How To Build Backlinks With The Skyscraper Technique (2022)

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Want a proven strategy to build more backlinks to your website? 

Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you.

This article will show you exactly how to build backlinks using the skyscraper technique. 

This technique will land you free high-quality backlinks that will increase your website’s rankings and help you gain more traffic with SEO. 

So if you want better results with SEO and a tried and tested way to get high-quality links to your site, then make sure you keep reading. 

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What Is The Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is essentially a way of building backlinks to your website with cold email outreach using four proven steps.

They are:

  • Competitor analysis – Looking at how your competitors are getting backlinks to their site. 
  • Prospecting – Reverse engineer which sites are linking to your competitors and then approach those websites with a piece of content that they may want to link to on your site too. 
  • Create content – Create your own more comprehensive article, more up-to-date, and just a better overall guide than your competitors. 
  • Outreach – You’re going to reach out to everyone via cold email, which you prospected earlier, and say something like, “Hey, I noticed you’re linking to my competitor. Maybe you want to link to us too. Here are the reasons why”. 

In summary, the skyscraper link building technique is about reverse engineering how your competitors are getting backlinks and then producing a similar piece of content that can get links to your site. 

Competitor Analysis

Your first step is to conduct a competitor analysis.

Essentially, you want to look at your competitors and see how they get backlinks.

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Look at which pieces of content attract the most backlinks, and then figure out how you can produce a similar piece of content.

Once you do, all you need to do is make sure that it’s better than your competitor’s, so you’re more likely to attract links. 

And you can do this by going on to Ahrefs, clicking content explorer, and then exploring all of the topics relevant to your industry. There should be a ton of potential topics that you could potentially write about. 

Ahrefs content explorer

You want to filter out the topics that are attracting the most links because when you do that, you have a tried and tested way of finding what’s already working for your competitors and then how you can produce a similar piece of content. 

Now, when I do this research, I create what’s called a content calendar. 

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And this breaks down three topics:

  • Topics – The topics I could potentially write about.
  • Prospects – The number of prospects or potential websites I could get a link from for each topic.
  • Competitors – I’ll also break down which websites I’m competing against to get backlinks to my site. 
topics

And when you do this analysis, it’s going to help you and give you a kickstart in understanding the best pieces of content that will attract the most links

What most people do is they go out there, and they just write about anything, and they expect links to come in. 

And six months or 12 months later, they realize their content isn’t getting backlinks, and it’s not suitable for skyscraper link building. 

So, therefore, you want to start by reverse-engineering the process first, doing the research upfront. 

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By doing this, you’re going to have a much more effective way of attracting links to your site with content. 

Prospecting

I’ll be honest, it’s not the most glamorous part of the job, and why many of my clients hire us for our services. 

Regardless, it needs to be done, and it needs to be done correctly. 

The goal is to build up a list of websites you can potentially contact to obtain a backlink. 

skyscraper link building

So how are you going to do that? 

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Well, you’re going to find all the websites that link to your competitor’s articles in stage one, prospect all of them, and then create a list of URLs and email addresses that you want to contact for a link. 

Before you do, make sure you understand the following. 

When you’re doing this, you have to filter out the low-quality trash from the high-quality websites that will help increase your rankings. 

Look through the list, filter out the garbage, and find the best potential websites to get links from because not every link is equal! 

You should expect to find some really low-quality websites that you want to avoid getting a link from. 

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On the flip side, there should be some really high-quality websites that will help you gain more authority from your site. 

So what’s the best way to do this? 

Prospecting With Ahrefs

So first of all, head over to Ahrefs.com, and I put in all the websites that you’re competing with. 

Essentially, you’re going to look at who’s linked to your competitors, download a long Excel Spreadsheet of all those websites, and then put them into another sheet that you can filter out the good from the bad. 

Then you’re going to go through the list and filter which websites you actually want a link from

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I would set filters for:

  • Domain Rating
  • Organic Traffic
  • One Link Per Site

Don’t forget to check whether the URL you want a link from is actually relevant to your business.

If it’s not relevant, just delete it from your sheet, don’t waste your time. 

If you keep approaching low-quality sites and getting links from them, all you’re doing is building a low-quality backlink profile that can actually hurt your SEO. 

Using Hunter To Find Emails 

Once you have created a list of URLs that you could potentially contact, your next step is to find emails for those websites and run them through an email checker tool such as Hunter.io

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hunter outreach tool

What you can do is copy and paste the whole list into Hunter’s verification tool and find a list of all the email addresses for each website. 

Now you’re not always going to find an email address for every website, but the ones that you do, you can download and put them into a new spreadsheet. 

By doing so, you should have a nice list of URLs and email addresses. 

finding emails

Time to start outreaching to them, right? 

Not so fast!

