Ad Technology

Going Sky High: Building Links With the Skyscraper Technique

By: Bartosz Bala

When it comes to building links for your site, it can be hard to garner links on your own. Relying on your content and your SEO to build up links from friendly sites is good, but it can take a lot longer than you’re willing to bet. However, there’s a method coined by BackLinko, that will bolster your content, and give you the opportunity to build links via new connections. It’s called the Skyscraper Technique, because you’re building off of existing content on the SERPs, and making it better, so that everyone will look to your skyscraper, and not someone else’s. The basic idea is to choose a popular page from the SERPs make it better, then reach out to the sites that linked to that lower quality pages and ask them to link to you instead.

Building Your Skyscraper

Step 1: Pick a Keyword to Target

Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in the search marketing field. It’s not always about getting visitors to your site, but about getting the right kind of visitors to your site. Judging which keywords are relevant for you require in depth analysis but it’s worth the time and effort. The outcome of the research should be a list of targeted keywords/topics that must be targeted.

Step 2: Find Proven Linkable Assets

A linkable asset is the foundation of any successful link-focused content marketing campaign (including this one!). A linkable asset is just a high-value page that you can leverage for links, and a way to find out what content resonates with users. Check the top SERP competitors for your targeted term(s) via such tools as Moz, Semrush, Ahresf, and Linkresearchtools, (which do require payment, though free trials may be available) and look at the quality of the various competitors content. Find content that’s already generated a ton of links.

Step 3: Create Better Content

Now, it’s time to take what’s out there and blow it out of the water with your own spin on it. Here are some tips on how to pull that off:

  • Make it longer: In some cases, publishing an article that’s simply longer or includes more items can do the trick. If you find a link magnet with a title such as “50 Healthy Snack Ideas”, maybe publish a list of 150, (or even 500).
  • More Up-To-Date: If you find something with old information, create something that covers many of the same points . . . but you’d better update it with cutting-edge content.
  • Better Designed: Sometimes, a visually stunning piece of content can generate a lot more links and social shares than something similar on a less-appealing page.
  • Important Note: Beat the existing content on every level: length, design, current information, and style of writing.

Step 4: Get High Quality Links Through an Email Outreach Campaign

Make a list of articles like the one that you’re creating. All you need to do is compile the first few pages of Google search results, and you’ll find 90% of the most linked-to pages. From there, look at each page’s backlinks by using a link analysis tool. Once you have a decent number of prospects, send them an email telling that you have a new and improved guide/article that would fit well on their page. A good email outreach strategy is crucial here.

Important things to note:

  • The targeted term should be a low-medium competition keyword.
  • The created content needs to be “epic.”
  • Outreach here is critical and should be compiled with use of best practices.

At the end of the day, if you’re serious about generating high quality links, you need to be systematic with how you create and promote your content. Whether it’s the Skyscraper Technique or a different strategy, it takes time to build a strong domain rating. A strong piece of content created with Skyscraper Technique can give you some traffic, but in order to get a significant increase in traffic and rankings, you will need to build “a city of skyscrapers”, especially if you’re a new website.