Are you a small business owner looking for skyscraper content?
Perhaps you are the digital marketing point of contact on your team.
Regardless, if you’re asking what is skyscraper content, what is skyscraper content good for, or how do I write skyscraper content, you’ve come to the right place.
My name is Rachel Powell. I’m a copywriting nerd and SEO forever student. As a copywriter, I create lots of different types of content for my clients, from website text to blog posts, and everything in between. I also regularly research and develop skyscraper content for clients (and my own blog).
In this post, we’re going to take a detailed look at what a skyscraper post actually is and how your business can leverage one (or several) to generate more leads, more visibility, more interest, and more MONEY.
Table of Contents
What Is Skyscraper Content?
- Critical Components of Skyscraper Content:
- Some Great Examples of Skyscraper Content:
- What Is Skyscraper Content For?
- Who Needs Skyscraper Content?
- What Topic Should Your Skyscraper Content Cover?
- How to Determine Whether Your Skyscraper Content Is Successful:
- Who Can Write Skyscraper Content?
- How to Hire a Copywriter for Skyscraper Content:
- How to Post Your Skyscraper Content
- Marketing Your Skyscraper Content
- Going the Extra Mile: Asking for Backlinks
- In Summary
What Is Skyscraper Content?
The whole idea behind skyscraper content is simple:
1: Find something online (a well-ranking blog post) that explains your topic well…
2: DO IT BETTER.
The original creator of this strategy called it a skyscraper because it takes other “buildings” into account, then develops a taller, more inclusive, more comprehensive, more visually striking “SKYSCRAPER”.
Critical Components of Skyscraper Content:
A Catchy Title
Given the choice between these two headlines, which one would you be more likely to click?
What Is Skyscraper Content?
Top 5 Secrets Copywriters Don’t Want You to Know About Skyscraper ContentThis one, yep.
In general, it’s best to use a variety of words, especially some that invoke POWER or EMOTION. You’ll also need to keep in mind the length of your title.
Well-Written, Self-Explanatory Headers That Allow Skimming
Yes, that’s right. People are going to skim your skyscraper content. It’s a part of life. Very few people are going to sit on their phones, laptops, tablets, or desktops and read through every word you write. Just like with textbooks, readers are going to skim through, find what they need to know (or use the search feature), read the tidbit they need, and move on.
However, those that do read everything are the ones that are going to love your brand, commit to it, and bring you sales.
Links to Sources
You’ll also need links within your content that prove you aren’t just talking from memory. This is fine for regular blog posts, but you really want to pull out all of the stops with skyscraper content. Get your sources out there so that your readers know you mean business!
Some Great Examples of Skyscraper Content:
This post is a great example of the skyscraper technique. The writer clearly knows a lot about the topic at hand, gardening, and is able to explain many different facets of the subject. In the same way, your skyscraper should take a topic, explain all of the facets that are contained within it in more detail than a previous author has done.
This is another great example of skyscraper content, except in a list format. Lists are great for maintaining a reader’s attention while you lay out all of the text you want them to read. This author also makes good use of images to break up the content. I prefer to focus on the text, since I’m a copywriter and my content is meant to be an example of what type of writing I can do.
Example 3: Everything You Want to Know About IBS
Most of Healthline’s articles covering conditions and diseases are prime examples of skyscraper content. They are a reputable, reliable source for medical-related content. You’ll see within this post that the author cites any relevant study or source that they can. This increases the “authority” of your skyscraper content and makes people more likely to backlink to it!
Also notice how this article doesn’t have many pictures. This is typical of medical/health articles. These types of posts are more likely to have infographics than photos that pertain to the condition being discussed.
What Is Skyscraper Content For?
Skyscraper content is intended for posting on a website to help it develop backlinks, therefore building its search ranking and topic authority.
It goes without saying, then, that a super-fantastic skyscraper is going to do diddly squat for you if your website is crap. No one or their uncle is going to want to read through 2000+ words on a website that’s slower than molasses rolling down a hill during the winter time.
If you think your website probably needs a tune-up or redesign, check out my client, Criss Mwakamui, owner of Snellville Websites. He has developed hundreds of websites for both local small businesses (in the Snellville, GA area) and clients around the world. If you want to jump right into a redesign or new website design, fill out this form: Website Development Questionnaire.
Who Needs Skyscraper Content?
Every website should have skyscraper content on at least one topic pertaining to their brand. Put simply, this technique is for everyone. If you don’t have any skyscraper content or “cornerstone content” on your website, your search ranking isn’t as good as it could be.
Taking the time or money and investing into good skyscraper content will only elevate your brand’s visibility online.
What Topic Should Your Skyscraper Content Cover?
This can be a tough decision to make. Not every topic is suited for becoming skyscraper content!
