HomeDigital MarketingHow To Build High-Quality Backlinks Using Skyscraper Technique

How To Build High-Quality Backlinks Using Skyscraper Technique [6 Simple Steps]

In the SEO link-building world, earning high-quality backlinks remains one of the most effective tactics for driving organic search traffic. But getting authoritative sites to link back to your content can be an uphill battle. And that’s where the question of how to build high-quality backlinks using skyscraper technique arises.

What is a Skyscraper Technique

The skyscraper technique is a white hat link-building strategy centered around outperforming your competitors’ most popular content in order to earn backlinks from the sites already linking to them.

This unique approach sets you up for link-building success by leveraging existing patterns around high-value content and backlinks. It can help secure authoritative, relevant links at scale and boost your overall domain authority if done right.

This comprehensive guide will walk through the step-by-step skyscraper process in 2023, including:

  • Finding competitors’ most linked-to assets
  • Prospecting relevant linking sites
  • Creating superior “skyscraper” content
  • Conducting strategic outreach
  • Tracking and optimizing results

Let’s get started with laying the groundwork for link-building domination!

Table of Contents

  • Step 1: Finding Your Competitors’ Best Backlinked Content
  • Step 2: Prospecting For Relevant Linking Sites
  • Step 3: Creating Better “Skyscraper” Content
  • Step 4: Conducting Strategic Outreach
  • Step 5: Tracking and Measuring Results
  • Step 6: Iterating and Improving Your Process
  • Tools and Tips For Skyscraper Success
  • Common Challenges and Solutions
  • Final Words 

Step 1: Finding Your Competitors’ Best Backlinked Content

The first step of the skyscraper technique is conducting competitor analysis to identify the specific pages and assets your top competitors have earned the most high-quality links for.

Analyze Link Profiles with SEO Tools

Specialized SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz make it easy to analyze a domain’s entire backlink profile and top-linked pages.

For example, here are the top linked pages for according to Ahrefs:  

Page/PostReferring Domains
How to Start a Dropshipping Business36,328
How to Start an Online Store18,729
Shopify Review17,983

This reveals their 3 most linked-to assets, indicating the types of content driving links to competitors.

Assess Quality and Relevance

When analyzing competitors’ top pages, also consider:

  • Link quality: Prioritize links from authoritative sites over spammy links. Assess the overall Domain Rating of referring domains.
  • Topic relevance: Focus on assets receiving links related to your niche and topics.

This ensures you target competitor content that has earned high-quality, relevant links you want to replicate.

Step 2: Prospecting For Relevant Linking Sites

With your competitors’ top assets identified, the next step is discovering all the websites linking to those pages in order to build your initial outreach list.

Extract Linking Sites from SEO Tools

Export the list of referring domains to each target competitor’s content from your SEO tool. For example, some quality sites link to the Shopify dropshipping post. 

Search Site Directories For More Opportunities

Expand your initial list by searching relevant industry and niche site directories like:


Look for websites that could benefit from and link to content similar to your competitor’s assets.

Validate Prospects

Do a quick research to validate prospects:

  • Site relevance
  • Domain authority (quality and relevant websites)
  • Quality existing links
  • Accepts guest posts through Write for Us platforms 

Refine your list to the top 20-50 most promising prospects.

Step 3: Creating Better “Skyscraper” Content

Now it’s time to develop remarkable content that improves upon your competitor assets and compels links from your prospects.

Thoroughly Analyze Existing Content

Start by doing an in-depth analysis of why and how your competitors’ content attracted backlinks:

  • What topics or angles make the content compelling?
  • What elements are outdated, missing, or weak?
  • What makes it share-worthy?
  • How can you expand or improve on it?

Identify content gaps and opportunities.

Develop a Working Title and Outline

Draft a working title for your skyscraper content that improves on competitors’ titles by including better keywords, hooks, or angles tailored to your prospects. 

Create a detailed outline addressing the gaps and expanding on competitor content in a truly unique way.

Produce Comprehensive, High-Quality Content

It is time to transform your outline into remarkable content that towers above competitors. Some best practices:

  • 2x the word count: Significantly expand the scope and depth. If competitors have 1000 words, aim for 2000+.
  • Original research: Include proprietary data, surveys, interviews, or insights.
  • More multimedia: Infographics, charts, images, videos, etc., make content more engaging and link-worthy.
  • Better optimization: Optimize for keywords competitors are ranking for. Improve page speed, on-page SEO, and UX.
  • Actionable advice: Include step-by-step instructions, checklists, or frameworks readers can apply. Don’t just educate; make it usable.

Go above and beyond to craft something compelling and actionable for your prospects.

Step 4: Conducting Strategic Outreach

You’ve created superior content. It’s time to conduct customized outreach at scale and secure those coveted backlinks.

Personalize Email Pitches

Write personalized outreach emails highlighting why linking specifically benefits each site based on their audience, goals, and existing content.

Make sure to:

  • Flatter them: Praise their existing content and site.
  • Be concise: Get to the point quickly. No more than 2-3 concise paragraphs.
  • Offer value: Explain how your content adds additional value for their audience.

Here is a sample pitch for SEO link building outreach:

Subject: Your Audience Will Love This Additional Dropshipping Guide

Hi [customer name],

I’m a long-time reader and a huge fan of [site]. I especially enjoyed [specific article on site]. Your in-depth guides provide so much value for aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs.

I recently published a comprehensive dropshipping guide that compliments your existing content: [link to skyscraper content]

My guide provides step-by-step instructions on dropshipping with AliExpress, along with tips to avoid common mistakes beginners make. I believe your audience would find tremendous value in this additional resource.

