Suppose you’ve launched a brand-new website, & you’re eager to get more visitors and higher rankings on search engines like Google. But suffering from a lack of search visibility is a modern-day SEO struggle. If people don’t find your content organically, what’s the point in investing time and effort into creating other content no one will read? In that case, you must use an alternative approach. That’s where the SEO skyscraper technique comes in.
Heard about a powerful link-building SEO technique called skyscraper technique SEO, coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko in 2015. But what is the skyscraper backlink technique exactly, what best practices to implement, how can it help your website grow on top SERPs, and can you still get outcomes with this approach? This comprehensive blog on skyscraper backlink techniques will help you learn everything you must know.
What Is Skyscraper Technique SEO?
The skyscraper technique is an SEO link-building tactic that involves finding competitive content other sites link to, improving existing popular content, creating something better, and encouraging sites to link to you instead. Website owners want to link to the best possible resources. By improving on popular content in your niche, you can get its backlinks from other sites.
In short, the skyscraper backlink technique is updating content to make it even better and use it to get more quality backlinks and increase your organic traffic. It’s the best combination of meritorious link-building strategy and compelling content creation. It’s an entirely transparent and white-hat SEO tactic. To break it down, the “skyscraping” process involves four basic steps:
Examples of SEO Skyscrapers Technique–
Imagine you’re passionate about traveling & publish regular blogs to boost your travel business. You’ve written a fantastic article about “The Top 10 Hidden Gems in New York.” Your content is informative, well-researched, and beautifully presented. However, when you search for “hidden gems in New York” on Google, your blog post doesn’t even reach the 1st page of the results.
This is where the skyscraper technique SEO comes into play. The skyscraper method, coined by Brian Dean of Backlinko, is an SEO strategy that involves taking existing content and making it even better to outperform your competitors.
What Is Skyscraper Content?
Skyscraper content is content created for the skyscraper backlink technique. It’s designed to be a better version of a widely linked resource. For example, it might be:
- More comprehensive & up to date
- Created by more credible experts
- Published on more authoritative websites
- Presented more effectively with unique insights & visuals.
Skyscraper content is crucial to the success of the skyscraper method. Without it, web admins have no strong incentive to link to your site.
Does The Skyscraper Technique SEO Still Work?
There is reason to believe that the skyscraper technique isn’t as effective as it once was. However, if you follow the right strategy, it can still be a successful link-building tactic. Honestly, the technique has been oversaturated. Given its widespread use, its effectiveness may even be limited. But Ahrefs, a leading SEO software suite, asked their X (Twitter) & LinkedIn followers a question, i.e., does the skyscraper backlink technique still work? And they received 1,242 votes. Here are the results:
Image Source: Ahrefs
The above pie chart shows that 61% of respondents feel the skyscraper technique SEO still works. Many SEO professionals and marketers still believe in this method.
What Made the SEO Skyscraper Technique So Effective?
Backlinks are one of the most significant ranking factors—the higher your number of quality backlinks, the more likely your content will rank well. After Brian Dean shared his results, the skyscraper technique became a smart way to build links and find topics for high-quality and relevant content. Now that you have a better idea of this strategy, let’s closely examine why it works so well.
Reach Target Audience
A significant benefit of the skyscraper technique is the proven demand for the topic or keywords. With this content strategy, you can excite an already warmed-up target audience by knowing their preferences & interests, making it easier to hit the aim.
It Helps You Create Better Content
The first step in the skyscraper technique is to identify great content that already ranks for your target keyword. This also involves analyzing the content to see what makes it so good. For example, the best pages all include bespoke images. Therefore, not only does this process help you identify areas in your content that need improving & apply Google EEAT rules. Also, highlight things you could be doing to offer more value to your readers.
The Approach Is Scalable
One of the main benefits of using the SEO skyscraper link-building technique is its ability to get your content in front of many web admins and bloggers. For each keyword you want to target, you’ll be able to find hundreds of prospects online that you can reach out to. If your content is high quality and offers more value to readers than what currently exists, you’ll increase your chances of winning backlinks and attracting more people to your website.
The Ranking Potential Is Huge
As mentioned earlier, the main goal of employing the skyscraper technique SEO is to outperform an existing piece of top-performing content. If the existing page you’re trying to beat has been ranking for a while, there’s a good chance that Google has already indexed the website.
By creating something better, you could overthrow the older content, outrank them, and drive more traffic to your website—especially if your outreach campaign wins high-quality backlinks.
Improves Authority and Boosts Traffic
The SEO skyscraper technique earns many backlinks, increasing your site’s overall authority. By choosing the contacts that you reach, you can control the process of acquiring high-quality links that are of high value for Google SERP rankings and visibility.
There’s Already a Demand for Your Content
Unlike other link-building strategies, the skyscraper technique SEO gives you more certainty that there’s a proven demand for the content you’ve produced. This is because the webmasters and blog owners you contact have already linked to a similar page. All you need to do is show them why your content is better than what currently exists and leverage this demand to win quality backlinks for your website.