Think about the basis that your company or business operates on. What is your core service or product? Take that idea and run with it! When in doubt, a 2000+ word FAQ page usually turns into a Q&A-style skyscraper post! Basically, follow these guidelines when choosing a topic and your skyscraper content will be fantastic:
- You could talk about the topic for at least 20 minutes in person without covering everything
- The subject isn’t too broad – save these topics for a future blog series
- You know enough about this topic to do minimal research and can give your writer direction, if needed
- You already know that information about this topic is highly-desirable
How to Determine Whether Your Skyscraper Content Is Successful:
Backlinks – The Holy Grail of Content Development
I’ve hinted at this a bit already, but the main goal of skyscraper content is to create content that is worthy of citing. Other people who come online to do research will see your post, read through it, and want to cite it in their own work.
For example, the three example posts that I linked above were worthy enough, in my eyes, to get a backlink here. This is one of your goals when developing your skyscraper content; to be worthy enough to end up in someone else’s content.
You can tell if your website has backlinks by using this tool: AHREFS Backlink Checker
Fantastic Organic Search Ranking
Being a leader in your field naturally results in higher search ranking. It’s just how the cookie crumbles. Some businesses have to try really hard to make this happen, while others find that their content naturally falls at the top of the search results. In general, though, search engines like Google and Bing are going to prefer to serve “authoritative” content to searchers. Like we noted above, backlinks play into this quite a bit.
You can always view your website’s search ranking score on tools like Google Search Console and BING Webmaster.
You’re Generating New Leads Like Crazy
Another way you can identify your success is if you suddenly start getting more leads for business. This may not necessarily be reflected in your metrics, so keep this in mind as you add more and more skyscraper content to your website.
Who Can Write Skyscraper Content?
- Knows how to research a topic online
- Knows how to search engine optimize
- Can develop catchy headlines and headers
- Knows how to cite content appropriately to avoid plagiarism
- Can write in a way that is appealing to readers
- Can either take corrections from a grammar tool OR knows proper grammar
If you’re looking at this list and realizing that you fit the bill, great!
The only other requirement is time. It will take an inexperienced (not a paid copywriter) 2-3 hours to write 500 words of optimized content.
Taking the length of skyscrapers (2000+ words) into consideration, you’ll need about 8-12 hours to set aside for this project – not including research and editing time. As you can see, this time commitment adds up pretty fast, making the initially high sticker price of a well-written skyscraper a bit more palatable.
How to Hire a Copywriter for Skyscraper Content:
1. Find a Copywriter You Like
Do you already have a writer you love working with? Maybe they “just get” you and always develop astronomical content for your brand.
If so, GREAT! Work with them on your skyscraper project, too! It’s incredibly important for all of your content to flow and make sense with the rest of the text on your website and blog.
If you don’t think you have a great copywriter yet – and you like my style – reach out to me about a skyscraper post. I’m going to want to get to know you and your brand a little bit better before we actually sit down and write a skyscraper together; however, you can at least see what I require in my skyscraper briefs on my order form here: Skyscraper Content Request Form.
2. Write a Comprehensive Brief for Them
Like I mentioned above, you’ll probably need to send your copywriter a comprehensive brief.
This step is critical if you want to get the content you’re envisioning at the beginning of the order.
For more information about how to build a comprehensive brief for your copywriter, take a look at this post: Copywriting Brief: How to Create a Comprehensive One.
3. Pay Them Appropriately
Skyscraper posts usually will run you several hundred dollars, if not thousands. This is because a great copywriter will know exactly what to write to get you ranked exceptionally well.
In my opinion, this expertise and potential is invaluable. If your writer gets you in the tip-top of the search rankings, think about sending a tip their way!
How to Post Your Skyscraper Content
Usually, businesses will post all blog content on their blog reel. This will be a subdomain on your website that gets updated every time you post new content.
Keep in mind that, even though skyscraper content takes longer to create and edit, you’ll still want to maintain your usual content schedule; a steady stream of new content will help search engines recognize your site as an authoritative brand.
Marketing Your Skyscraper Content
The fun and excitement doesn’t stop here though; you’ll also need to market your content online.
This strategy will get your name out there and initiate backlinks right away – you don’t have to wait for your skyscraper content to appear in search results to do this. Share your new content on any social media platform your business is active on and anywhere else you can think of. Share away – that’s the core of digital marketing.
Going the Extra Mile: Asking for Backlinks
You can also ask people directly to link to your content over a competitor!
You can create a template that can be pasted into each email you send, or you can create personalized emails per person. Basically, you’ll want to send them a link to your new content, explain what you improved upon, then ask if they’ll update the reference they used in their own content.
You’ll be surprised how many people will take you up on this. You can use the backlink checker tool we discussed before to see who is linking to some of your competition – per topic.
I hope this post was helpful to you and your brand (and maybe your marketing team) in your efforts to create skyscraper content for your website. Are you ready to develop a skyscraper or two for your brand? Reach out to me today for more information or to start the process!
Until next time,