What It Is & How It Works

What It Is & How It Works


What Is the Skyscraper Approach?

The skyscraper method is an web optimization hyperlink constructing tactic that includes discovering aggressive content material different websites hyperlink to, creating one thing higher, then encouraging websites to hyperlink to you as an alternative.

Web site homeowners wish to hyperlink to the very best assets.

By bettering on in style content material in your area of interest, you may “steal” its backlinks (hyperlinks from different websites). And earn extra hyperlinks sooner or later.

The skyscraper methodology was invented by Brian Dean of Backlinko. He mentioned the tallest skyscraper on this planet is the one which will get consideration—identical to one of the best useful resource is the one which earns hyperlinks.

What Is Skyscraper Content material?

Skyscraper content material is content material created as a part of the skyscraper method. It’s designed to be a greater model of a extensively linked useful resource.

For instance, it could be:

  • Extra complete
  • Extra updated
  • Created by a extra credible knowledgeable
  • Printed on a extra authoritative web site
  • Introduced extra successfully

Or maybe it comprises distinctive insights, instruments, and visuals that add worth for the consumer.

Skyscraper content material is essential to the success of the skyscraper methodology. With out it, net admins don’t have any robust incentive to hyperlink to your website.

You’ll be taught extra about creating skyscraper content later.

Why Use the Skyscraper Approach for web optimization?

The skyscraper method helps you earn backlinks that may drive referral visitors and profit your web optimization.

Google treats sure sorts of backlinks like votes of confidence. Typically, the upper the standard and amount of backlinks you’ve, the extra authoritative Google perceives your website (and web page) to be.

In contrast to different link building tactics, the skyscraper methodology:

  • Means that you can inherit hyperlinks that beforehand pointed to rivals
  • Helps you earn backlinks on pages with established visitors and authority
  • Encourages you to create quality content, which may profit you in different methods
  • Is well scalable

Discover ways to do skyscraper hyperlink constructing step-by-step:

  1. Find Competitive Content
  2. Create Skyscraper Content
  3. Conduct Email Outreach

Tip: In case you haven’t already, create your free Semrush account to comply with together with this tutorial.

1. Discover Aggressive Content material

First, discover the aggressive content material you’ll enhance (and work to inherit hyperlinks from).

The next content material varieties are inclined to work greatest for the skyscraper method:

  • How-to guides
  • Comparability information
  • Full guides
  • Shopping for guides
  • Listicles 
  • Evaluate posts
  • Query posts
  • Cheat sheets
  • Templates
  • Infographics

Why? They’re extra prone to:

  • Cowl matters which are related to your model and audience
  • Present alternatives so that you can enhance
  • Have numerous backlinks you wish to inherit (and which are potential to inherit)

Analyze Opponents’ Content material

With Semrush’s Backlink Analytics software, you may shortly discover your rivals’ most linked pages.

Enter a competitor’s area. Or enter a subfolder that comprises their informational content material (e.g., “https://www.carmax.com/articles/”).

Then, click on “Analyze.”

Semrush’s Backlink Analytics tool

Go to the “Listed Pages” tab to see the variety of backlinks by URL.

The checklist is sorted by the variety of linking “Domains,” from highest to lowest. 

(Typically, it’s higher to get hyperlinks from a number of domains. Moderately than a number of hyperlinks from the identical area.)

“Indexed Pages” tab in Backlink Analytics tool

Beginning on the high, search for pages which may work with the skyscraper methodology.

The URL ought to present indication of the web page’s content material. For instance, “/articles/sedan-vs-coupe” is probably going a comparability information. And the subject’s nonetheless related.

Use the “exterior hyperlink” icon to view the web page.

“external link” icon highlighted next to the “/articles/sedan-vs-coupe” page

To investigate it in additional element.

screenshot of the article: "Sedan vs. Coupe: What’s the Difference?"

Subsequent, assessment the content material’s backlinks to find out whether or not inheriting them is feasible—and worthwhile.