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The problem is that not every email address you find on the internet will work. Some will bounce, some will be old, and some will have moved on from their job. 

And therefore, a decent percentage of these email addresses you’ve found won’t actually work when you send them an email. 

So what do you do? 

The best thing to do is verify each of these email addresses. 

How To Verify Emails

The best way to verify Emails is by using tools like NeverBounce or Clearout or again Hunter. 

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neverbounce tool

I won’t get into the details on how they work, but you can very quickly verify which email addresses will work before you send them. 

I would recommend doing this because if you start sending out loads of emails and they all start bouncing, or most of them don’t work, then that’s a big problem with your email deliverability. 

Email servers will see that your emails are bouncing or not working correctly and therefore mark your overall deliverability lower. 

So to avoid this problem, make sure that you verify all the email addresses before sending them. 

Create Your Content

Once you’ve done all of the above, you can start creating your content. And this is where things get more interesting with the skyscraper technique. 

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Creating great content starts by looking at your competitor’s piece of content and identifying ways that you could improve upon it. 

Ask yourself:

  • Could you write more words? 
  • Is it possible to create something that’s more comprehensive?
  • Can you improve the design of your content versus your competitors? 

Maybe you want to add some pictures and videos. 

Also, make sure you don’t have any pop-ups or affiliate links, or links to sales products or pages on this particular piece of content. 

Why?

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Because if webmasters see that you’re promoting something on your skyscraper content, they’re less likely to link to you. 

If they see that you’re making money from your content, chances are they’re going to ask you to pay them. 

As a rule of thumb, most webmasters don’t like linking to commercial content. 

So when you’re creating this content, you want it to be the best it can possibly be. 

Don’t take any shortcuts. Make sure that your content is well written. 

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There should be no grammatical mistakes, and the content itself needs to be very interesting. 

When you do this, you’re much more likely to have success with the skyscraper technique.

Great content is crucial for what you’re going to be doing in the next stage.

Cold Email Outreach

The final stage of the skyscraper technique is the cold email outreach. 

So far, you should have a sea of prospects, some easy competition that you can outrank, an awesome piece of content, and a list of websites you could contact. 

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It’s finally time to pitch your content and start getting links to your site. 

And this is where things get interesting because if you’ve followed each stage of this process and you’ve done it correctly, you’re going to see links starting to come in. 

So how do you set this campaign up? 

Usually, I write a piece of email copy that looks something like this. 

outreach copy

Then I send one follow-up seven days later that looks like this.

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the follow up

And finally, another follow-up after that seven days later again.

follow up email final

Why? 

Because most webmasters won’t reply to your first email. 

Chances are they’re going to miss your email, or they’re going to be busy, or they just don’t have time to read it. 

Therefore you need to send two or three follow-ups before you get any response. 

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When you’re writing the copy, you really want to make sure that it’s short, concise, easy to read, engaging, and actually compelling for the webmaster to link to you. 

I’ll say, “Hey, if you link to me, maybe I can promote you on social media posts. Or I’ll offer a link back from another partner site, or maybe I offer to promote them in my next newsletter.” 

Try and make it a win-win for you and the webmaster, so they’re more likely to link to you. 

Time To Send Some Emails

Now when it’s time to send your emails, make sure that you send them from a separate URL to your main domain because if you’re sending hundreds of cold emails from your main domain, that could hurt your deliverability. 

You may look like a spammer, especially if you’re doing this long-term. 

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When you do this, you’re going to protect your main URL from any email deliverability problems in the future. 

You have two options for sending your emails. 

Manually is fine if you only send 50 to 100 emails a day. 

If you’re sending hundreds of emails, you can actually automate the process by using tools like Lemlist or MailShake. 

lemlist tool

By automating the process, you can scale your email campaign, scale your skyscraper technique, and make sure that you gain more links at scale. 

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Now, one thing I will say when it comes to the skyscraper technique is that when you start pitching websites, chances are you’re going to get a lot of “no’s.” 

You’re going to get a lot of rejections. 

Don’t let that put you off. 

I’ve created a video on how I got thousands of rejections from other webmasters when I was trying to pitch my content.

Every time you run a skyscraper campaign, you’re going to learn ways to improve your campaign, how to get better results, how to increase the number of links you get to your pages. 

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Don’t be put off if your first campaign doesn’t perform that well. You’re going to get better with practice. 

Let’s Wrap It Up

Hopefully, you learned something new in this article. 

If you didn’t already know, I run a link-building agency. 

juliangoldie.com

If you’re interested in getting more high-quality links to your website and increasing your rankings with SEO, then make sure you get in touch. 

Visit juliangoldie.com if you’re interested in working with me.

🚀 Want more leads, traffic & sales from SEO? Click here to book a FREE SEO strategy Session📈

If you’re not sure how we can help, you can book a call with us. 

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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