I’d be honored if you considered linking to it as an added reference alongside your existing excellent dropshipping content. Please let me know if you have any other ideas for working together. Keep up the amazing work!

To your good health,


Automate Personalized Outreach

Reaching out to hundreds of sites one-by-one via copy/paste isn’t effective. Instead, use software like Lemlist or Mailshake to automate and track personalized outreach at scale. Segment prospects and customize messaging while still sending individually pitched emails.

Follow-Up Persistently But Politely

Here is an easy way for a polite enquiry: 

  • Don’t stop at a single email. Send 2-3 follow-ups to non-responders spaced 5-7 days apart.
  • Reply promptly if the prospect engages and provides additional value.
  • Accept a “no” graciously, and don’t over-pursue if a prospect declines.

Step 5: Tracking and Measuring Results

With your outreach flowing, it’s time to monitor your campaign’s performance and optimize the skyscraper process.

  • Organize Prospects and Outreach: Use a spreadsheet or CRM to track prospect contact info, outreach status, responses, and link wins. This enables you to monitor, follow up, and expand your outreach easily.
  • Monitor New Links Earned: Continuously check your new backlinks indexed using Google Search Console and Ahrefs to identify any new links earned. Add these wins to your tracking spreadsheet along with details like anchor text and word count.
  • Review Keyword Ranks and Traffic: As new links come in, ensure you track improvements in your target keyword rankings. 

Measure ROI

Calculate key performance indicators to understand your skyscraper campaign’s ROI:

  • Links earned per outreach email sent
  • Average domain authority of new links
  • Increase in organic traffic from target keywords
  • Increase in keyword rankings
  • Traffic value driven by new links

These metrics help you identify your process’s most and least effective aspects.

Step 6: Iterating and Improving Your Process

The skyscraper technique is an ongoing process. Continuously iterate and test new ideas to improve results over time.

Expand Prospecting

Dig deeper into prospect research to expand your outreach list. Sources for finding new prospects include:

  • Reverse image search on competitor content screenshots
  • Exploring links of links (get links to sites linking to competitors)
  • Competitor social shares and mentions

Diversify Outreach

Experiment with other outreach channels like social media, guest-graphic pitches, paid ads, and influencer marketing.

Integrate skyscraper content promotion into your overall digital marketing strategy.

Try New Link Bait Formats

Iterate on creating different types of link-worthy content assets like:

  • Data studies with captivating visualizations
  • Interactive tools and calculators
  • Industry benchmark reports
  • Expert roundup posts
  • Case studies demonstrating results

See which asset formats deliver the best results.

Tools and Tips For Skyscraper Success

The right tools and strategies will maximize the impact of your skyscraper campaigns.

Link Building Tools

  • Ahrefs: Backlink research, prospecting, tracking link wins
  • Pitchbox: Automated email outreach and campaign management
  • Buzzstream: Link prospecting and outreach
  • Google Sheets: Tracking and organizing outreach

Content Creation Tips

  • Research competitors using Keyword Explorer
  • Optimize content with Surfer SEO
  • Improve readability with Hemingway App
  • Use productivity tools like Guidde 
  • Design images with Canva

Outreach Best Practices

  • Warm up cold outreach with social interactions
  • Test email subject lines for higher open rates
  • Personalize every email with prospect research
  • Send 2-3 follow-ups spaced 5-7 days apart
  • Build relationships over multiple touchpoints

Following proven link-building principles will optimize your execution.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Like any link building tactic, the skyscraper technique comes with its challenges. Here are some common issues and ways to overcome them:

Challenge: Low Response Rate

Solution: Experiment with different outreach strategies like more personalization, warming up prospects first, testing various email styles, and more persistent follow-ups.

Challenge: Irrelevant Link Prospects

Solution: Tighten up your initial prospect research. Review prospects for relevance before outreach. Qualify leads with short calls or questionnaires.

Challenge: Getting Link Placement

Solution: Provide specific recommendations for where prospects should place links along with anchor text. Follow up persistently. Offer additional assets or a guest post.

Challenge: Negative SEO Impact

Solution: Thoroughly vet prospects. Avoid over-optimization with unnatural links. Disavow poor links using Google Search Console as needed.

Key Takeaways

  • The skyscraper technique involves finding competitors’ most linked-to content, prospecting relevant sites linking to that content, creating superior “skyscraper” content, and conducting strategic outreach to earn backlinks.
  • Use SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to analyze competitors’ backlink profiles and identify their top-linked pages.
  • Prospect for relevant linking sites by extracting domains linking to competitors as well as searching site directories.
  • Create content that significantly outperforms competitors’ by expanding scope, adding more value, optimizing further, and improving overall quality.
  • Reach out at scale with personalized, value-focused pitches using email outreach automation tools.
  • Track campaign performance via spreadsheets and monitor new links earned and SEO impact over time.
  • Continuously iterate and test new prospecting tactics, outreach channels, and link bait content formats.
  • Overcome challenges like low response rates and irrelevant prospects by refining your process with proven link-building best practices.  

Final Words 

Implementing the skyscraper technique for link building takes effort. However, it delivers powerful long-term SEO results. By consistently providing more value to your audience than competitors, your business can earn high-quality backlinks at scale to stand out in search.

Focus on adding value, building relationships, and promoting assets that get results. This comprehensive guide gives you an actionable blueprint for executing skyscraper link-building campaigns that elevate your authority and search visibility.

Now it’s time to start researching your competitors, brainstorming content ideas, and laying the groundwork for link-earning success!  

Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle Catoni
Isabelle is a blogger and a professional SEO content writer. She has a degree in finance but her passion for playing with words forced her to become a writer. In her free time she loves exploring AI developments.


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