Skyscraper Content for Links and Rankings

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May 27, 2024

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Skyscraper Content for Links and Rankings

Skyscraper Content for Links and Rankings

Imagine you’re walking down a busy city street, surrounded by towering skyscrapers reaching up towards the sky. As you crane your neck to admire the architectural masterpieces, it dawns on you – the tallest, most impressive buildings are the ones that command attention. They’re the ones that everyone notices and talks about.

Well, the same principle applies to content marketing and SEO. If you want your website to stand out and dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to create “skyscraper” content – content that is so valuable, so comprehensive, and so well-designed that it utterly dwarfs the competition.

That’s exactly what the skyscraper technique is all about. It’s a link building strategy that involves finding popular content in your industry, creating something even better, and then reaching out to the people who have already linked to the original content to get them to link to your superior version instead.

Brian Dean first introduced the skyscraper technique back in 2015, and it has since become one of the most powerful content marketing and link building strategies out there. In fact, after using the skyscraper technique to create a comprehensive list of Google’s 200 ranking factors, Brian saw his organic traffic double in just 14 days.

Sounds pretty incredible, right? Well, trust me, it works. I’ve used the skyscraper technique to help my clients at MCR SEO, an SEO agency in Manchester, UK, achieve incredible results. But before I share the step-by-step process, let me first explain why this technique is so effective.

The Power of Skyscraper Content

In the world of content marketing and SEO, there’s a common misconception that “great content is enough.” The thinking goes something like this: “If I just create really valuable, informative content, people will naturally find it and link to it.”

Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. There’s so much content out there these days that it takes more than just creating great content to get noticed and earn those all-important backlinks.

That’s where the skyscraper technique comes in. By creating content that is objectively superior to anything else out there on the same topic, you’re much more likely to get the attention of influential people in your industry – the ones with the power to send that referral traffic and link juice your way.

Here’s why the skyscraper technique is so effective:

  1. It Taps Into Human Nature: Think about it – when you’re walking down the street and you see a towering skyscraper, do you immediately start wondering how it compares to the 8th tallest building in the world? Of course not. We’re naturally drawn to the best, the biggest, the most impressive. And that’s exactly what you’re creating with your skyscraper content.

  2. It Provides Linkable Assets: A “linkable asset” is the holy grail of content marketing – it’s the type of content that people can’t help but link to because it’s so valuable and impressive. By creating skyscraper content, you’re essentially building the most linkable asset in your industry.

  3. It Gives You Leverage in Outreach: Once you’ve created your skyscraper content, you now have a powerful bargaining chip when it comes to reaching out to other website owners and asking them to link to your content. After all, if your content is truly better than anything else out there, why wouldn’t they want to link to it?

So in summary, the skyscraper technique allows you to create content that is so remarkable that it rises above the noise and demands attention – both from your target audience and from the influential people in your industry who have the power to send you valuable referral traffic and boost your search rankings.

How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique

Okay, now that you understand the power of the skyscraper technique, let’s dive into the step-by-step process for putting it into action. There are three key steps:

Step 1: Find Linkable Content

The first step is to identify existing content in your industry that is already performing well and earning lots of backlinks. This is the “skyscraper” that you’re going to try to one-up.

To do this, you can use a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to analyze your competitors’ top-performing content. Look for pieces that have a high number of backlinks from authoritative, relevant websites.

For example, let’s say you’re an SEO agency in Manchester and you want to create a piece of content around “Google’s ranking factors.” You could search for that topic in Ahrefs and see that Brian Dean’s article on the topic has over 2,000 backlinks from nearly 1,300 unique domains.

That’s the kind of content you want to find – something that’s clearly resonating with your target audience and the influencers in your industry.

Step 2: Create Something Even Better

Once you’ve identified the content you want to one-up, it’s time to get to work on creating your skyscraper piece. The key here is to make your content significantly better than the original in every way possible.

This could mean:
– Making it longer and more comprehensive
– Updating the information to be more current
– Enhancing the design and visual elements
– Adding more in-depth analysis, data, and research

The goal is to create content that is so valuable, so well-executed, and so clearly superior to anything else out there that it’s an absolute no-brainer for anyone who has linked to the original content to switch their link over to yours.

For example, with the Google ranking factors article, Brian Dean didn’t just create a quick list – he painstakingly researched and documented all 200 of Google’s known ranking factors, complete with detailed descriptions and references. That level of depth and thoroughness is what made his content skyscraper-worthy.

Step 3: Reach Out and Acquire Backlinks

The final step is to reach out to the people and websites that have already linked to the original content you’re trying to one-up. The goal here is to let them know about your superior skyscraper content and encourage them to update their links to point to your version instead.

This is where the outreach and relationship-building aspect of the skyscraper technique comes into play. You’ll need to do some manual prospecting to find the right contact information for the people who have linked to the original content, and then craft personalized outreach emails that highlight the value of your content and make it clear why it’s worth linking to.

It’s important to approach this outreach in a friendly, helpful way – you’re not just asking for a link, you’re offering them something of genuine value that will improve their content and provide a better experience for their audience.

And the results can be incredible. In his case study, Brian Dean was able to earn 17 high-quality backlinks just from his initial outreach efforts – a conversion rate of over 10%, which is outstanding for cold outreach.

Putting it All Together

The skyscraper technique might seem deceptively simple, but when executed properly, it can be an incredibly powerful way to drive traffic, earn backlinks, and boost your search engine rankings.

Here’s a quick recap of the key steps:

  1. Use tools like Ahrefs or Semrush to identify popular, linkable content in your industry.
  2. Create something even better – longer, more comprehensive, more visually appealing, and more valuable for your target audience.
  3. Reach out to the websites and people who have linked to the original content, and encourage them to link to your superior skyscraper piece instead.

By following this process, you can position your website as the go-to authority in your niche, earn high-quality backlinks from influential sites, and drive a steady stream of targeted traffic to your content. And let’s be honest – in the crowded world of content marketing, that’s the kind of competitive edge every business is looking for.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building your own content skyscrapers!

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