The Skyscraper Technique 101: What Is It and How to Pull It Off

The Skyscraper Technique 101: What Is It and How to Pull It Off

In today’s crowded digital marketing landscape, the competition is heated. Attracting a wide audience and driving traffic has been a constant battle. It’s increasingly challenging to break through the noise and earn quality backlinks from other sites. Thus, SEO and marketing experts have been trying to come up with lucrative strategies that would boost their efforts and results.

Today, we’ll walk you through one that’s been making waves in the link-building community for a while now: The Skyscraper Technique. The Skyscraper Technique can help you create link-worthy content to earn high-quality links and traffic from every piece of content you publish.

Want to one-up top-notch content by savvy marketing gurus? Read on to learn what the skyscraper technique is, why it works and how to execute it successfully!

What Is the Skyscraper Technique?

In our evolved digital marketing world, Google and other search engines aim to please the users and thus, actively encourage white hat techniques and ranking strategies such as natural link building and producing informative inbound content. That’s where the Skyscraper Technique comes in to work its magic.

The term “Skyscraper Technique” was initially coined in 2016 by SEO expert Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, when explaining a new way to look at link-building strategies. He performed a case study using this approach, describing how he doubled his search traffic in just two weeks by increasing the number of backlinks to his content.

Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors—the higher your number of backlinks, the more likely your content will rank well. The Skyscraper Technique is a link-building strategy that relies on this fact. It’s based on finding high-ranking content with a lot of backlinks, capitalizing on its weaknesses, then using it to develop a much better piece of content. In other words, it’s a method of building upon the best content out there to create something even better.

Skyscraper Technique In SEO

You could say the Skyscraper Technique is kind of like the “marriage” of meritorious link-building strategy and compelling content creation. It’s an entirely transparent and white hat SEO strategy. To break it down, the “skyscraping” process involves three basic steps:

  • Finding high-quality content with a large number of backlinks
  • Building upon high-quality content to make original content that’s even better
  • Reaching out to the right people related to those targeted pieces of content

Why Use the Skyscraper Technique?

What’s the point in investing time and effort into creating content no one will ever read, right? Suffering from a lack of search visibility is a modern-day SEO struggle. If people aren’t going to find your content organically, you have to turn to alternative strategies. That’s where the Skyscraper Technique comes to the rescue. You can use it to build high-quality backlinks to your content, which will, in turn, increase your organic traffic and authority.

Generally, people like the tallest skyscraper in a city landscape. Likewise, people like the best content in the SERP landscape. Using the Skyscraper Technique is a way for you to construct the “tallest building” in the neighborhood by building upon an already-existing and already-good piece of content.

The Skyscraper Technique is incredibly effective for link-building and driving organic search traffic if executed correctly. Not only does this strategy let you create great, competitive content that earns traffic, but also lets you boost authority by earning numerous backlinks. Talk about an SEO’s dream come true!

Benefits of the Skyscraper Technique

Do you have great content but still struggling with getting enough traffic or backlinks? The Skyscraper Technique can help you break out of this rut and gain visibility and the right exposure.

Still not convinced? Here are a few top advantages of using the Skyscraper Technique:

It Helps You Reach Target Audience

A significant advantage of the skyscraper technique is that there’s proven demand for the topic or keywords. With this content strategy, you have the chance to excite an already warmed-up audience by knowing their preferences and interests, making it easier to hit the target.

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Improves Authority and Boosts Traffic

The Skyscraper Technique earns you a high number of backlinks, increasing your site’s overall authority. By choosing the contacts that you outreach, you can control the process of obtaining high-quality links that are of high value for Google rankings and visibility.

It Saves Time

The skyscraper technique lets you save time in the content creation process by analyzing how well the topic is presented in the original article, and understanding what made it successful, which helps you add the icing to the already-made cake and create even more engaging posts.

It Provides Real Value to Users

By perfecting content that is already performing well, you can provide high-quality content that is relevant and useful for your readers.

Does the Skyscraper Technique Work? What All The Controversy Is About

When the Skyscraper Technique wins, it wins big, as Brian Dean has shown us. Nonetheless, it has a notorious reputation. The Skyscraper technique is quite controversial as it has a seemingly high fail rate. Much like other hot content marketing and SEO boosting trends before it, the original concept of the Skyscraper Technique is brilliant. It’s the overuse and misuse that makes it a menace.

Many blogs and businesses trying to outdo each other think the skyscraper technique is synonymous with length, not value. Yes, it is a type of long-form content, however, the Skyscraper Technique isn’t just about producing longer posts to rank higher than your competitors on SERPs or an excuse to plagiarize content. Everyone loses in that arms race.

