The harsh reality of today's internet marketing landscape is that there's a lot of amazing content out there. If you think that publishing mediocre content will get the extraordinary results you hope for, think again. Marketers are upping their game, getting more creative with various tactics and techniques to grab hold of their target audience's attention.
If you're looking to get ahead of the competition, you need to be very intentional with your approach. A Digital PR technique that has been proven to have results with SEO is the skyscraper method.
Let's walk through the skyscraper SEO technique and why famous SEO strategies won't work while the skyscraper approach does. We'll also show you how to implement the technique properly, so you don't find yourself in a “falling from a skyscraper” SEO nightmare.
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Origin of the Skyscraper SEO Technique
If you've been working with SEO and have heard the mumblings of the skyscraper technique but are still asking yourself, “What is a skyscraper page and where did it come from?”, read on.
Back in 2015, Brian Dean from Backlinko shared an approach he created that increased his search traffic by 110% in 14 days. He called it the Skyscraper Technique for SEO. After executing the method, the number of backlinks to his page shot straight up, and more importantly, organic search traffic to his entire site doubled.
What Dean shrewdly observed is that human beings are naturally attracted to the best of the best. In an ultra-saturated landscape like the World Wide Web, this couldn't be more true.
Brian opted to name the skyscraper technique SEO because no person is especially interested in seeing the world's eighth or ninth tallest building. People are attracted to the best. So, he says, what you are doing with your SEO is finding the tallest “skyscraper” (or best content) in your area and adding many stories on top of it.
How to Implement Skyscraper SEO
Before you start to worry, the skyscraper SEO method does not require a million-dollar marketing budget or an abundance of connections. In fact, we can break down the skyscraper tricks for SEO marketing into three simple and achievable steps.
- Find popular content that has been linked to many times by other sites.
- Create a piece of improved content on the same topic and publish it on your own site.
- Contact the right people to promote your superior content.
Find Link Worthy Content
By choosing existing successful content, you know that the topic you are considering writing about has proven to be in high demand. More specifically, what you want to look for (and what you want to create) is a linkable asset. Not to be confused with “clickbait,” a linkable asset is content that is of such high value that you can guarantee people will want to link to it.
But how can you know for sure that people will want to link to your content? The Skyscraper method SEO helps to overcome the hurdle of guesswork.
You can start by setting up a Google Alert for topics you potentially would like to research and cover. Then, create a list of popular sites in your niche or industry using a keyword search tool. After that, check the ranking of the top-performing pieces that have generated the most traffic and backlinks.
Create Something Even Better
Once you've found the most popular piece of content, congratulations! Become familiar with it as it will serve as the basis for your SEO skyscraper method.
Simply put, you need to improve upon what is already performing well. Sometimes it's obvious what you can do to make your content the greater of the two. But on those occasions where it is unclear, there are a few skyscraper method SEO tricks Brian recommends that you can apply most of the content.
First tip: Go bigger. Long-form content is known to perform better than short-form content. For example, if you are looking at a list of ten things to look for when buying a house, top it by listing fifteen or twenty.
Another way to go bigger is to go deeper into the subject and points that you're making. Make sure you are using your expertise to expand upon points that readers may want to learn more about. The most valuable content will include information such as descriptions, statistical data, and/or case studies.
It's also important to keep things fresh. If the article is from a few years ago, chances are some terms, images, or information may be outdated. Audiences don't want to waste their time reading irrelevant content, so keeping your information up to date is a skyscraper SEO pro move.
Finally, make it visual. According to studies, 65% of people are visual learners,so a great way to add value to your content is to brighten up the design.
Bonus Tip: If you're having a tough time creating a new (better) angle, consider hiring an expert. Digital PR Agencies can help create engaging content pieces that attract real people, and (more importantly) links!
Contact the Right People
Now that you've built your tallest building, the next element to the skyscraper approach SEO is outreach. What you don't want to do is clutter the inbox of every random blogger out there. Instead, what is different about the skyscraper technique compared to other famous SEO techniques, is that it calls for you to reach out to site owners (bloggers, influencers, brands, etc.) who have already linked to similar content.
For top SEO practices, the skyscraper technique suggests the key qualifications for targeting the right prospects are:
- They operate a site that is related to your niche or industry.
- They have a special interest in your topic.
- They have already linked to an article on your topic.
You can use various tools like Semrush or the Snov.io email finder extension for Google to find relevant outreach prospects. It is important to scout out as many people as you can, but don't fall into the trap of sacrificing quality for quantity. Getting links from poor-quality websites can end up hurting your credibility with Google.
Craft Your Highly Personalized Outreach Emails
Once you are confident in your list of people who have backlinked to similar content as yours, you need to perform link-building outreach and send them an email that will catch their eye. To do this, the skyscraper technique SEO creator Brian Dean crafted a template he cold-emailed to his entire list and achieved an 11% success rate.
Create your own email outreach template that is as personal as possible, tweaking each email as necessary for each person you reach out to. Some things to avoid as you craft your email include:
- Overly generic subject lines.
- Not establishing your credibility to prove your article is worth linking to
- Not explaining how a backlink would also benefit them
After you send your personalized emails to every one of your prospects, don't be afraid to follow up with whoever doesn't respond in 3-5 business days. Being persistent might be the difference between getting the link or falling short with your skyscraper SEO.
Conclusion — Use the SEO Skyscraper Technique Today
The skyscraper technique and SEO strategies combined are excellent ways to earn quality links and will surely keep you a top competitor in the digital marketing scene. You may find it tempting to rush through the process, but it is essential to follow the method step by step.
Although there is some hard work involved, following this technique has proven to have outstanding results. Now, get out there and find your tallest skyscraper and build it even higher!