existing site, any error could trigger a complete malfunction, ensuring a pretty awful start to your next week.

Internet marketing, paid advertising and website development is all about monitoring progress. If 404 errors start flashing up all over the show, you know that something needs to be done pretty quickly. Without being onsite to monitor this kind of issue, your site is wide open to cataclysmic failings throughout.

This is particularly pertinent with the release, or re-release of an entire website. Whilst you might be confident in the programming you’ve been doing for the preceding months, setting it free on a Friday is a major gamble. If people come along to a site opening but encounter error messages or slow loading times, that can leave a negative impression that is hard to turn around. By waiting until the next week, when your specialists are on site and ready to make any tweaks, you can minimise this potential damage.

But it goes beyond simply releasing a new site. The Friday afternoon issue can affect anyone. How about if you write a blog post with a glaring typo or any other major errors, what then? Well for two days that blog post can remain untouched and picking up traffic, making you look bad all the while. Of course you can’t just stop writing or working just because of an impending weekend, but added care is often key to ensuring that your two days off aren’t spent worrying about a Monday morning full of comments from disappointed blog readers.

The paid search issue is an area where simply setting live and hoping for the best really isn’t recommended. PPC campaigns require regular maintenance and must be observed in order to ensure that no costly errors have sneaked in. You could find that your budgets are wrong or even that erroneous clicks have maxed out your weekly projected spend in a single weekend. Key terms and negative keywords need to be defined and refined, so allowing them to simply run ‘green’ through the weekend is a risk, although of course some may see it as one worth taking.

SEO of course can be done at any time. There’s no issue of immediacy as it can take days to change a ranking and edits can happen continually behind the scenes, well away from any visitor’s eyes. So that doesn’t mean you have to shut down entirely. There’s always a lot to do when it comes to building, maintaining and marketing a website, just be careful with the Friday afternoon itch.

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