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How to Find and Fix Orphan Pages (The Right Way)



How to Find and Fix Orphan Pages (The Right Way)

Quicksand awaits unsuspecting SEOs when they start working on a website with a long history.

These pits of technical site errors, littered by several generations of previous agencies, slow down and hinder SEO efforts and progress. 

And when you’re the one tasked to clean it up, finding the quick fixes is your number one task.

So you may start with a basic site audit and see several orphan pages. You’ve probably heard that orphan pages are bad for a site but do not fully understand what they are and how to fix them.

In this article, you’ll learn:

Orphan pages are pages that search engines may have difficulty discovering because they have no internal links from elsewhere on your website. 

These URLs tend to fall through the cracks because search engine crawlers can only discover pages from the sitemap file or external backlinks, and users can only get to the page if they know the URL.

What causes orphan pages?

Usually, orphan pages are accidental and occur for various reasons. The most common cause is not having processes for site migrations, navigation changes, site redesigns, out-of-stock products, testing, or dev pages. 

Orphan pages may also be intentional, as with promotional and paid advertising landing pages, or any instance where you do not want the page to be part of the user journey.

Why are orphan pages bad for SEO?

Search engines have a hard time finding orphan pages because they use links to help discover new content and understand the page’s significance.

Here’s what Google says:

Google searches the web with automated programs called crawlers, looking for pages that are new or updated. […] We find pages by many different methods, but the main method is following links from pages that we already know about.

For example, let’s say you publish a new webpage and forget to link to it from elsewhere on your site. If the page isn’t in your sitemap and has no backlinks, Google will not find or index it. That’s because their web crawler doesn’t know that it exists.

Even worse, the page cannot receive PageRank. 

If you haven’t heard of the term “PageRank” before, it’s a big deal. 

Generally speaking, PageRank is Google’s way of understanding the significance of the page by counting the number of “votes” a page gets. You can read more about how PageRank works and affects SEO here.

To find orphan pages on your site, you need to compare a list of crawlable URLs (what Google can find) with a list of URLs people are hitting on your site. 

This may sound quite technical, but don’t be discouraged. We have broken down how to find orphan pages into three easy steps using tools you’re familiar with. 

1. Find crawlable URLs

There are a lot of tools you can use to gather a list of all crawlable URLs. We’re going to use Ahrefs’ Site Audit because it’s completely free with an Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account and you have the option to use external backlinks as a source to find even more URLs.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to Site Audit.
  2. Click + New Project.
  3. Follow the prompts until step 3. Click on the URL sources tab and check Backlinks as a URL source in addition to the default settings.
  4. Click Continue, follow the instructions to complete the setup, then run the crawl.
Scheduling a site audit in Ahrefs' Site Audit

Backlink data is useful for finding orphan pages because it brings URLs from Ahrefs’ link index into the mix. 

If a page does not have any internal links, a basic crawler won’t find it. 

But, if a page has a backlink, Ahrefs will find the URL on your site and know that the crawl found no internal links, so it must be an orphan page.

When the site audit is complete, export all internal pages from Page Explorer and save them. You’ll use this in step 3.

Page Explorer in Ahrefs' Site Audit

Before we continue…

As Site Audit uses both sitemaps and backlinks as URL sources, it does a reasonable job of finding orphan pages for you without any extra work. To see them, go to Page Explorer, click Links, and select Orphan pages:

Orphan pages in Ahrefs' Site Audit

However, you’ll only see orphan pages found via backlinks or sitemaps here. If you have orphan pages not included in sitemaps and without backlinks, Ahrefs won’t be able to find them. 

Keep reading if you think this may be the case for you and want to dig a little deeper for orphan pages.

2. Find URLs with hits

The next step is getting a list of all the URLs with hits on our site. 

There are quite a few ways to do this, and it’s always best to use as many data sources as you have access to. 

If you have access, log files work well because they are server-side data which is more accurate. We won’t be going into the nitty-gritty of accessing these because it depends on how the server is set up. 

But if you choose to go this route, here are three official guides for common server types:

In this article, we will use Google Analytics (GA4) and Google Search Console because the process is basically the same for everyone. 

