Online visibility is essential for building a business. Being seen on the web directly leads to business and brand growth which is what makes the acquisition of new website visitors so valuable, especially today when the competition is very high.
One of the best ways for increasing your website traffic is through a joint effort of content marketing and SEO. The collaboration of these particular fields has provided us with all kinds of strategies and techniques getting more and more people to visit your website. In a sea of different possibilities to incorporate, one stands out for being extremely effective – the Skyscraper Technique.
What Is the Skyscraper Technique?
in 2015 Brian Dean first described The Skyscraper Technique in a case study where he explained how he discovered a method to double his organic website traffic in just two weeks!
Over the years, the Skyscraper Technique has been replicated many times along with some minor tweaks and embellishments. Still, the core of the strategy remains pretty much the same which is to find content with lots of backlinks and create a better version with a goal of collecting a portion of those backlinks.
The Skyscraper Technique plays on our psychological tendencies to be attracted to the very best and finest. The idea is that people will take a look at your improved version of content and will feel inclined to enrich their page with a link to yours. Following that logic, the more obvious it is that your content is superior the better your chances of acquiring a backlink are.
How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique Properly
In the last four years, many have tried to replicate Brian’s method and managed to increase their website traffic profusely. Ryan and folks from Creative Live used it to promote an infographic on calculating your freelance hourly rate which resulted in over 70 000 new page views along with just under 3500 new subscribers.
That being said not everyone was able to reach similar levels of success. Such is the case with Olga and her team at Chanty. In an in-depth post-mortem, they described that missing the keyword was the critical point that completely derailed their Skyscraper link building attempt. It’s clear that a lot of it has to do with proper preparation and execution.
1. Discover the Right Candidate
There are several characteristics that will help you make the right choice for your brand when deciding on which content you want to compete with. First and foremost, explore top-ranking content that is relevant to the services you’re providing. This will ensure that your efforts will attract the right type of audience for your brand, meaning they’ll be more likely to become your clients or customers.
Use Google Search to find content that is already performing and ranking very highly for a popular topic relevant to your niche. While exploring various topics, analyze the number of backlinks to a high-performing piece of content using SEO tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush. Acquiring a backlink profile for a particular page will help you determine the number of backlinks, where they are coming from and some other useful metrics like URL and domain authority.
The key factor that should help you decide should be the sweet spot between the number of backlinks a content page has and the perceived room for improvement. If you are able to find a piece of content that has lots of backlinks but you’re confident you can produce something significantly better – you’re on the right track!
2. Create a Tempting Alternative
Now that you’ve narrowed down the topics and the competitors, you can work on creating a superior piece of content that will provide a more up to date, richer and more insightful experience for the readers.
Some of the characteristics that make a piece of content more appealing are length, freshness, structure, design and rich media. However, all of these factors need to contribute directly to the quality of your content. Adding 5 lukewarm tips to a pretty extensive list just to make your version longer will actually hurt the quality of your article!
The most important thing is that your content does a better job of presenting the topic to the reader. Your main focus should be on providing them with a unique perspective and revealing valuable insights in a way that’s truly engaging. If you’d like to learn more about how to make engaging content – click here!
3. Reach Out to Your List of Targets
The first two steps will set a framework for your success but only by doing quality email outreach will you be able to realize its full potential. From the backlink profile you’ve acquired in the first step, you can create a list of targets for your outreach campaign. You’ll need to explore all pages that have linked back to the content you’re trying to top and find people are the decision-makers for those particular pages.
When reaching out, explain why you’re doing so, provide a link to your superior content, clarify what makes it a better fit and ask them directly to refer to your link instead. Getting the right formula will take some time and effort but always be mindful of the fact what’s really in it for them.
And don’t get discouraged if you get negative responses – it’s just a part of the process. The Skyscraper Technique is in its essence a numbers game. This just goes to show why you should target content with lots of backlinks in the first place!
The Skyscraper Technique has proven its value through many different case studies. Still, it’s not exactly hard science and lots of aspects are context-related making it very difficult to write an overarching bulletproof guide. Additionally, lots of different external factors will contribute to the results. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a large online presence and a strong personal brand it may prove to be less effective and more difficult.
The great thing about it is that it guides your content but in no way limits what you can do with it once you’ve finished the process. Good, quality content is a useful marketing asset in and of itself meaning you can gain value from it in more ways than one. There are other ways in which you can promote it or even repurpose it. Whatever happens, if you’re flexible and resilient – none of your work goes to waste!