Skyscraper Technique: What it is and Why it matters in SEO

June 19, 2024
Skyscraper Technique | Cover Image

What Does Skyscraper Technique Mean?

The Skyscraper Technique is a strategy used in SEO where you find content within your niche that has been widely shared and linked to (like top-performing articles) and then create a better, more comprehensive version of that content. The goal is to make your content so appealing that other websites will want to link to it instead of the original, less detailed content, thereby improving your site’s authority and search engine rankings.


Where Does Skyscraper Technique Fit Into The Broader SEO Landscape?

The Skyscraper Technique fits into the broader SEO landscape as a content-based strategy aimed at creating high-quality content that exceeds existing content in value, thereby enhancing visibility, organic traffic, and backlinks. This technique directly contributes to efforts in content marketing and link-building, both essential components of SEO. By improving content quality and relevance, it helps websites achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) and supports the goal of off-page SEO through the natural acquisition of high-authority backlinks, enhancing domain authority and trustworthiness.


Real Life Analogies or Metaphors to Explain Skyscraper Technique

1. Gardening: Just as a gardener might look at the tallest, most robust plant in the garden and try to cultivate new plants that are even taller and more vibrant, the Skyscraper Technique involves finding the best-performing content in a niche and creating something more detailed, useful, and attractive.

2. Art Restoration: Imagine discovering a faded, yet once-loved painting. Instead of simply touching up the original, you use it as an inspiration to create a larger, more vivid version that captures the original charm and details but adds modern techniques and insights to appeal to today’s audience.

3. Building Construction: Like constructing the tallest skyscraper in a city, this technique involves surveying the existing highest buildings (top content) and then planning an even taller and more impressive structure (content) that draws all the attention and overshadows the older buildings.

4. Recipe Enhancement: Consider a chef who takes a popular, well-loved recipe and decides to create a variation that’s richer in flavors and more visually appealing, aiming to redefine what people expect from the original dish.

5. Athletics: It’s like a high jumper who sees the current record and trains to jump even higher, refining their technique and adding their unique flair to surpass existing standards and set a new benchmark.


How the Skyscraper Technique Functions or is Implemented?

1. Identify Popular Content: Research and select content within your niche that is popular, highly shared, and well-linked. Use tools like BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to analyze top-performing content based on backlinks and social shares.

2. Content Analysis: Study the selected content carefully to understand why it is performing well. Identify key factors such as the depth of coverage, simplicity of the explanation, visual aids, and overall content structure.

3. Create Better Content: Develop content that improves on these aspects. Make your content longer, more comprehensive, up-to-date, better designed, and more engaging. Address shortcomings in the original piece and add unique value propositions like original research, infographics, or expert opinions.

4. Outreach and Promotion: Once your content is published, reach out to relevant websites, blogs, and influencers who have linked to or shared the original piece. Inform them about your new and improved version, and suggest that it might be a valuable resource for their audience.

5. Monitor and Adjust: Keep track of your content’s performance, and continually adjust your strategy based on what backlinks and engagements your new content is receiving. Use feedback to refine future iterations of content.

6. Follow-Up: Maintain relationships with those who responded to your outreach, providing them with updates or additional information as your content evolves. This can help solidify backlinks and encourage future sharing.


Impact Skyscraper Technique has on SEO

1. Enhanced Content Quality and Depth: By expanding on existing content and making it more comprehensive, the Skyscraper Technique directly improves the quality and depth of content on a website. Search engines like Google favor high-quality, in-depth content, which can result in higher rankings.

2. Increased Backlinks: This technique involves creating content that is superior to what’s currently available, making it more link-worthy. This can lead to an increase in backlinks as other sites link to this superior resource, which is a crucial ranking factor in SEO.

3. Improved User Engagement: High-quality, comprehensive content tends to engage readers better, leading to longer dwell times and lower bounce rates. This positive user behavior signals to search engines that the content is valuable, potentially boosting the site’s rankings.

4. Boost in Organic Search Traffic: As the content begins to rank higher due to increased quality and backlinks, the website can see a boost in organic traffic. This is because higher rankings generally lead to increased visibility and click-through rates in search engine results pages (SERPs).

5. Authority Building: Over time, consistently applying the Skyscraper Technique helps a website build authority in its niche. As the site becomes known for its in-depth and superior content, it may become a go-to resource, further enhancing its credibility and rankings.