Here’s how to find URLs with hits in Google Analytics (GA4):

  1. Log in to your Data Studio account.
  2. Start a new blank report.
  3. Connect Google Analytics as your data source.
  4. Choose the account you’re analyzing > select GA4 property.
  5. Add a basic table to your report.
  6. Set data source to the GA4 property created in step 4.
  7. Set dimension to Page path.
  8. Set metric to Views.
  9. Sort by Views in descending order.
  10. Set default date range to before GA4 was installed on the site.
Google Data Studio settings

To export the results from your table, click the three vertical dots in the top right corner and hit Export. Save with a helpful name like “date_GA_URLs_people_are_hitting_brandname” because you will need it again in just a bit.

Because we exported the page path and not the full page URL, we need to add the domain to the beginning of all cells in our spreadsheet. This is easy enough in Google sheets. Just import the CSV into a blank sheet, insert a new column to the left, and paste this formula into cell A1 (make sure to replace with your domain): 

=IFERROR(ARRAYFORMULA(IF(ISBLANK(B:B),"",IF(B:B="Page Path","",IF(B:B="(not set)","","" & B:B)))))

Formula in Google Sheets

As multiple URL sources are always best, we will also pull data from Google Search Console (GSC).

GSC limits exports to the first 1,000 URLs, but Google Data Studio has a neat little trick that allows you to pull more. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Reopen your Data Studio report.
  2. Start a new page (command + M).
  3. Open Resource > Manage added data sources.
  5. Select Search Console.
  6. Choose the site you’re analyzing > URL impression > web.
  7. Add a basic table to your report.
  8. Set dimension to Landing page.
  9. Set metric to Impressions.
  10. Expand rows per page to 5,000.
  11. Edit the date range to view at least the past three months.
  12. Export the results from your table. 

Name your sheet something helpful like “date GSC_URLs_people_are_hitting_brandname” because you’ll need it again in a moment. 

Now, combine all the URLs people are hitting from your different sources into one spreadsheet and clean up the data by removing duplicates. 

Remove duplicates Google Sheets

3. Cross-reference the two URL sources

You are in the home stretch! The last step is cross-referencing crawlable URLs (from Ahrefs’ Site Audit) and URLs with hits (from GA and GSC). To do this, create a blank Google Sheet and create three tabs. Label them crawl, hits, and cross reference. 

The three sheets you need in Google Sheets

In the first sheet, crawl, copy, and paste all of the crawlable URLs from Ahrefs’ Site Audit.

To find these, open the exported CSV from step 1 and filter for results with incomingAllLinks equal to zero. This is super important because these are orphan pages, so including them in the “crawl” tab will lead to inaccurate results when cross-referencing. 

Remove all IncomingAllLinks that equal zero

Instead, you should copy these URLs and add them to the “hits” tab. 

Next, copy and paste the remaining URLs from the Ahrefs export into the crawl tab of your Google Sheet.

Crawl URLs in spreadsheet

In the second sheet, hits, copy/paste all URLs from step 2. These are the pages you found using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or your site log files. It includes webpages that users have visited.

Hit URLs in spreadsheet

In the third sheet, cross reference, enter the following function into the first cell: 

=UNIQUE(FILTER(hits!A:A, ISNA(MATCH (hits!A:A, crawl!A:A, 0))))

Hit enter. The function will automatically pull all of your orphan pages for easy analysis.

Orphan URLs in spreadsheet

Marketers often make the mistake of simply adding internal links to all orphan pages across the board. 

The main issue with this approach is that just because a quick fix can be applied across all pages does not mean it should be. 

Some orphan pages are intentional, like PPC landing pages, while others can just be removed, like test pages.

We don’t want to waste resources fixing something that’s not broken or is unlikely to have a positive impact.

To help solve this problem, use this decision tree:

How to deal with orphan pages flowchart

The idea here is to think critically about each orphan page and decide whether noindexing, deleting, merging/consolidating, or simply adding internal links is the best fix.

For example, if a page was missed during a site migration and that page does not offer any value for visitors, deleting it is probably the best option. However, if the page has backlinks, it may also be worth redirecting the URL to another relevant page to preserve backlink equity. 


Checking orphan pages for backlinks in bulk (up to 200 URLs at a time) is easy with Ahrefs’ Batch Analysis tool. Just paste URLs from your “cross reference” sheet and click Analyse.

Batch Analysis tool in Ahrefs

Let’s look at the four strategies to fix orphan pages.

Internally link

Orphan pages that are valuable for site visitors should be incorporated into your site’s internal linking structure to make them easier for visitors and search engines to find. 

