How to Build High-quality Backlinks Using the Skyscraper Technique
The Skyscraper technique has become popular because it’s such an efficient method to create high-quality and relevant content.
It’s a content writing technique proposed by Brian Dean of Backlinko. The analogy is that you can think of each piece of content as a skyscraper.
The taller the building is, the more information there is and the better the quality of the content is.
What you want to try to do is “build” the tallest skyscraper. You can do this by researching other skyscraper content with the same topic as the piece you want to write.
You will then attempt to create more valuable content using these other content pieces as examples and trying to make it even better.
If you want to create highly linkable content in a time-efficient and cost-effective way, the Skyscraper Technique is the way to go. In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to make the most of this technique.
What Are High-quality Backlinks? Why Are They Important?
So, we know that backlinks are important for your SEO rankings. However, it’s not just a matter of building as many links as possible. Did you know that the quality of those backlinks are just as important, if not more, than the number of them?
Remember, the Google RankBrain algorithm is smart, very smart. It knows that links from reputable sites with high authority are rarer and harder to earn than those from less reputable sources.
So, when calculating your total link juice, it takes the domain authority (DA) score of the linking domains into account as well.
In fact, if you receive a lot of links from domains with a very low DA, it may even have a negative impact on your DA and SEO rankings.
So, we always want to try and create content that attracts these types of high-value links. Not just clickbait that may get a lot of low-value links.
Tips to Build High-quality Backlinks Using the Skyscraper Technique
Unfortunately, building high-quality backlinks is not as easy as simply creating an amazing piece of content and watching the backlinks roll in.
You need to do your part to try and promote your content and get it the exposure it deserves. That’s why we’ve split our tips into two sections:
- How to create excellent, link-worthy content using the Skyscraper Technique
- How to actually build backlinks by marketing your content.
How to Create Link-worthy Content Using the Skyscraper Technique
First, let’s look at how you can craft content that will earn more links using the Skyscraper Technique:
Find other “Skyscrapers”
So, this is another crucial part that many get wrong. Remember, we want to create content specifically for link-building. What better way to know whether you have the right idea in mind than to find similar content that already has earned a number of links?
Remember, as much as 94% of content doesn’t generate any links at all.
So, it’s not enough to simply do your keyword research and then base your topic on that. It’s also not enough to simply take the highest-ranking articles in Google (although many of them may have a number of backlinks).
Remember, that backlinks are just one factor considered by Google, so it’s not guaranteed that high-ranking sites have many backlinks.
However, using SERP results is still a great idea because it shows that this content is great at achieving high search engine rankings for any number of reasons.
Many SEO tools, like SEMRush, can help you find articles with many backlinks to them. You can use tools like Ahref’s “Link Intersect” to find domains that link to your competitors but not to yours, for example.
Using these content pieces as reference is the best way to create your own content using the Skyscraper Technique.
Make it “Better”
So, how do you make content using the Skyscraper Technique that’s better than your competitors’?
Many content creators misuse the Skyscraper Technique and think they only need to create the largest piece of content on the subject. However, if you want to attract high-quality links, you need to create the best piece of content across the board.
With that in mind, there are a number of ways you can make your content more “linkable:”
- Combining the most important information from various other “skyscrapers”
- Writing the largest piece of content with the highest word count/most information
- Improving the quality through your writing style, adding media, etc.
That being said, it’s a well-known fact that long-form content tends to perform better in this regard. Content that’s between 3,000 and 10,000 words in length earns 4 referring domains on average, with content up to 1,000 words only earning 2.
The type of content you write also plays a roll. On average, these types of articles generate the highest number of backlinks:
- Webinars and podcasts
Infographics are particularly good for link-building, being the preferred content type of 61% of SEOs.
If you want to do something different and unique, for example, you can conduct your own studies or research to offer readers previously unseen data. Or, you can create a webinar, podcast, or video covering the same topic but in a non-textual format.
Pay Attention to the User Experience
Many content creators forget that user experience plays a massive role in how your content performs. No matter how good your content is, it’s unlikely readers will stick around if your page loads slowly, is unattractive, or is hard to follow.
And, if a visitor won’t finish reading it, it’s unlikely that they’ll link to it.
So, here are some general tips to make your content as engaging and appealing as possible:
- Make sure you have an attractive and intuitive design for your content pages.
- Write a catchy headline that immediately tells visitors what they are going to read.
- Structure your headings logically and use the correct heading hierarchy.
- Format your content to be scannable with headings, lists, highlighting, and concise paragraphs.
- Include visually attractive elements, like images, videos, etc.
- Make sure that your page performs well using speed tests, like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom.
Keep Your Content Updated
To get the most out of your content, you want it to stay relevant and linkable for as long as possible. There are two ways you can do this:
- Create Evergreen content
- Update your content regularly
The reason for this is simple: no one wants to link to outdated information.
Finding Evergreen topics can be difficult. However, how-to guides are typically great for this purpose. For example, even if you make a “how to use Windows 10” guide and Windows 11 comes out the next year, there are still plenty of people that will keep on using Windows 10.
For other information that changes regularly, such as top X lists and reviews, you’ll want to continue to update your content as new information becomes available.
For example, a software you reviewed can update their pricing plans. In this case, it’s better to simple update the pricing section of your review than rewrite an entirely new one.
How to Earn Links for Your Skyscraper Content
OK, so now you’ve created link-worthy content using the Skyscraper Technique. Unfortunately, this is only where your work begins.
You have to be proactive if you want to secure the most link-building opportunities.
Luckily, if you followed our steps to create link-worthy content, you’ll already have a headstart. Remember that you researched domains that link to your competitors? Well, now that you have the best content for a given topic, you have the perfect reason to ask them to link to your content instead.
You can also find other potential prospects that might want to link to your content by:
- Looking for domains that rank high in SERPs for the same key phrase or topic. Remember to avoid direct competitors, but target those with niche-adjacent content.
- Use social media to find interest groups or influencers relevant to your niche/topic.
- Find journalists, industry reporters, or other publishing platforms that may have an interest in your content.
So, the first step is to create a list of prospects for your outreach campaign using this information.
You’ll then need to actually conduct the outreach campaign. This means emailing all your prospects and pitching your content in the hopes that they will build links to it.
You’ll need to find the perfect balance between automating and reaching out to as many prospects as possible while using a level of personalization and putting enough effort into each prospect to stand a chance of success.
Remember, that Google discourages using paid links to try and boost your backlink profile. Paid links are typically “no-follow” links that don’t pass any link juice. If you try to fool Google and pay for backlinks, you can face some steep ranking penalties if you’re caught.
As you can see, link-building outreach is a pretty time-consuming process that doesn’t guarantee success. That’s why many content creators prefer to work with a professional link-building service, like Uprankly.
As link-building experts, they are skilled at finding link prospects and conducting outreach campaigns. They can also use other techniques, like guest blogging to generate more high-value backlinks to your content.
All you need to do is make sure that you create high-value, link-worthy content.
So, there you have it, the Skyscraper Technique is an excellent skill to add to your content writing repertoire. Not only will it help you generate amazing, informative, and relevant content, but it will help you earn more valuable links to your domain.