6. Enhanced User Experience: By providing thorough and exhaustive content, the technique can significantly enhance user experience. Users are more likely to find the exact information they need on the site, which can lead to higher satisfaction and repeat visits.

7. Keyword Optimization Opportunities: Revising and enhancing existing content provides an opportunity to optimize for additional relevant keywords, which can improve search visibility and attract more targeted traffic.

8. Competitive Advantage: This technique can give websites a competitive edge in their niche. By offering better information than competitors, a site can differentiate itself and attract more visitors, which can be pivotal in competitive industries.


SEO Best Practices For Skyscraper Technique

1. Identify Popular Content: Use tools like BuzzSumo, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to find popular content within your niche that has attracted a substantial amount of backlinks and social media shares.

2. Analyze the Content: Examine the top-performing content to understand why it’s successful. Look at factors such as the depth of content, format, visual aids, and user engagement.

3. Choose a Content Angle: Decide how you can improve upon the existing popular content. This could be through providing more up-to-date information, covering more aspects, improving the design, or by making the content more comprehensive.

4. Create Superior Content: Develop content that surpasses the existing articles in depth, quality, and value. Ensure it is SEO optimized with appropriate keyword usage, meta tags, and a user-friendly layout.

5. Optimize for SEO: Apply on-page SEO techniques such as using short and descriptive URLs, optimizing meta titles and descriptions, using H1 and H2 tags effectively, and ensuring the content is mobile-friendly.

6. Promote the Content: Conduct an outreach campaign to introduce your content to influencers and websites that linked to the original popular articles. Share your content on social networks, email newsletters, and relevant forums.

7. Follow Up: Monitor the performance of your content through analytics tools. Check metrics like page views, bounce rate, and average time on page to gauge engagement. Adjust your promotional strategies based on this feedback.

8. Update Regularly: Continually update your content to keep it fresh and relevant. This will help maintain its ranking and attractiveness for new backlinks.


Common Mistakes To Avoid

1. Overemphasizing Quantity over Quality: Focusing solely on increasing the quantity of backlinks by targeting numerous websites can dilute the relevance and quality of those links. To avoid this, prioritize reaching out to niche-specific websites with high authority to ensure both relevance and quality in link-building efforts.

2. Ignoring Content Matching: Not aligning your new content with the interests of the audience linked to the original piece can lead to poor engagement. Solution: Conduct thorough audience research to understand the user intent and preferences for improving content engagement and relevance.

3. Being Too Promotional: Excessively promoting one’s own services or products in the content can turn readers off. Best practice: Focus on providing real value, actionable insights, and genuine research to foster trust and encourage organic sharing and linking.

4. Failing to Innovate: Merely adding a few updates without substantive improvements can be seen as lackluster by both users and link prospects. Avoid this by incorporating significant new research, diverse multimedia elements, and unique insights that offer fresh perspectives.

5. Overlooking Content Outreach Strategy: Simply creating better content is not enough if it’s not effectively promoted. To mitigate this, develop a structured outreach plan, identifying key influencers, thought leaders, and websites that would benefit most from your newly created content.

6. Underestimating the Original Content Creators: Ignoring the creators of the original content during outreach efforts can seem disrespectful. Respectfully approach this by acknowledging their original work, offering your content as an additional resource, and suggesting a collaborative opportunity for mutual benefit.

7. Ignoring Content Format and Usability: Focusing only on textual updates and neglecting the usability and accessibility of content can limit audience engagement. Counteract this by creating responsive designs, optimizing loading times, and incorporating varied content formats like videos, infographics, and interactive tools.

8. Spammy Outreach Practices: Repeatedly sending generic, impersonal emails can annoy potential link partners. To handle this, customize outreach communications to demonstrate genuine interest and specific alignment with the prospect’s audience and content strategy.

9. Not Tracking Performance: Neglecting to monitor the performance of your skyscraper content will restrict your understanding of its impact and ROI. Regularly track metrics such as page visits, inbound links, and rankings improvements to refine and improve strategies over time.

10. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Using others’ copyrighted materials or images without permission can lead to legal issues. Ensure compliance by using copyright-free or properly licensed media and attributing research or data accurately to its original source.

June 19, 2024

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