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Most SEO experts agree you need at least one Skyscraper content on your site. So, you’ve researched and created this huge resource for your audience. It’s choke-full (or chock-full if you prefer) of helpful tips and has the potential for being the best online resource in your niche. But now that you have created and published it, what do you do with it?
Through experience, I have found that immediately going on a link building spree greatly enhances my post’s visibility. Some of the strategies I will describe take time while others can be implemented immediately. The ones that take time mainly involve blogger outreach and guest posting.
What Is the Skyscraper Technique and Why Is It Important?
Some may call it the Skyscraper Technique. Others may call it cornerstone content or pillar content. And of course, there are some who feel each of these represents different kinds of content. For the purpose of this post, I will take all to mean the same things.
Back in 2015, Backlinko’s Brian Dean shared a content marketing approach that increased his search engine traffic by more than 110% in 14 days. His long post resource attracted a high number of backlinks and his search rankings shot to the top. He called in the Skyscraper Technique.
Skyscraper content is a long resource-based in-depth blog post that has enduring ever-green value. It captures everything your reader needs to know on a topic. This includes the why, how, when, what, and who of your given topic. For example, in my skyscraper content about guest-posting, I detail:
- Why you need to guest post. Hint: It improves your E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness)
- Who you need for an effective guest-posting campaign, including ghost bloggers, SEO experts, and third-party publishers.
- What guest-posting entails. I provided details on the whole process including blogger outreach, writing the guest post, and blog promotion.
- When to guest post. The best time is when you’re launching a new marketing campaign.
- How to guest-post. Including identifying publisher sites and relevant keywords.
Skyscraper content is one of the most important parts of your blog strategy. It represents your go-to resource where your site’s visitors can find answers to their deepest questions about a particular topic.
Skyscraper content is the most likely content to attract quality links. If your content is helpful, readers will refer others to find answers and recommendations to useful products and services.
Now that we are clear on what the Skyscraper technique is, let’s dive into the 8 most powerful strategies I have found to be effective in boosting your content’s SEO.
1. Internal Linking
This is always my first step immediately after publishing Skyscraper content. Linking from your existing blog posts to the newly published Skyscraper post instructs web crawlers to crawl the new page. Internal linking also directs readers to more relevant content on your website.
Internal links from similar posts within your website provide Google with context and are critical for On-Page SEO. That is, it tells Google robots what your new post is all about. If many of your previous blog posts on the same topic are pointing to this one post, it’s an indication that this post is more important. In SEO terms, internal links provide page hierarchy and website structure.
The way I structure my blog posts, each of them is associated by category and tags. So, when I create a new Skyscraper post, I list all blog posts in the same category and those with the same tags.
I then go to each blog post and do some slight editing. Usually this means I add a few sentences with a relevant anchor text and a link.
2. Guest Posting
Guest posting is an excellent and highly effective way to gain high quality backlinks. Find websites that allow third-party contributors or start a blogger outreach program to find likely publishers.
One way to find guest-posting opportunities is through search engines. For example, on Google you can search for “[your niche] + write for us”. If your skyscraper content is about home DIY projects, you can search “house renovations + write for us”.
Once you find possible publishers, draft a pitch for your intended guest post with a description of what you intend to cover in your blog post. Explain the benefits the publishing site’s readers stand to gain from your post.
Guest posting provides you with an author byline, which works in establishing your niche authority. Your link within the content boosts your page rank and domain authority. The link also potentially drives new audiences to your skyscraper content where they can find all the help they need on your topic. To learn more about guest posting, check out my previous blog post “The Ultimate Guide for SEO Link Building Through Outreach & Guest Blogging .”
3. Broken Backlink Building
One simple backlinking strategy is to claim broken links. This is part of your outreach program. You find broken links on reputable sites within your niche and analyze their backlinks. If their website contains broken backlinks to sites similar to yours, you offer the webmaster your link so they can offer relevant content to their audience. This fixes their link while promoting your content.
The main benefit of this is you provide useful resources to the host site’s audience. This increases your site’s backlink profile, increases chances of attracting new audience, while growing your page rank.