For example, let’s say an article was forgotten during a site migration or redesign. We need to internally link to it from a relevant page we know Google will soon (re)crawl.

Here’s an easy way to do that in Ahrefs:

  1. Go to Site Audit
  2. Open your site’s most recent crawl 
  3. Under Tools > Open Page Explorer.
  4. Search for a word or phrase in Page text.
  5. Sort the results by Organic traffic.
Finding internal link opportunities in Ahrefs' Site Audit

This finds contextual internal linking opportunities on pages that get organic traffic, which means Google is likely to recrawl them sooner rather than later and see our changes. 

Learn more: How to Use Page Explorer


Orphan pages that were intentionally not internally linked to, like landing pages for ads, should be noindexed to prevent them from appearing in organic search results. 

Most SEO plugins have made this as easy as checking a box, but you can also do it manually by copying and pasting this into the <head> section of the page:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex" />


Make sure these pages are still crawlable in robots.txt. Otherwise, search engines won’t see the noindex directive. 


Orphan pages with the same or similar content to another page should be merged. This means consolidating the content and redirecting the orphan URL to the other page.

For example, let’s say you have two product listings for the same product. One of them is an orphan page; the other isn’t. You should take any unique valuable information from the orphan page and add it to the other page before redirecting the orphan page there.


Orphan pages that offer no value for visitors and serve no other purpose (e.g., paid traffic campaign) should be deleted. 

For example, an unused CMS theme page can be removed. This will result in a 404 page and naturally drop out of search results over time.


If the page has backlinks, you may want to redirect the URL to another relevant page to preserve link equity after deleting. 

How to prevent orphan pages

As you can see, auditing orphan pages is time intensive. So once you’ve put in the work, you want to prevent orphan pages in the future. Here are a few policies and procedures to consider.

Have a plan for site migrations

Be proactive by having a plan any time you do a website migration. You can avoid broken links and confusion on your website by redirecting old pages to new versions with a 301 redirect.

Set up your site structure for success

If you have to internally link to new pages manually, you’re bound to miss some and end up with orphan pages. This is why you should opt for a site structure that handles internal linking for you. 

Most types of CMS do this out of the box. For example, each time we publish a new blog post, WordPress adds an internal link from our blog homepage and archive. 

However, if you’re using a custom solution, you need to ensure the necessary code is in place for a good site structure.

Learn more: Website Structure: How to Build Your SEO Foundation

Remove discontinued products properly

If you run an e‑commerce site, you should remove discontinued products from the catalog (along with all internal links pointing to them) and set a status code of 404 or 410. Failing to remove internal links to such products is a common cause of orphan pages.

If the page has great backlinks and there is an updated or improved version of the product, you may want to consider keeping the page to preserve the backlink equity.

To do this, update the page content to explain why the product is no longer available, including introducing the new design features and linking to the new product page.

This way, the user is not landing on a completely unrelated page or 404.

Run regular site audits

By running the audit every month, you can stay on top of any accidental orphan pages that may slip through the cracks. You can do this easily using the scheduling feature in Ahrefs’ Site Audit.

1649127119 768 How to Find and Fix Orphan Pages The Right Way

Final thoughts

Looking at rows and rows of orphan page errors and trying to make sense of heavy technical jargon is intimidating.

While finding and fixing orphan pages is time intensive, it doesn’t need to be painstaking. Using Ahrefs’ Site Audit and the orphan pages flowchart will help streamline your process.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X




OpenAI Investigates 'Lazy' GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a little over a year ago, has recently taken to social media to address concerns regarding the “lazy” performance of GPT-4 on social media and Google Reviews.

Screenshot from X, December 2023OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

This move comes after growing user feedback online, which even includes a one-star review on the company’s Google Reviews.

OpenAI Gives Insight Into Training Chat Models, Performance Evaluations, And A/B Testing

OpenAI, through its @ChatGPTapp Twitter account, detailed the complexities involved in training chat models.

chatgpt openai a/b testingScreenshot from X, December 2023chatgpt openai a/b testing

The organization highlighted that the process is not a “clean industrial process” and that variations in training runs can lead to noticeable differences in the AI’s personality, creative style, and political bias.

Thorough AI model testing includes offline evaluation metrics and online A/B tests. The final decision to release a new model is based on a data-driven approach to improve the “real” user experience.

