Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You

Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You

Just starting to increase the visibility and knowledge of your website? Your goals may appear unreachable and the situation frustrating, especially when you see highly ranked pages that are jam-packed with useful information created by astute marketing experts. How on earth are you going to compete?

Using the Skyscraper Technique to produce content deserving of links will benefit you. The secret is to get the little things right, like figuring out how to capture search intent, organizing a productive outreach campaign to gain backlinks, and setting reasonable goals.

The method is divisive and appears to have a high failure rate. To achieve the best results, there are measures you can take to make sure you’re applying it appropriately.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

Although the method has been used for a longer time, Brian Dean first used the title “Skyscraper Technique” in an article published in 2016. He divides the procedure into three steps in it:

  1. Finding link-worthy content
  2. Making something even better
  3. Reaching out to the right people

These actions are appropriate. We even employ them effectively. The interpretation of the steps is the issue: Between Dean and the writer, marketer, or SEO who is reading his post, things might easily get lost.

Therefore, it’s helpful to know how not to interpret the Skyscraper Technique’s three steps before learning how to use it to create rank-worthy pieces.

Ways the Skyscraper Technique Can Fail

We’ve listed the top eight faults that authors make when applying the Skyscraper Technique. Examine this list to determine if there is a step you have encountered that requires attention. We’ll go into great depth about each one.

  1. Not conducting keyword research
  2. Expecting every piece of content to be a runaway hit
  3. Thinking all search intent is created equal
  4. Thinking longer is always better
  5. Sacrificing user experience for extra content
  6. Punching outside your weight class
  7. Failing to account for the lift that comes from being a recognized authority
  8. Extending outreach only toward the folks who linked to the pages you’re trying to beat

Mistake No. 1: Not researching keywords

There are other things that Dean omits from his explanation of the Skyscraper Technique, including how crucial keyword research is.

He merely instructs you to locate content that is worthy of links in his scheme, which is crucial but not the only thing you should concentrate on. In fact, because no one bothered to conduct keyword research, you may find content that has a ton of links yet doesn’t generate any traffic. Even if it may not have been the article’s main objective, it’s nevertheless vital to understand the distinction.

Take a look at this example of a backlink-rich page that receives little traffic and hardly appears in search results.

Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You
Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You

The post is obviously helpful to a specific audience, however it is badly optimized and doesn’t target any keywords with a high search volume. It might be significant to a limited number of individuals, but if the webmaster had done some preliminary research to identify relevant keywords, it probably would have attracted more visitors.

Mistake No. 2: Expecting every piece of content to be a runaway hit

Many of Dean’s content items don’t appear on the first pages of search results:

Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You
Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You

He really has a ton of pages with little to no traffic.

But he persisted in trying.

The secret to success is consistently producing excellent material. Many individuals expect this strategy to work instantly after trying it once. They miss the fact that everything is interconnected and that using clever SEO techniques on a regular basis would improve all of the content of a website. Be patient as it can happen gradually. It won’t become successful over night.

This is how it operates: A really good piece of material could receive 20 links, which could benefit another really good article that receives five, and another that receives fifty. Applying the Skyscraper Technique to each piece on your content calendar for the following six months to a year (and then the year after, and the year after that…) will help all of your pieces climb over time.

Assuming you are familiar with the proverb “A rising tide lifts all boats,” you can see how effective SEO techniques can support this idea: With time, all the boats (er, posts) will be removed, so have patience and faith in the process.

Also Read: Why Skyscraper Content Fails for You

Mistake No. 3: Thinking all search intent is created equal

Any content must undergo a thorough examination of search intent. Furthermore, it’s even more crucial when creating material for skyscrapers.

Occasionally, we lose sight of the true requirements and desires of the searcher in our efforts to outperform rivals. This is a certain way to end up aiming at the wrong target and squandering precious time and resources on excellent content that is answering the wrong questions and serving the wrong audience.

This occurs as a result of common terms having multiple meanings; therefore, it’s critical to distinguish between transactional and informational searches.

For instance, if you search for “accounting services,” you can find informational results if you want to know what an accountant performs for individuals or corporations, or transactional results if you’re searching for an accountant to prepare your taxes. Thus, before acting, it’s crucial to identify the target audience and research the pages that are already ranking.

Applying the Skyscraper Technique to a more specific, in-depth subtopic associated with the issue your audience is trying to solve is also a smart option. Then, instead of attempting to climb the high SEO hill for a popular and competitive search term, create a post on that subtopic.

Mistake No. 4: Thinking longer is always better

The importance of writing the longest postings on the internet has long been advocated by Dean and Neil Patel. We’ve been doing this for our clients for a long time, and it works. However, longer does not always equal better.

“Bigger DOES NOT equal better,” you all say.