The main challenge is that like all outreach efforts, broken backlinking takes lots of time and effort. You need to do backlink research to find relevant broken links within your niche.
You also need to persuade the publisher site that your content is as good as, or much better than, the broken link. The publisher needs to see how your backlink will benefit their website. One way to deliver value is to show the publisher how you intend to promote their page which links to yours.
Some great tools to use for your backlink research include ahrefs, BuzzStream, ScreamingFrog, Xenu’s Link Sleuth, SEO Quake, Check My Links, and Internet Wayback Machine.
4. Unlinked Brand Mentions
Often, websites will mention brands without providing a link. There are two ways you can use this to your advantage:
- Find unlinked brand mentions of your brand and ask the publisher to insert your link.
- Find mentions of other brands in your link and ask the publisher to swap it for your brand and include a link.
The first way is easy enough. The second way is tougher. The publisher may not be aware of your brand. Additionally, removing a previously mentioned brand may feel borderline unethical. It’s upon you to persuade the publisher that mentioning your brand instead offers their content more credibility and more value for their readers.
The second approach works best if your content is better than the linked resource. For years, I have used Google Alerts to keep track of mentions for my website and for keywords I aim to rank for. Other tools like SEMrush offer similar services for brand monitoring. You can use the same approach to track competitor mentions.
5. Forum Participation
Discussion forums are great places to attract new audiences. Participants are often already quite engaged in your topic. They log in to look for quick answers to their challenges. You should be there to provide the link that drives them to solutions to their problems.
If you’re unsure which forums to participate in, do a quick Google search. Some effective search terms include:
[niche] + forums
[niche] + discussion
[niche] + answers
Quora and Reddit are particularly great places to find communities interested in specialized topics. Though, avoid being spammy or sounding salesy. Only add your link where you genuinely feel it answers a poster’s question. Add an explanation to the link. Don’t just add a naked link without context.
6. Resource Pages
Some websites will have a resource page to help their readers find additional answers. Find websites which curate resource lists on their websites and reach out to the authors to mention your skyscraper content.
When reaching out to the list curators, make sure you personalize your email. Show how your content adds value to their resource page. Analyze the resources already listed and briefly explain what unique value you add that’s not already on their list.
7. Partner Links
Partner links are a sort of cross-promotion with your trade partners. It’s a scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours arrangement. If you work with complementary companies, you can ask them to link to your skyscraper content.
For example, if you are an eCommerce merchant selling branded merchandise, you can ask your distributors to link to your content. As a writer, I often ask my editors and graphic designers to provide links to my content and services pages in relevant pages of their websites.
For this strategy to be successful, ask providers whom you’ve already worked with in the past. Only approach partners who don’t provide products or services that are in direct competition with yours.
8. Social Media Links
Social media is a powerful free tool for quick SEO results. A strategic post can drive engaged traffic to your skyscraper content and lead to viral sharing.
According to CognitiveSEO, social media doesn’t directly contribute to SEO ranking. Nonetheless, social media links can increase brand exposure.
I use social media links for Skyscraper content to:
- Increase blog post visibility
- Enhance brand recognition
- Extend content distribution through groups and communities
- Attract new readers
- Engage participants through comments
- Measure content performance through likes and shares
Some of the ways I use social media to link to Skyscraper blog content include:
- Using LinkedIn blurbs to invite readers to view my blog content
- Using Facebook posts to engage groups interested in my topics
- Using Twitter connect with other industry players
- Using Instagram to attract new audiences
- Using Reddit to answer user questions and direct them to the more comprehensive skyscraper content
9. Blog Commenting
This is one of the simplest yet often overlooked strategies. And many people incorrectly think of it as spammy. However, it works really well. And the results are fast.
Blog commenting done right is a strategy not only for backlinking but also for relationship building. It’s about exchanging ideas and opinions. It also works for influencing how others feel about a topic.
Blog commenting can also be the first step in outreach. It’s a way of telling the publisher you have an interest in the topic and you have a unique perspective to share.
For blog commenting not to be spammy, you need to add real value. Not just spread your links without context. Your comment needs to be relevant, pose thoughtful questions, or provide additional insights. A comment such as “wonderful post” won’t cut it.