SEO Skyscraper Technique Best Practices You Must Follow
1- Find Skyscraper Link-Worthy Content
The very first step in the skyscraper technique SEO is that you’ve to find link-worthy content. Find out the content already performing well in your niche & has many backlinks. There are many tools to help you with this task. You can use SEO tools like Ahrefs, Semrush (the best tool to find link-worthy content), Majestic, etc.
Let’s look at the example of using the Semrush SEO audit tool to find top-performing content. Open Semrush, go to the Organic Research tool & enter any of your competitor’s URLs. Let’s take the example of Backlinko.com.
As you can see in the above image, there’s a big list of metrics of that URL, including all the keywords generating the traffic. Scrolling down, you’ll get Organic Keywords Trend, Top Keywords, Keywords by Intent, Top Position Changes in SERP Features. Then, you can see a list of TOP PAGES with the most traffic and backlinks. & you can click (view all) to explore more.
Here, you’ll find a list of all the top-performing URL pages. You’ll also see the traffic percentage and total number of keyword variations. Similarly, you can go to Buzzsumo, Ahrefs, and Majestic and enter a keyword related to your blog’s topic. You’ll get several top posts in your industry that get more social shares.
2- Make The Original Content Exceptional
Now that you have found trendy topic ideas in your niche, in the 2nd step of the skyscraper link-building technique, you’ll make the content more resourceful to get better results for your blog. Creating exceptional content is the key to outstanding outcomes from the Skyscraper backlink technique. Here are some tips for you to win the SEO game:
A} Make the content longer:
If there’s something you want to add to the post you’ve already written, take advantage of this opportunity. Enhance the content by adding more information, adding more items if you can, and, in short, expanding the content so that it can offer more value to your readers.
For instance, if the original post is like “The 10 Step Website Launch Checklist,” it stands out with a list of more points, just like we did in our post, i.e., The 17 Step Website Launch Checklist & Few Other Must-Dos. But make sure your additions should be relevant. The information must be logical to the topic & make sense to your audience.
B} Make detailed content:
Once you have a list of proven trendy blog ideas, read the posts. Find out what is missing. If they need to be more detailed, make your posts as straightforward as possible. Include every detail that makes sense to the blog post ideas you have discovered.
C} Make it appealing:
If the posts that have already performed well in your niche don’t have much visual data like images, infographics, or videos, include them in your blog posts. A well-explained blog post with lots of visual data attracts more shares and incoming links. So, spend quality time adding more images to your content.
3- Find Quality Prospects
How can you find someone interested in sharing or linking your blog posts? The main idea behind the SEO skyscraper backlink technique is to find people interested in linking or promoting your stuff and who have already been engaged with similar content.
This means that your high-quality prospects are the ones interested in your topic and already linked to one or more similar posts(s).
The process includes:
- Finding high-quality placements
- Organizing the data filtered and shown in the spreadsheet
- Finding the prospect’s contact information.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to contact people who have already linked to your original post. You can easily find all the referring domains for a URL using the Semrush backlink analytics tool. All you have to do is enter your target URL, and you’ll be able to find all the backlink sources for that URL. Let’s see how it works:
As you can see above, the Backlink Analytics of Semrush shows over 8.3K referring domains to one of the web pages. By just clicking on the “Referring domains,” you can find all its backlinks sources.
You will instantly discover all the domains linked to the original content. Once you get the list of targeted people, start pitching them your content.
Must Read Blog: Backlinks vs Referring Domains: Everything You Need to Know
4- Create Email That Gets Open & Respond
Email outreach is the most prominent strategy that makes or breaks this skyscraper technique SEO. If you forget this one section, you won’t get the desired results. If you don’t know how to write emails that get open, you’ll never get the results you want.
Getting a response from the most influential bloggers is more challenging than it sounds. That’s why you need to focus on crafting perfect emails. Here are a few practical tips for writing emails that get influencer responses.
- Write a stunning subject line, as it is the first thing people will see. If it’s not compelling, your email will be in the trash section.
- Keep your email concise, as busy business bloggers don’t have enough time to read long and tedious emails.
- Before you reach out to other bloggers for shares or links, make sure you’re following them on Twitter and linking out to them often. After all, blogging is a win-win situation.
- Always use their names, as personalization is the key to email opening.
- One of the biggest errors most bloggers make is sending one email and expecting a response within 5-6 days. Follow up with another email every 5-6 days, and you’ll get better results. That’s the secret.
The SEO skyscraper technique aims to achieve two objectives: to acquire new backlinks from competitors and to improve one’s chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs). By creating more comprehensive content than competitors, it is expected that one will rank higher. Implementing the skyscraper backlink technique SEO will guarantee that a topic is covered from every possible angle, authoritative content is created, and value is provided to the end users. In exchange, one will reap the benefits of numerous backlinks and engaging content that no one can resist.