OpenAI’s Google Review Score Affected By GPT-4 Performance, Billing Issues

This explanation comes after weeks of user feedback about GPT-4 becoming worse on social media networks like X.

Complaints also appeared in OpenAI’s community forums.

openai community forums gpt-4 user feedbackScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023openai community forums gpt-4 user feedback

The experience led one user to leave a one-star rating for OpenAI via Google Reviews. Other complaints regarded accounts, billing, and the artificial nature of AI.

openai google reviews star rating Screenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023openai google reviews star rating

A recent user on Product Hunt gave OpenAI a rating that also appears to be related to GPT-4 worsening.

openai reviewsScreenshot from Product Hunt, December 2023openai reviews

GPT-4 isn’t the only issue that local reviewers complain about. On Yelp, OpenAI has a one-star rating for ChatGPT 3.5 performance.

The complaint:

yelp openai chatgpt reviewScreenshot from Yelp, December 2023yelp openai chatgpt review

In related OpenAI news, the review with the most likes aligns with recent rumors about a volatile workplace, alleging that OpenAI is a “Cutthroat environment. Not friendly. Toxic workers.”

google review for openai toxic workersScreenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023google review for openai toxic workers

The reviews voted the most helpful on Glassdoor about OpenAI suggested that employee frustration and product development issues stem from the company’s shift in focus on profits.

openai employee review on glassdooropenai employee review on glassdoor

openai employee reviewsScreenshots from Glassdoor, December 2023openai employee reviews

This incident provides a unique outlook on how customer and employee experiences can impact any business through local reviews and business ratings platforms.

openai inc google business profile local serps google reviewsScreenshot from Google, December 2023openai inc google business profile local serps google reviews

Google SGE Highlights Positive Google Reviews

In addition to occasional complaints, Google reviewers acknowledged the revolutionary impact of OpenAI’s technology on various fields.

The most positive review mentions about the company appear in Google SGE (Search Generative Experience).

Google SGE response on OpenAIScreenshot from Google SGE, December 2023Google SGE response on OpenAI


OpenAI’s recent insights into training chat models and response to public feedback about GPT-4 performance illustrate AI technology’s dynamic and evolving nature and its impact on those who depend on the AI platform.

Especially the people who just received an invitation to join ChatGPT Plus after being waitlisted while OpenAI paused new subscriptions and upgrades. Or those developing GPTs for the upcoming GPT Store launch.

As AI advances, professionals in these fields must remain agile, informed, and responsive to technological developments and the public’s reception of these advancements.

Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock

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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites




ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

ChatGPT Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain paused after a surge in demand for new features created outages.

Some users who signed up for the waitlist have received invites to join ChatGPT Plus.

Screenshot from Gmail, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

This has resulted in a few shares of the link that is accessible for everyone. For now.

RELATED: GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays

In addition to the invites, signs that more people are getting access to GPTs include an introductory screen popping up on free ChatGPT accounts.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Unfortunately, they still aren’t accessible without a Plus subscription.

chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlistScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlist

You can sign up for the waitlist by clicking on the option to upgrade in the left sidebar of ChatGPT on a desktop browser.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

OpenAI also suggests ChatGPT Enterprise for those who need more capabilities, as outlined in the pricing plans below.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Why Are ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Paused?

According to a post on X by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, the recent surge in usage following the DevDay developers conference has led to capacity challenges, resulting in the decision to pause ChatGPT Plus signups.

The decision to pause new ChatGPT signups follows a week where OpenAI services – including ChatGPT and the API – experienced a series of outages related to high-demand and DDoS attacks.

Demand for ChatGPT Plus resulted in eBay listings supposedly offering one or more months of the premium subscription.

When Will ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Resume?

So far, we don’t have any official word on when ChatGPT Plus subscriptions will resume. We know the GPT Store is set to open early next year after recent boardroom drama led to “unexpected delays.”

Therefore, we hope that OpenAI will onboard waitlisted users in time to try out all of the GPTs created by OpenAI and community builders.

What Are GPTs?

GPTs allow users to create one or more personalized ChatGPT experiences based on a specific set of instructions, knowledge files, and actions.

Search marketers with ChatGPT Plus can try GPTs for helpful content assessment and learning SEO.

There are also GPTs for analyzing Google Search Console data.