Your link should be relevant and not pushy or salesy. Remember, most blogs that accept comments often require moderator approval. If they sense that your link isn’t adding value, they will reject the comment. Some blog commenting tips I follow include:
- Be among the first to comment. Bloggers are often excited enough to respond to commenters when the post is still newly published. Also, a comment appearing first will attract more readers long after.
- Use real names. Posting with a fake name does nothing for your E-A-T. Your name adds authenticity to your voice.
- Use correct email address. Make it easy for others to reach you for further tips, clarification, or professional engagement.
- Stay relevant. Only comment on blog posts related to your content and niche. You want contextual links back to your skyscraper content.
- Turn on email notifications. You want to know when others comment or when someone replies to your comment. Be part of the conversation.
- Add link. Don’t forget to add a link to your skyscraper content within the comment.
- Use URL link in profile. Most blogs will ask you to register your details before you can comment. Details are usually name, email, and web address. In place of website URL, instead of inserting your home page, insert the URL of your skyscraper post.
10. Referral Source
Have you seen websites which list top companies in certain niches? These websites act as online directories and work to promote top websites. Such websites often list the top best resources for people looking for a particular product or service. There are referral sources and link roundup websites for almost anything, from posts listing the best SaaS tools to the best waterless toilets.
Find such resources for your niche and submit your skyscraper post. If they find it to be helpful to their readers, they will add your content to their referral lists.
One tool for finding such referral sites is MonsterInsights. This is a WordPress plugin designed to work with the Google Analytics tool.
Bonus: 4 Link Building Strategies I Hear Are Great but Haven’t Used
There are so many linking strategies I keep hearing about but I’ve personally never used. Some SEO experts swear by some of them and I keep telling myself I’ll soon experiment and see just how effective they are. These include:
HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out. It’s basically a Digital PR strategy. You reach out to a reporter who then includes your link in a relevant news article. I’m yet to try the HARO website but may soon give it a try.
I believe writing testimonials for other people’s products and services can be a great way to link back to your own resources. In theory, you reach out to a provider whose products or services you have used and liked. You provide them with a fair testimonial and they link your testimonial to your website.
There is a reason why infographics are some of the best shareable media. They offer an attractive visual element. They also make your content easier to comprehend at a glance.
However, they are not easy to make, even for some experienced graphic designers. Thus, they can be expensive and time-consuming to create. Nonetheless, infographics are on my to-do list in the near future. Luckily, nowadays websites such as canva are making it easier for non-designers like me to affordably create beautiful and engaging visual content.
4. Influencer Marketing
An influencer can quickly drive massive traffic to your skyscraper post. If you can find one with a huge following and focused on your niche, your site can highly benefit from the extra exposure.
However, influencers can be expensive and some (not all) have egos that make it difficult to work with them. Additionally, finding one who is focused only on your niche can be difficult. Most influencers are always promoting very many brands at the same time, which often is counterproductive when promoting a single blog post or product/service.
How Long Until Your See Backlink Results?
Like most SEO results, there is no fixed answer to this question. Securing a backlink can be immediate, but the SEO effects take time. It will take time for search engine spiders to crawl through the content. It will also take time for search engines to update your link profile and adjust your page rankings.
Ready to Boost Your Skyscraper Content?
There you have it. 9 (plus 4) powerful ways anyone can boost their skyscraper content, even without SEO expertise.
What questions do your readers often ask about your products or services? If you can create one pillar content that answers all these questions in one post, then create and promote the blog post.
To make it easy for audiences to find your helpful resource, start a backlinking campaign. This will help people in need find answers. Quality links can help establish your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. The backlinks can enhance your content’s visibility.
Find worthy broken links to quickly gain quality backlinks. Commenting on other’s posts gives you quick backlinks while also potentially bringing you closer to established web publishers. Social media promotions can widen your reach while also boosting your SEO.
To speed up the process of boosting your content’s visibility, hire a ghost blogger to drive your backlinking campaign. A ghost blogger will quickly identify relevant publishers and run an effective outreach campaign, while leaving you free to run your business. If you’re interested in hiring an effective backlinking expert, reach me at email@example.com