Using the Skyscraper Technique

Is the Skyscraper Technique a Viable Method for Blogging?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

The point of creating a blog and writing content is to attract an audience. Otherwise, you might as well just have a journal or diary. A great method to make that content on a blog, though, is through the Skyscraper Technique.

It’s not necessarily a new method, but it’s one that I’ve seen have a profound impact on several articles I’ve written for clients in the past. In fact, it’s also served me well on this website.

The best part is that it’s not necessarily a difficult method for driving traffic. It just takes a bit of creativity and the ability to deliver something new to the reader.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

In essence, the Skyscraper Technique involves finding a popular piece of content and making it better. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. However, it’s not exactly that easy most of the time.

The idea is to make an article better whether it’s through length or updated information. It’s all about adding that “layer” on top of an already great post. If done correctly, it’ll be seen by more people as it’s “bigger” and “better” than the original.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you simply copy someone else’s content as a base. That’s called plagiarism. However, you can take that same topic, give it your personal spin, and add information that your audience may need to know.

For example, we’ve taken the number one spot for a few WordPress tutorials simply because we added a section of additional plugins the reader may be interested in trying. So, it’s the same tutorial as other websites but with something else the other guys don’t suggest.

We’ve even hit the top 10 from just answering a few questions in the “People also ask” section of Google within an article. This is another aspect our competition neglects to include much of the time.

In reality, there are all kinds of ways you can make any piece of content longer and better. But it really comes down to understanding search intent and knowing what other information your audience wants with the article.

How to Perform the Skyscraper Technique for Any Post

I know Brian Dean from Backlinko wants you to do the Skyscraper Technique from high-ranking articles with a lot of backlinks. However, I know this method is exceptionally effective for any kind of article.

As I said, we’ve taken over several positions in Google just by adding a bit of umph to the tutorials.

Now, understand that I cannot guarantee your chances of success using the Skyscraper Technique. No one can. Nonetheless, it has helped a lot of people gain traction thanks to superior content.

So, how do we go about ranking in the top 10 of Google for a keyphrase with the Skyscraper Technique?

Step 1: Find a Topic for Your Target Audience

Your target audience will easily guide you on what to write next. There are a lot of ways you can go about figuring out what that is such as using Google Analytics or keeping an eye on trends.

Keep in mind, though, that the more searched a keyphrase, the greater your competition. Content that is ultra-popular is exceptionally difficult to rank for, especially if you’re going head-to-head with a long-established website.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try a popular search term. It’s just going to take more work to get onto the first page of Google if you do.

If you need help finding those terms, there are plenty of free keyword tools you can use. Some of them might eventually wind up being your go-to when writing content.

Step 2: Analyze the Top 3 Articles and Plan

Next, I’ll take a look at the top three articles for the search term to see what they provide. This includes taking note of topic sections, the number of words, and how they’re all structured.

Usually, I’ll write down the topics of the headers within the article to help give me an idea of the type of content the original blogger is providing. Then, I’ll skim through the article to identify any bits of information he or she might have missed.

Remember, the plan is to make the article better and bigger.

For example, if someone is showing three methods of how to fix something, can you provide four or five? Perhaps you know of a method the original author didn’t include.

It’s all about planning for the one-up.

A lot of the time, I’ll outline the blog post as I’m doing the recon work on the competing website. That way, I’ll remember that I want to include certain elements or remove redundancies to make it flow better.

Step 3: Write and Make Your Article Longer

Now comes the fun part…writing the article. Since you have a plan of action, though, you already have an idea about what you want to cover and the extras you’ll include in the piece.

This is one of the biggest reasons why I outline as I research. It helps me remember while giving me a chance to consider whether a piece of information is right for a post or not.

And I’ve written some exceptionally long blog posts on accident because of this outlining strategy. But they perform well in search, so, I can’t complain.

Depending on how much information you want to add, it could be an exceptionally long article. But, you also need to keep your audience in mind. Are they going to want to read an eBook-length blog post just for specific information?

A good way to avoid losing people from seeing a massive blog post is by adding a floating table of contents. This way, they can skip around with ease when looking for exactly what they want.

Revive Old Post

Step 4: Publish and Create 5 to 10 Internal Backlinks

One thing some people don’t bother to include in the Skyscraper Technique is adding internal backlinks. In one instance, we increased the SERP of a tutorial by 30+ positions just by adding 10 of them and nothing else.

Links are kind of like votes for your content. The more links any particular post gets, the more valuable Google views the post. External links are superior in terms of counting this “vote,” but internal links are vastly important.

Probably the hardest part is finding content that you can create these links for the new article. After all, the links need to make logical sense. If you try to force the connection, it may actually cause more harm than good in terms of SEO.

When it comes to links, think of them as an extension of the article…additional information about a point in the topic the reader might be interested in learning.

For instance, the link I made above when mentioning the “floating table of contents” takes you to a tutorial on how to create one.

Step 5: Reach Out to Get Backlinks from Authoritative Sites (optional)

Part of Brian Dean’s original concept of the Skyscraper Technique is link building. This is when you reach out to authoritative sites and convince them to use your article because it’s better than the other one.

Normally, you’d reach out to sites that are linking to the one you just made obsolete.

The reason I listed this as an optional step, though, is because I’ve found it to be unnecessary in many instances. As I mentioned before, we took over many positions simply by going beyond what the other creators published.

On the other hand, it also depends greatly on the type of article you’re creating, in the first place. If you’re creating some ultimate guide for a specific industry or niche, then you might want to spend some time doing that link building.

But if it’s something smaller, such as a tutorial about how to use a WordPress plugin, you probably don’t need to go beyond what I laid out above.

It really comes down to the amount of effort you want to put into hitting the top of the search page.

Step 6: Update Older Content

Lastly, you can do something like the Skyscraper Technique on your own blog posts. Find articles that are a bit older and see if you can make them better and longer.

This is something else we do for the client that has made some massive improvements to traffic numbers.

You always want to update older content if at all possible. For one thing, Google loves fresh and current information. Secondly, it makes you more authoritative in the subject matter.

This is why you’ll see a lot of posts originally published in 2010 appearing in search today. It’s because the original author either updated the post with new relevant materials, or it is still as relevant today as it was 12 years ago.

When you update that older content, make sure you share it on social media. People who have followed your accounts after the original publishing may not know the article is even there waiting to be read.

This is all part of reviving old posts. Never underestimate the amount of traffic you can accumulate by giving an old article new life.

Is Skyscraper the Best Kind of Blogging Technique?

There are many blogging techniques out there aside from Skyscraper. And although I’ve witnessed how effective it can be, it’s not the only one we use with my client’s content.

Sometimes it’s nice to be the trend setter that others try to improve upon.

As long as you’re able to drive traffic and see your pages at the top of Google, then you’re doing it right. Well, I should say as long as you’re not trying to rip people off or steal someone else’s content.

So, I don’t know if this is the best kind of blogging technique, but it’s definitely one that has incredible potential for boosting traffic to your blog.

What’s Your Favorite Blog Writing Technique?

In truth, there are a number of viable methods for writing a good blog post to drive traffic and reach the number one spot on Google. I’ve actually seen articles with fewer than 300 words rest at number one for its very popular search term.

It’s not enough to simply write an article people might want to read. Getting more eyes on it definitely helps, which is why link building is so popular.

It helps others find your content while improving how Google views your post.

Still, even without link-building strategies, I’ve personally seen the Skyscraper Technique work exceptionally well over the years. Give it a try and see how well it works for you.

In any case, you’re giving your regular readers additional meat to consume when you publish that next blog post.

Michael Brockbank
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