And GPTs that will let you chat with analytics data from 20 platforms, including Google Ads, GA4, and Facebook.

Google search has indexed hundreds of public GPTs. According to an alleged list of GPT statistics in a GitHub repository, DALL-E, the top GPT from OpenAI, has received 5,620,981 visits since its launch last month. Included in the top 20 GPTs is Canva, with 291,349 views.


Weighing The Benefits Of The Pause

Ideally, this means that developers working on building GPTs and using the API should encounter fewer issues (like being unable to save GPT drafts).

But it could also mean a temporary decrease in new users of GPTs since they are only available to Plus subscribers – including the ones I tested for learning about ranking factors and gaining insights on E-E-A-T from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

custom gpts for seoScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023custom gpts for seo

Featured image: Robert Way/Shutterstock

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The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2024




The Best Times To Post On Social Media In 2024

Marketers worldwide know the importance of having a solid social media marketing strategy – and a key part of this is finding the best times to post on social media.

The old adage ‘timing is everything’ holds especially true in the world of social media, where the difference between a post that fades into obscurity and one that goes viral can often be just a matter of when it was shared.

With an always-growing array of social platforms hosting billions of users worldwide, it has never been more challenging to stand above the noise and make your voice heard on social.

To determine the best times to post on social media in 2024, we reviewed original data from leading social media management tools.

It’s important to note that the data from these sources present a variety of findings and suggestions, which underscore the fact that social media is an ever-evolving landscape. The most crucial thing is understanding the behavior of your own target audience.

Let’s dive in.

The Best Times To Post On Social Media

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday 12 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Friday, Wednesday, and Monday (in that order) 7 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on social media: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Best days to post on social media: Monday and Wednesday.
  • Worst days to post on social media: Saturday and Sunday.

Determining an ideal time for posting on social media in general is complicated, as each platform is different, with unique users, features, and communities.

When deciding which social media platforms to focus on, you should think carefully about your brand’s target audience and overarching goals.

If you’re looking to reach a network of professionals, LinkedIn might be a good fit; if your brand is hoping to speak to Gen Z consumers, you might consider TikTok or Snapchat.

This explains why – when analyzing data from Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and CoSchedule on the best overall times to post on social media – we can draw some similarities but also see a variety of recommendations.

Weekdays emerge as a clear winner. CoSchedule and Sprout Social both highlight Wednesday as a good day, with Hootsuite and CoSchedule also highlighting Mondays as a strong day for engagement.

The most common time range among the sources is in the morning to mid-afternoon, with CoSchedule providing some very specific suggestions for post-timing.

Both CoSchedule and Sprout Social agree on avoiding Saturdays and Sundays.

The Best Times To Post On Facebook

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday and Tuesday 1 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Friday, Wednesday, and Monday (in that order) 9 a.m. Local
  • Best times to post on Facebook: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Best days to post on Facebook: Weekdays.
  • Worst day to post on Facebook: Sunday.

Facebook remains the most used social media platform in the world, with the largest advertising market share (16%).

While it’s experienced a shift in user demographics over recent years – now catering to older users – its popularity continues to climb, and its potential as a brand marketing tool cannot be disputed.

Regarding the best times to post on Facebook, all of our sources agree that weekdays are best. Sprout Social, Hootsuite, and CoSchdule all name Monday as a great day to engage on Facebook, along with calling out various other days of the week.

There is a general consensus that Sundays should be avoided.

The sources vary in their suggestions for optimal time slots, but generally speaking, early to mid-morning seems to be the most popular selection.

The Best Times To Post On YouTube

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
SocialPilot Sunday 2-4 p.m. EST
HubSpot Friday and Saturday 6-9 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on YouTube: 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and 9-11 a.m. on weekends.
  • Best days to post on YouTube: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Worst day to post on YouTube: Tuesday.

As the second most visited site in the world and the second most used social platform globally, YouTube offers an unparalleled opportunity for brands and individuals to connect with audiences through video.

And with its continued expansion – by introducing features like YouTube Shorts, initiatives like expanding the ways creators can get paid on the platform, and its increasing popularity as a search engine – the platform shows no signs of slowing.

YouTube is no longer just a video-sharing site; it’s a robust marketing tool that empowers businesses to raise brand awareness and drive meaningful engagement.

Finding recent data on the best times to post on YouTube proved harder than for some other channels, so these recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt.

