Why is everyone talking about skyscraper blogs again? Around 2018, a large shift happened that start of course, with a Google algorithm update that placed even more importance on long-form, authority content. What that meant was that Google and other major search engines wanted to see more articulate content.
Not the ‘fluff stuff’ that many businesses were pushing out there for the sake of providing fresh content. Thoughtful, in-depth content that served an informational or entertainment purpose that was valuable.
Marketers began to experiment with blog post length, and experts weighed in after trialing differing types of formats. Since readers enjoy a list-based article (it’s easier to read and glean information) that format became even more popular, or what we call the ‘listicle’ type of article, featuring a top 10 mechanism and numbered list.
For the most part, businesses have realized that longer blog articles (that are formatted well with media and other page breaks) are valuable website traffic magnets. But there is more to the ‘skyscraper’ strategy than simply writing longer search optimized content for your website. And we’re going to share some of the steps we take to help businesses build organic traffic through quality creative content.
Research Top Performing Articles in Your Competitive and Industrial Niche
Where we start to develop skyscraper content, is to start hunting for existing published content that is performing as a traffic magnet. Within the same business niche and industry.
One of the top global tools to determine the traffic and backlink quality of content is Ahrefs. The problem is that unless you are a large marketing agency willing to spend a couple hundred dollars per month on this license, the tool (while valuable) isn’t accessible budget wise for most small and medium sized businesses.
But (of course) there are some more affordable alternatives like Mangools (which we love at SMM!) There are so many fantastic tools and insights you can gather from Mangools, but for the purpose of researching skyscraper content, it will help you identify the right keywords and types of content using the SERPChecker tool for competitive analysis.
If you are into the science of DIY SEO, you are really going to love what Mangools can do for you, and how easy it is to use. You are going to be able to see different articles across the web that relate to your product or service, how these articles rank, and competitive keyword factors (high versus low competition terms).
Why We Love Mongools
In Mongools, you can quickly compare your own business website to other competitors locally or globally within the same niche. You will be able to research and identify the long-tail keywords that are worth incorporating into your own content.
By the time you are done your SEO research for skyscraper blogs, you should know:
- What long-tail keywords you should be incorporating into your website landing page copy and the new blog content you produce for your site.
- The target hash tags that coordinate with your ‘best opportunity’ keywords identified.
- The keywords that have a lower difficulty. If everyone is using the same keywords in your industry, it can be hard to gain traffic because you are competing with those other businesses. But if you target quality (but lower competition keywords) your business may be able to dominate those terms. Find a few of those and focus on them in all your content (website, social media, blog, etc.).
- Local variances in keyword density. Is your business targeting local traffic, national domestic, or international? If local traffic matters to your revenues, you will also want to identify the regional variances for keywords in your hometown, or city.
Now that you have an idea of the kind of content that is generating huge traffic for your competitors, it’s time to take that information and plan some blog posts that leverage those search terms. You want to identify 2-3 different competitive content pieces as your inspiration. Note what made they informative and valuable to your target customer, and then, cultivate your cornerstone content piece.
Your goal isn’t to emulate the high traffic performing competitive piece(s). Your goal is to dissect it, understand the content, and then write something better that will help you create the same traffic results for your website.
How to Write a Skyscraper Blog Post
Now comes the moment of truth; writing a big, long, researched, entertaining and high-quality content piece for your business blog. No pressure! Try not to think of the length of the article, but rather plan an effective outline.
At Social Me Multimedia, we use a four-step process:
Step One: Pick an Outstanding Topic and Article Title
Now that you have already done the competitive research on high performing skyscraper blogs, you are ready to create your own. But no matter how well you write, the first step comes down to finding a great topic. And an even better title that will grab that attention in one line, and let your prospective audience know that they are about to get something of value in your content.
The place we start (after competitive research) is Google Trends. What are people talking about online? What questions are they asking on Quora? What information are people looking for, and can we share some relatable information that the audience will value? Include trending themes in your article for web traffic gains.
Step Two: Cultivate at Least Five Subheadings
One of the reasons why infographics remain a perennial favorite? They are easy to read, aren’t they? They have organized headings and small bits of useful information that is easy to review. And when it’s easy to read, it is also more likely to be retained as knowledge. And benefit your brand recognition exercise.
The average skyscraper blog is about 1,400 words of optimized content. In the article, you want to make sure to break up your headings and subheadings, to make the article more visually interesting and easy to read. From a technical perspective, you also want to make sure you are following content structure guidelines (use Yoast if you aren’t sure), and applying the appropriate H1, H2, H3 headlines for SEO.
Why does it matter if you use H1, H2 etc. in your article structure? Every day, your website is being crawled by search engines, and the content is being registered. Old content that has been indexed is checked and new content that has been added is noted. The H1, H2, H3 etc. tags help search engines understand what your website and business is about, because those headlines have the most weight in terms of content structure on the page.
If you own a pet supply e-commerce store, Google and other search engines would register the pet care themes, product reviews and how-to articles to build a profile of your business. Don’t forget to include geological tags for your city, if you rely on local foot traffic for your business as well. Include some of those geotags into your H2, H3 headlines and subheadings.
Step Three: Write Really Great Content
When we are crafting a skyscraper or cornerstone content piece for a client, we work backwards from the research and outline. Once you have your headers and subheadings, you have a formal outline for the article. Write interesting facts into each section that help fulfill a need, answer a question, or solve a problem for the reader. At the end of any great skyscraper article, is a reader who had a problem resolved thanks to the advice and insights shared in the content piece.
Step Four: Promote the Skyscraper Article with Pay Per Click
Sometimes when we are talking to business owners who have invested heavily in writing content for their website, they are frustrated because they ‘did the work’ but didn’t gain the traffic they hoped they would receive for their skyscraper article.
Imagine you wrote a great book, and then put one copy on a shelf. And then waited. How many people would find the book? Not many. And this is where businesses need to be prepared to put a small expenditure of PPC (pay per click) digital advertising to help gain ‘lift off’ for their content piece.
No, we’re not talking about an involved and expensive campaign of hundreds of dollars to promote one article. But when the article had been shared on social, we like to pin it to the top of the Facebook Business Page. Then, we allocate a small spend of less than $50.00 to push it out through Facebook to a qualified audience (with specific target market parameters).
With your skyscraper blog post placed on your website, and a gentle push from PPC on social media, you can get a quality article rolling as a traffic magnet. And don’t forget to put that article into regular rotation, to allow it to be indexed by search engines and gain more referring traffic.
How Can We Help?
Next time you are looking at one of those high traffic generating blog posts on a competitors site, you will have the foundational understanding for all the research and work that goes into producing viral content. At Social Me Multimedia, we help businesses around the world by producing compelling creative content, skyscraper blogs, website landing page content and more.
Use our pop-up to schedule a meeting to discuss your content marketing needs. Our team provides blog content as part of a monthly service retainer, and we also do project work for clients, or bulk writing assignments utilizing our experienced North American team of marketing writers. We look forward to assisting you.