The most common mistakes people make when using the Skyscraper Technique are:

  1. Not conducting a thorough competitor and keyword research
  2. Making unoriginal / plagiarised content
  3. Thinking all search intent is created equal
  4. Thinking longer is always better
  5. Sacrificing user experience and value for more content
  6. Extending outreach too narrowly

Luckily, you can take steps to ensure that you’re implementing the Skyscraper technique the right way, to use it to your advantage and get the best possible outcome.



The Skyscraper Technique Best Practices: How To Execute The Skyscraper Technique to Boost Your SEO

The secret behind the Skyscraping Technique’s success? Actually pulling it off. Knowing the definition of the skyscraper technique is simply not enough. To truly leverage its many advantages, you have to arm yourself with the best strategies and incorporate them into your marketing campaign the right way.

If you want to build a proper skyscraper, you’ll need to plan ahead. So, how can you apply the Skyscraper Technique effectively, make the most out of it and get tangible results? Let’s dive right into it.

1. Look for Relevant and Link-Worthy Content

Before you start writing your skyscraper content, take a peek at other websites’ top-performing content to see what they’re doing well. Then beat them at it. Yes, it’s that simple. You can find content by keyword, by topic, or by an authoritative source. The content you create needs to have demand (aka high search volume) to be worth the effort. If there’s no audience for your content, it doesn’t matter how good it is — no one will read it. So, stick to what’s popular in your niche.

Determining the “best” existing content comes down to the number of backlinks as a reference point. The best piece of content is usually the one that already ranks very high, which means it has a lot of organic search traffic, social media shares, and quality backlinks. Sometimes, however, the top entry in the SERPs won’t be the page with the most backlinks. You can use backlink checker tools to help you identify the best opportunities.

2. Outdo Best Performing Content

The next step in your skyscraper technique is to outdo your competition. Once you understand the content you’re up against, ask yourself: “How can I make it even better?” Your goal is to stand out from the existing content with something of more value. Add icing to an already tasty cake.

Look for new and unique ways to create content that communicates a similar message – with a twist. Take what’s already there, look at it from a unique angle, and one-up it. You can create a better piece of content by making it longer, more up-to-date, better designed, and more thorough. Increase the content volume and make it more visually appealing, informative, detailed, or elaborate.

Whatever you do, make sure it towers above the competition. In other words, offer more of everything. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Then, go above and beyond to provide more value to your readers and create the ultimate source for the topic at hand.

3. Reach Out to The Right People

Simply putting a piece of skyscraper content up on your website and hoping people will take to it won’t cut it. Producing high-quality, valuable content is only half the battle. The rest is gaining notice and earning backlinks for your content to be considered worthy of a top ranking on search results. So, after you’ve spiced things up and created a better piece of content than the original – it’s time to hunt for quality prospects for the link-building part of the skyscraper technique!

Outreach your content to people who have already linked some of your previous content. Get in touch with those that linked your competitors’ content and show them why they should link yours. If it truly is better than the original content, it should be a win-win. Don’t foresee those who hadn’t linked but might be interested in your blog post. You can also use HARO services to find journalist requests relevant to your blog post.

4. Pitch Your Content The Right Way

Your last step in implementing the Skyscraper Technique is to send a brief, actionable email to the authors and ask them to link to your website. Their inboxes are probably full of similar requests, so you need to make sure your message sticks out.

Email outreach is your best friend – if you approach it the right way. You need to create a highly personalized email campaign. So, don’t stick to a generic email template – make it your own. Segment and hand-tailor emails for your prospect list to make them relatable.

Mention a specific point from the article and highlight the value of the content piece. Explain how your new content goes a step further, why it’s something potential readers will enjoy, and something they would want to link to. Show genuine interest and provide an offer they won’t be able to refuse.

5. Monitor and Update Your Content

To truly leverage your execution of the skyscraper technique, you need to monitor and keep track of the SEO metrics of your backlinks. Also, as more and more content is produced and content gets stale over time, you need to make sure you always keep it fresh and up-to-date for it to stay relevant to your audience and for the Skyscraping technique to be successful in the long run.

Ready to Give the Skyscraper Technique a Go?

Content is still king – It’s the best content that always wins the race. Thus, skyscraper content is about quality, not quantity. It’s about outsmarting your competition to ensure long-term SEO success.

Pulling off the Skyscraper Technique will ensure you cover a topic from every angle imaginable, create the most authoritative content out there and provide value to the end-users. In return, you’ll reap all the benefits of a large number of backlinks and compelling content no one will be able to get enough of!

Yes, we’re talking about the content marketer’s dream – boosting organic traffic and ranking high in the SERPS! Ready to build some digital skyscrapers?


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