While HubSpot suggests Friday and Saturday are the strongest days to publish on YouTube, SocialPilot specifically calls out Sunday as the most engaging day – so it’s worth experimenting with all three.

SocialPilot doesn’t specifically name the worst day, but according to HubSpot, you’d be wise to steer clear of Tuesday.

Both sources suggest the afternoon as an effective time for posting during the week. SocialPilot specifies that publishing in the mornings on weekends (9-11 a.m.) is effective, so this is important to bear in mind.

The Best Times To Post On Instagram

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Wednesday 2 p.m. EST
HubSpot Saturday 6-9 p.m. Local
CoSchedule Wednesday, Friday, and Tuesday (in that order)

9 a.m. Local

Later Monday 4 a.m. Local
  • Best times to post on Instagram: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Best day to post on Instagram: Wednesday.
  • Worst day to post on Instagram: Sunday.

From its origins as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram has evolved into one of the most popular social media networks in the world – and an indispensable marketing tool.

With billions of users – 90% of whom are following at least one business – Instagram has become a powerful engine for ecommerce, brand awareness, and community-building.

As a leader in the social media space, Instagram constantly provides new formats and features for users to try out – from Reels to Stories, user quizzes and polls, and more.

We consulted a handful of sources to determine the top posting times for Instagram and came away with a mixed bag of answers.

Wednesday appears to take the cake as the most consistently recommended day, with CoSchedule, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite all suggesting it.

Generally, our sources seem to lean towards weekdays as being strongest for Instagram engagement – with the exception of HubSpot, which recommends Saturday.

In terms of timing, the morning to midday hours seem to be your best bet, especially around 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. HubSpot and Later provide times that significantly differ from other sources, which suggests that effectiveness can vary based on audience and content type.

The Best Times To Post On TikTok

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday and Wednesday 2-6 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Thursday 10 p.m. EST
SocialPilot Tuesday and Thursday 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. EST
HubSpot Friday 6-9 p.m. Local
  • Best time to post on TikTok: Inconclusive.
  • Best day to post on TikTok: Tuesday.
  • Worst day to post on TikTok: Inconclusive.

While it’s a relative newcomer to the fold, TikTok has quickly become one of the most beloved social platforms worldwide – and is drawing brands in increasing numbers.

With the average user spending nearly 54 minutes on the app daily, it’s hard to beat the hold that TikTok has among audiences. By optimizing your presence there, you can stand to generate some impressive returns on your marketing efforts.

So, what’s the best time to post on TikTok? The jury is out on this one – and it may take extra experimentation on your part to find the sweet spot that engages your audience.

Tuesday seems to rise to the top among the sources we consulted, with Wednesdays and Thursdays also getting recommendations. Generally speaking, it looks like midweek is a good time to test out your TikTok content, but there are plenty of discrepancies in the data.

While HubSpot named Friday as the best day, it also highlighted that Saturdays and Thursdays are strong for B2B brands, and Saturdays and Sundays work well for B2C brands.

Sprout Social found Sunday to be the worst performing day, while Monday and Tuesday are the worst days, according to HubSpot.

We also find a mix of recommended time slots, from early morning to mid-afternoon and also evening being suggested.

The Best Times To Post On Snapchat

Snapchat, the pioneer of ephemeral social media content (and the inspiration behind Instagram Stories), provides unique opportunities to reach younger demographics.

It differs from other platforms in how it works and the type of content that engages there. Snapchat typically centers around showcasing real-time experiences and authentic behind-the-scenes content versus polished marketing content.

This makes Snapchat an advantageous yet often underutilized tool in digital marketing. But it should not be overlooked, especially given that the platform continues to innovate.

While we have seen 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. cited as the best times to post on Snapchat in various secondary sources around the internet, we have found no recent original data to either confirm or refute this.

Given this, we would recommend testing out different times and days based on the behaviors and lifestyles of your target audience and then iterating based on your results (which is what you should be doing across the board, regardless!)

The Best Times To Post On Pinterest

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Wednesday to Friday 1-3 p.m. Local
HubSpot Friday 3-6 p.m. Local
CoSchedule Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (in that order)

8 p.m. Local

  • Best times to post on Pinterest: 3-6 p.m.
  • Best day to post on Pinterest: Friday.
  • Worst day to post on Pinterest: Sunday.