This was a lesson we had to learn the hard way the previous year when we were determined to outrank the Backlinko article that listed the top 200 SEO tools available. In order to achieve that, we put together a list of around one hundred extra tools and gave succinct summaries of each.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? When it comes to the best SEO tools, this one-stop shop will be the most authoritative post on the internet. The problem is that the content quickly became jumbled and the post became boring. After scrolling for a while, readers would often become frightened by the enormous columns of content and click away. For our time-on-screen measurements, that was really bad.

A better strategy would have been to divide the mega-list into multiple smaller ones, identify the top 10 tools for various user groups, or grade or rank the top 50 tools that we were fond of at the time. The list would then be updated on a quarterly basis to reveal new entries through social media.

The Takeaway: It’s not a guarantee that your new post will rank by playing the same game as someone else’s that ranks today. You may be missing out on a number of opportunities that improved the original post’s ranking, like:

  • Your competitor has a long history of user click-through data
  • Your competitor is on a domain with established authority
  • Your domain authority is likely not equal to theirs

Mistake No. 5: Sacrificing user experience for extra content

In a similar spirit, it’s also typical to believe that posting MORE can improve your ranking. This includes adding more words, boxes, graphics, and content overall. However, you must prioritize usability and user experience in all of your choices. Your top priority should be to serve the user as best you can.

It’s imperative to consider the reader’s “journey” through the content and create an engaging atmosphere. To determine what rankings, Google considers user experience factors such as stay duration. Therefore, all you have to do to create a new template or checklist is to create the template. Provide a quick and simple experience for the user to encourage them to stay, read the entire content, get a free resource, or complete a contact form.

A shorter article with a chance to link to a free resource can be just as beneficial as a lengthy, heavily keyword-rich Wikipedia page. The user is significantly more likely to share it with colleagues, link to it, and do other actions that will naturally raise its visibility when you best meet her search purpose.

Mistake No. 6: Punching outside your weight class

“If the keywords you’re targeting are very competitive and you’re going up against the most authoritative sites on the web, your site may not be ready, no matter how great your content.” 

This comment suggests that it might not be worth the time and money to become competitive, but it does not imply that ranking for very popular keywords is impossible. You’d be significantly better off producing and ranking five phrases like “hubspot vs. salesforce” rather than spending the same amount of time trying to win the term “CRM.”

To put it briefly, choose fights you can win. Gaining more attention from your audience by outperforming the smaller groups of outlets that are playing for less competitive but nonetheless important terms will pay off.

It’s important to emphasize this again: Invest a lot of time in conducting intelligent keyword research, and then do it some more. You can get the confidence to take risks at shorter, more competitive terms over time. Even if the content is of the highest caliber, you could still have to put up with consequences that are quite depressing.

Mistake No. 7: Failing to account for the lift that comes from being a recognized authority

Establishing and sustaining a solid reputation as an authority in your industry has enormous benefits. If you’re Neil Patel or Brian Dean, you have an enormous edge because their years of well-known experience supports millions of words of post content. They can achieve high rankings for almost any term that appears in their postings with far greater ease.

The spoils go to the winners, right? However, if you’re only now beginning to write about your field, you will need to travel a long way to achieve a comparable degree of authority.

Any online resource linked to the website of a well-known expert will gain from years of domain authority in addition to the advantages of a well-known personal brand. The trust equity they have built up with search engines will also help them.

This is due to a valid reason: search engines strive to provide users with excellent content experiences. Consequently, websites that have proven to be able to attract and hold the attention of readers over an extended period of time will be prioritized.

In the beginning, this one-two punch could seem unbeatable in a certain field. However, whether or not you employ the Skyscraper Technique, creating excellent content is the only way to start seeing results. Next, make every effort to ensure that it is viewed by as many people as you can.

Mistake No. 8: Extending outreach only toward the folks who linked to the pages you’re trying to beat

If you begin outreaching to all 300 of your competitors’ pages that have 300 links combined, you should be thrilled to receive 30 links. A conversion rate of 10% is fantastic. However, it probably won’t be sufficient to displace the frontrunner from the top spot.

When creating a strategy to promote your excellent content, the tried-and-true 80/20 guideline is helpful. In this instance, it indicates that you should allocate roughly 20% of your time to content creation and the remaining 80% to the labor-intensive task of compiling a DEEP list of potential websites to contact.

Once you have 6,000 prospects, you need to begin outreach efforts and prospect much beyond that base. Then, to get close to 300, assume a cautious 5% conversion rate. This calls for creative outreach and a list of everyone who could be interested in your work. List all potential audiences and approaches, then pursue each one separately.

Developing a sales mindset and realizing that a success rate in the mid-to-high single digits is remarkable can be helpful. Studying and learning the finest strategies for outreach will pay dividends, just like it does in sales. You can find many template emails online for this type of stuff; just customize it to fit your style and voice.

On that list of 6,000 prospects, ongoing testing and optimization can help you perform better and get your conversion rate closer to 10%. Imagine the impact a post with 600 (!) backlinks will have! Are you feeling driven yet? Alright.


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