Every website would benefit from having more high-quality backlinks from unique referring domains, it’s a key ranking factor used by Google to determine search positions. Getting these links however is difficult. One mistake we often see website owners make is being passive and hoping to build links organically. Let us be clear: you need to be proactive in your link building efforts, otherwise you’ll never acquire the number of links you need to rise through the search rankings. They’re many ways you can do this. One strategy that has been getting a lot of attention recently in the SEO world is the Skyscraper Technique.
What is the skyscraper backlink strategy you ask? Well, the whole idea revolves around having a high quality piece of content and using that content to steal links from your competitors. You can do this in three ways: by creating new content, by leveraging your existing content, or by quoting external content.
Skyscraper technique: creating new content
Do your competitors have a great piece of content on their website that’s attracting a bunch of backlinks? If so, great! There’s your opportunity to poach those links. And if you don’t know what content is working for you competitors then you should find out. AH Refs & Neil Patel both provide free backlink checking tools that you can utilise to examine your competitors’ sites.
Let’s say for example that you own a website that reviews movies. Your key competitor has a webpage called “The 5 must see movies of 2020” and it has fifty backlinks from unique referring domains – a pretty good sum. Wouldn’t it be great if those domains were linking to your website instead? Well they might if you give them a reason to, and that’s how the skyscraper technique works, if you offer those websites a bigger and better piece of content (e.g. the top 25 must see movies of 2020) the chances are they’ll swap out the old link for yours.
Webmasters always want to provide their visitors with the best possible user experience, by reaching out and offering to improve their page with an expertly written and informative piece of content that their audience will enjoy, you’ve provided them with an easy win. And that’s not the only benefit to the linking website. Updating the external links on webpages to newly published links will give that page an SEO boost too.
Skyscraper technique: using existing content
The only downside to the method described above is that writing new original content can be time consuming. If you want to deploy the skyscraper technique immediately you can do so with any high quality content that you already have.
If the content already exists the steps are more or less the same, except, start by having a google search on your topic to find webpages that you can poach backlinks from. Take a look at their content and evaluate whether yours is better and has a higher word count, if it doesn’t then forget about it (unless you’re open to improving your own content). Also, look at the age of the pages in your google search, if the content on there is a couple of years old and yours has relevant up-to-date information, this can be a good enough reason for the external site to swap out the link.
Make a note of all the pages that your content is superior to in a spreadsheet. When you’re finished collecting pages, run them through a backlink checker tool to see if they have a good number of referring domains that you can target. Once you’ve found an acceptable amount of domains linking to the inferior content, contact them and ask if they’d be willing to update their link.
Skyscraper technique: using external content
If your brand has excellent recognition, or even just provides a superior product, then that can be enough to qualify as high-quality content.
For example, let’s say that you produce tennis rackets. You and a competitor were recently featured in a comparison article by tennispro.com and your racket is superior in every aspect: price, durability and performance. Use this to go after the competitors’ backlinks.
By scanning their product page through a backlink examination tool, you’ll be able to find product reviews and recommendations from external domains to your competitors product. From there, reach out to those websites and inform them that tennispro.com has said that your racket is better in all areas, and ask whether they would be open to changing their recommendation or writing a recommendation of your product, if they don’t already do so.
Conclusion: get your email outreach right
As you may have noticed every method mentioned here relies on reaching out to website owners and asking them to change the links on their website. This is common practice when backlink building, like we mentioned at the beginning of the article: you need to be proactive.
With that being said, the key to successful email outreach is giving the website owners a good reason to change their link, otherwise they might think it’s not worth the effort. So take your time to think of every possible advantage the linking website will gain from updating their link, and make sure you convey those advantages clearly and effectively. If you get that right the backlinks will soon follow.
If you need help planning your next backlink acquisition campaign, then look no further. Atomic has a wealth of experience in backlink building and we’d be delighted to help you.