Return to Backlink Analytics and click on the quantity below “Backlinks.”

number under “Backlinks” column showing 251 for “/articles/sedan-vs-coupe” page

To maximise the skyscraper method’s web optimization advantages, you want to inherit backlinks with the follow attribute. (Versus the nofollow attribute, which tells Google to largely ignore the hyperlink.)

Click on “Observe” to use a filter.

“Follow” filter highlighted

Additionally take note of the “Web page AS” column. This comprises the supply web page’s Authority Score (AS). Typically, the upper the AS, the extra useful the backlink. 

(Study extra about what makes backlink in our link building guide.)

“Page AS” column highlighted on the left side of the report

Take into account opening every supply web page to take a look at the backlink in context. To guage how possible the net admin is to replace the hyperlink. 

Ask your self these questions:

  • Are they protecting this web page updated?
  • Might your hyperlink fulfill the identical perform, however higher?
  • Have they got a relationship with the linked website?
  • Would linking to your website current a battle of curiosity?
  • Have they got editorial management over the hyperlink?
  • Would updating the hyperlink take loads of work?

If the aggressive content material looks as if candidate for the skyscraper methodology, add it to a shortlist (together with any useful notes).

Or transfer onto the next step.

Tip: Carry out this step with a number of rivals to seek out one of the best skyscraper hyperlink constructing alternatives. Yow will discover your greatest web optimization rivals with Semrush’s Organic Research Competitors Report.

2. Create Skyscraper Content material

Subsequent, create skyscraper content material.

This isn’t solely a greater model of the competitor content material you’ve discovered. However the greatest content material of its sort on the net (by some margin).

In any case, the websites linking to this type of useful resource want a compelling cause to hyperlink to your model as an alternative. 

Outdo the Competitors

The most effective strategy to creating skyscraper content material depends upon the character of the subject. And the standard of present content material.

However there are a couple of frequent methods to outdo the competitors:

  • Be extra complete. Add content material the place it provides worth. Strive including new checklist objects, answering extra questions, or going deeper into the subject. Probably the most backlinked articles include 1,201-2,000 phrases, in keeping with Semrush research
  • Add distinctive insights. Give customers data and concepts they will’t discover wherever else. Strive conducting unique analysis or participating in thought leadership
  • Enhance consumer expertise. Stand out from rivals by making your content material sooner, simpler to digest, and extra enticing. 
  • Set up credibility. Show writer and firm credentials on the web page to show that your content material is reliable. And that you just’re an authority on the subject.
  • Create pictures and movies. Posts containing pictures and movies usually tend to get hyperlinks, in keeping with Semrush research.

Let’s say you’re attempting to inherit backlinks to CarMax’s sedan vs. coupe information.

After reviewing this web page, you’d search Google to seek out different high quality assets on this matter. And assessment these as nicely.

Google SERP for "sedan vs. coupe"

You would possibly discover that none of those assets visualize the variations between a coupe and a sedan.

So, including an infographic to your information might provide you with a aggressive edge. And assist you to safe extra backlinks.

Tip: Take a look at our information for extra recommendation on creating quality content

To assist be certain that your skyscraper content material ranks nicely in search—with or with out backlinks—optimize for related key phrases. Utilizing on-page SEO strategies.

You may see what key phrases your rivals rank for with Semrush’s Organic Research software. And use the findings to tell your technique.

Enter the URL, select your nation, and click on “Search.”

Semrush’s Organic Research tool

Then, go to the “Positions” tab. To determine related key phrases you wish to rank for.

Key phrases rating within the highest positions are typically most related. However there are a lot of elements to contemplate when choosing keywords for SEO.

“Positions” tab in Organic Research tool

Once you’ve chosen goal key phrases, enter them into Semrush’s SEO Content Template

Then, select your nation and click on “Create content material template.”

Semrush’s SEO Content Template tool

The software gives web optimization suggestions based mostly on the highest 10 outcomes on your goal key phrase(s). 

This consists of semantically associated key phrases, backlinks, readability, and textual content size.