Pinterest, once thought of as a simple inspiration board-style site, has today become a crucial player in the world of ecommerce.

Businesses can leverage Pinterest to showcase their products and drive conversions, but also to grow and expand brand awareness and sentiment.

Success on Pinterest can be found through sharing brand-specific imagery, optimizing for mobile, and appealing to your audience’s sense of aspiration and inspiration.

Friday, alongside other weekdays, is consistently mentioned as a strong day among our sources. On the other end, Sunday is commonly named as the least effective day for posting on Pinterest.

When it comes to the most fruitful posting time on the platform, it appears that the late afternoon to early evening, specifically around 3-6 p.m., is optimal for best engagement.

The Best Times To Post On X (Twitter)

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday to Thursday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Wednesday, Tuesday, and Friday (in that order) 9 a.m. Local
HubSpot Friday and Wednesday (in that order) 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on X (Twitter): 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Best days to post on X (Twitter): Wednesday and Friday.
  • Worst day to post on X (Twitter): Sunday.

X (formerly known as Twitter) has long been a place for marketers to connect and engage with their audience, join trending conversations, and build community.

The real-time nature of X (Twitter) differentiates it from other social platforms and allows for spur-of-the-moment and reactionary marketing moves. And with CEO Elon Musk’s big plans for the app, it’s undoubtedly a space to watch.

When looking for the top days to post among the sources we consulted, Wednesday and Friday are most often mentioned – with Sprout Social specifying Tuesday through Thursday.

Hootsuite nominates Monday and Wednesday as the top days, proving that weekdays reign supreme on X (Twitter).

Like many other platforms, Sunday seems to be the least effective day for post-engagement.

Looking for the best times to post on X (Twitter)?

Late morning, from around 9 a.m. to noon, seems to be the most recommended time – though, as always, this will differ based on your specific audience and the type of content you are sharing.

We always recommend testing and experimenting to see what works for you.

The Best Times To Post On LinkedIn

Source Day Of Week Time To Post
Sprout Social Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Local
Hootsuite Monday 4 p.m. EST
CoSchedule Thursday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (in that order) 10 a.m. Local
HubSpot Monday, Wednesday, and Tuesday (in that order) 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Local
  • Best times to post on LinkedIn: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Best days to post on LinkedIn: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Worst days to post on LinkedIn: Weekends.

Though first and foremost a platform for professionals, LinkedIn has picked up steam in recent years, becoming a hub of engagement and a frontrunner among social media networks.

It’s also an essential tool for businesses that want to reach business executives and decision-makers, as well as potential candidates.

Done right, LinkedIn content can go a long way in building a public perception of your brand and providing deep value to your target audience.

Digging into the data, we can see that weekdays provide the biggest opportunities for engagement on LinkedIn, which is hardly surprising. Tuesdays through Thursdays are often mentioned as the top days, with Mondays also highlighted by Hootsuite and HubSpot.

All of our sources agree that weekends are less effective for LinkedIn posts.

If you’re searching for the right time, you might try your hand at posting from late morning to mid-afternoon, based on what these sources discovered.

But (and not to sound like a broken record) your results may differ based on your brand, niche, target audience, and content.

What Is The Best Time For You To Post On Social Media?

Finding the best times to post on social media requires a delicate blend of testing, experimentation, and personal analytics.

And it never hurts to start your journey with industry insights like the ones we’ve covered in this article.

By aligning your content strategy with your target audience and trying out different posting strategies – taking into account these recommended time slots – you will be able to determine what works best for you and significantly enhance your social media presence and engagement.

Sources of data, November 2023.

All data above was taken from the sources below.

Each platform conducted its own extensive research, analyzing millions of posts across various social networks to find the times when users are most engaged.


  • Sprout Social analyzed nearly 2 billion engagements across 400,000 social profiles.
  • Hootsuite analyzed thousands of social media posts using an audience of 8 million followers. For its Instagram updates, it analyzed over 30,000 posts.
  • CoSchedule analyzed more than 35 million posts from more than 30,000 organizations.
  • SocialPilot studied over 50,000 YouTube accounts and over 50,000 TikTok accounts to compile its data. 
  • Later analyzed over 11 million Instagram posts.
  • HubSpot surveyed over 1,000 global marketers to discern the best times to post on social media. For its Instagram-specific data, it partnered with Mention to analyze over 37 million posts.

More resources: 

Featured Image: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

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