The SEO "Skyscraper" Technique

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

It’s no secret that the competition is growing stronger in the field of marketing, and this makes it more difficult to capture the attention of your audience. When your competitors are vying for your audience’s attention right alongside you, it’s important to find other ways to connect with them. These ideas must include creativity, innovation and out-of-box thinking.

From listicles to infographics to video content, marketers are shaking things up to stay in the game and secure new traffic. Today, we have a secret that will help you remain competitive, even as your competitors grow more interesting themselves. It’s called The Skyscraper Technique.

What’s The Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique was developed by Backlinko’s Brian Dean. Dean admitted in one of his recent blog posts that creating great content alone isn’t enough to get the quality links that are needed to bump up SEO.

Rather, he shared his secret to getting more high quality links, which includes finding link-worthy content, making the content better and reaching out to the right people. This, in short, is the Skyscraper Technique.

Let’s discuss more in detail what is involved with this technique and how to apply it to your own marketing strategy.

How the Skyscraper Technique Works

Step 1: Research Trending Topics

The Skyscraper Technique begins just as you would expect: research. You start by researching popular trends, topics and other popular pieces of content. Stick within content that is relevant to you, of course.

The purpose of this research is to find the types of material that your audience is interested in. What you think they are interested in and what they are actually interested in may be two very different things.

Step 2: Make Your Content Better

The next step is to find a new and unique way to relay the information to your audience. You could update the design, add in new statistics or expand on a certain idea. What you want to do is give your audience the information they are interested in while adding a new twist on how it’s delivered. Don’t forget to leave an imprint from your brand. The content, while inspired by others’ work, is yours.

Step 3: Spread the Word

The final step is to reach out to people who have linked out to content that is similar to yours. What you hope to get is some engagement, but more importantly, a link back to your content.

That’s it in a nutshell. The SEO Skyscraper Technique. And it works.

What Makes This SEO Technique So Effective?

Brian Dean reported that he was able to increase traffic by 110% in just 14 days. HubSpot’s Ryan Robinson also gave the technique a try and drove over 70,000 page views and over 3,500 new subscribers from a single post. If the technique is working for these people, why wouldn’t it work for you?

Let’s take a look at what makes The Skyscraper Technique so remarkable.

  • People want it. When you discover content that is already popular, you know there is a demand for it. Maybe it solves a problem, provides a solution or entertains readers. Try to understand why the material is so well-received by readers so that you can apply the same elements in your own content.

  • People are ready for it. If your audience is already excited from an existing piece of content, they will be that much more interested in reading an article or blog post that expands on the idea. In other words, you’re reaching out to a primed audience.

  • People will link to it. The content that inspired you has already been ranked well by Google. Just imagine what will happen if you can create something even better. You may be able to outrank the existing resource and generate more traffic, especially as you gain more backlinks. To help grow your links, reach out to influencers, brands and publications with your completed work.

Fitting The Skyscraper Technique Into Your Marketing Strategy

There is no reason NOT to try The Skyscraper Technique. You’re writing the content anyway and spending time and ad budget promoting it, so it doesn’t require any extra work on your part.

The only difference is that you’ll be discovering content that’s popular rather than coming up with your own ideas. Depending on what the content is about, you may have to do some extra research to get yourself familiar with the topic.

As you implement the technique into your own marketing strategy, here are the steps you’ll want to follow.

Research Key Content Ideas

Follow blogs and content writers that are related to your industry to see which topics get people talking. You can also set up Google Alerts to discover keywords related to the topics you want to write about. Analyze the keywords using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner or HubSpot’s Keyword App.

Build a List of Potential Distributors

Reach out to people you already know that may be interested in your content, such as blogs you follow, brands you’re related to or influencers. Then backtrack a bit to see other websites that have published content similar to yours that may want to share your content with their own audience.

Create Quality Content - With a Twist

You want your piece of content to outperform the existing resources, so make it GREAT. Aside from engaging copy, also consider creating an infographic or making a video. Back up your points with research to show that you’ve done your homework in exploring the topic and looking at it from all angles.

Promote the Content to Your Audience

Before other brands and influencers see how worthy your post is, it helps to generate some buzz among your loyal customers first. Share your content on your social profiles, company blog, website, etc. to start creating interest and conversation.

Reach Out to the Right People

Once you have gotten some momentum behind your work, it’s time to reach out to people who may link back to your content and share it with others. Use your list of potential distributors and get your content out to them. Make sure that you are clear about what you want them to do.

Stay Current

If you’re writing about topics that are timely, they’re going to get outdated, and their usefulness will decline. You don’t want to lose the audience you’ve built, so make sure you stay current. Hopefully the more you research new trends, the easier it will be to continue producing cutting-edge content.

Conclusion

We love The Skyscraper Technique. It’s easy enough to implement and doesn’t require extra ad budget like so many marketing techniques these days. We feel that it can actually make the job of creating and distributing content easier. After all, how many of us struggle to come up with good topics for content? How many times do we sit there wondering who we can share our content with? Rather than creating great content that never really takes off, The Skyscraper Technique allows us to do more with less.

 

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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