"SEO recommendations for your content" page shows semantically related keywords, backlinks, readability, and text length

Once you’re able to put the solutions into motion, head over to “Actual-time Content material Examine.”

And click on “Open in web optimization Writing Assistant.”

“Real-time Content Check" and “Open in SEO Writing Assistant” buttons highlighted

The SEO Writing Assistant will rating your content material’s web optimization, originality, readability, and tone of voice in actual time. Serving to make sure the web page is rankable, linkable, and interesting.

SEO, originality, readability, and tone of voice scores shown on the right side in SEO Writing Assistant

3. Conduct Electronic mail Outreach

Email outreach is the method of contacting net admins who could be excited by linking to your content material (i.e., hyperlink constructing prospects). And explaining why they ought to hyperlink to your content material.

On this case, you’re selling your skyscraper content material.

The skyscraper method is primarily about inheriting hyperlinks from websites that already hyperlink to the same web page.

Bear in mind—you could find these websites by means of Backlink Analytics. 

Simply enter the URL of any competing useful resource. 

Click on “Analyze.” 

Backlink Analytics tool

Then, go to the “Backlinks” tab.

“Backlinks” tab in Backlink Analytics tool

And scroll all the way down to the desk.

Use the “Export” button to save lots of your leads to an Excel or CSV file.

“Export” button highlighted in top right corner

Not each backlink alternative is value pursuing. Take into account how possible the positioning is to vary their hyperlink. And the way useful the backlink will likely be.

It’s additionally essential to teach your self about potentially toxic backlinks.

Establish Contacts

Once you discover a backlink you wish to inherit, open the supply web page. To see whether or not the content material is attributed to a workers author.

Like this:

example of an article with its writer highlighted below the title

Workers writers usually have the motive and energy to replace hyperlinks. So that they make good contacts for skyscraper hyperlink constructing.

If there’s no workers author, attempt contacting another person on the positioning’s editorial workforce. Generic e mail addresses like editorial@web site.com needs to be a final resort.

There are numerous ways to find email addresses

FindThatLead is among the most dependable. And you’ll attempt it without cost.

Simply search an internet site to seek out contacts who work there:

search bar in FindThatLead

You may e mail your contacts one after the other. Or construct a prospect checklist and ship pitches in bulk.

Write and Ship Pitches

Subsequent, write your skyscraper e mail pitch. The aim is convincing the content material proprietor to replace their hyperlink so it factors to your useful resource as an alternative.

Clarify what’s in it for them—i.e., how your hyperlink will improve their content material.

A pleasant, personalised strategy helps seize the recipient’s consideration. And make them extra receptive to your proposal.

Right here’s a skyscraper e mail instance to encourage you:

Topic: Thought for Your Sedan Shopping for Information

Hello John,

I discovered your sedan shopping for information and observed that you just referenced CarMax’s sedan vs coupe article.

We’ve simply printed an in-depth sedan vs coupe information over at Instance Website that would add much more worth to your content material.

It comprises some extra up-to-date figures. And an infographic I feel your readers will love:

[Infographic here]

In case you prefer it, perhaps you’d take into account linking to it inside your article?

All one of the best,


You may ship emails and monitor your outcomes manually. 

However Semrush’s Link Building Tool simplifies the complete course of. And makes it simpler to scale the web optimization skyscraper method.

After organising your mission and connecting your mailbox, you may:

  • Import your hyperlink constructing prospects (The software will give every website a score that will help you prioritize.)
  • Create outreach emails and templates utilizing placeholders
  • Ship emails to your chosen addresses (The software additionally collects contact data robotically.)
  • Examine whether or not emails have been despatched, opened, or replied to at a look
  • Monitor the backlinks you earn to make sure they continue to be energetic

The software additionally finds new hyperlink prospects based mostly in your rivals and goal key phrases. So you may construct extra hyperlinks that enhance your web optimization.

Tip: Skyscraper content material may help you earn hyperlinks on different related, respected web sites. Don’t cease at inheriting backlinks from competing pages—attain out to different websites which may wish to hyperlink.


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