Creating Perfect Content with the Skyscraper Technique

Creating perfect content involves using something called the Skyscraper Technique. That’s where we start with something basic like you do in school where you have an outline or a draft. This allows you to work it into something better forever!

The Skyscraper Technique is most commonly used when you already have a blog topic that you want to write about, but you Google it and find out that somebody has already written that blog post.

After that you’ll:

  • Take what they’ve done and make an outline
  • Get all the content and ideas
  • Write something 50% better

The logic here is that Google has already shown interest in what they’ve ranked at the top. They’ve shown interest because real people are clicking on and staying on that page. So if you use that as an example of what’s working, then you’re making a good bet.

Here’s another way to think about it. Let’s say you’re trying to hit a target 100 miles away, and you have 50 bullets and one cannonball. By shooting the bullets first, you’ll be more confident about where that target is and you’ll be able to calibrate your one cannon shot to make it as accurate as possible.

Two women shooting a man with water guns
He’s lucky they don’t have cannons!

With the Skyscraper Technique, you’ll have more confidence in writing and creating content. That’s what the Skyscraper Technique is in a nutshell. And that’s kind of the key for how you’ll start creating perfect content.

It Starts with Research

The beginning of creating perfect content is always research. You want to make sure that you’re using research tools. This will help you get an idea of what words and terms people are searching for.

One free tool that I love is Ubersuggest. You can go there and type in whatever you’re going to write a blog post about. Let’s say you type in Skyscraper Technique, and then you’re going to get a bunch of values back.

What I always recommend looking at first is the trend line. It’s going to show you the month over month results of search volume related to that term. You want to make sure it’s not only diving down. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it grows, and sometimes it’s flat. Make sure, however, that your chosen topic isn’t diving down.

The next thing that we want to look at is the average search volume in the past month. And you want to make sure that it’s adequate related to how niche your company is or how niche your message is.

Let’s say you’re making a very specific product, like collars just for Maine Coon cats, as opposed to collars for cats. The audience is going to be a lot smaller for Maine Coon cats.

The search volume that you’re looking at as a threshold is anything over 200 searches per month. You’re going to say it’s acceptable. But for collars for cats, anything over 5,000 searches per month is your baseline for what’s acceptable.

Woman inspecting a pineapple
She found the pineapple! (it’s a “Psych” reference…)

After you look at the search volume, what you’re going to look at is the keyword difficulty. Things can get a little tricky here, so I’m going to give you the simple version first and then the more complicated, advanced version.

Keyword Difficulty

So, keyword difficulty is a number between one and 100. If you subtract your keyword difficulty number by 100, you’ll get a general idea of how likely you are to rank for the term you’re targeting.

If we’re targeting “Skyscraper Technique” and the keyword difficulty is 50, then it’s a coin flip. There’s a 50% chance, all things being equal, that you can rank for that term. If the keyword difficulty score is 25, then you have a 75% chance. If it’s 75, then you have a 25% chance.

Generally, most companies should not target anything with a keyword difficulty above 50. That’s the simple technique. So if it’s 50 or above, it’s not great.

But, the more advanced technique is if you know your website’s domain authority. You want to take your domain authority and limit the keyword difficulty to no more than 15 above.

Respect My (Domain) Authority

Domain authority is a number that was created by Moz, which is an authority on all things SEO. Their domain authority score puts together different factors that determine how valuable Google thinks your website is.

It’s a number between one and 100. And a lot of businesses are in the 10 to 20 range. Here’s an example — Facebook is approximately 95. I’ve never seen a perfect 100. So, if you can get anywhere at or around the 30 to 40 range, you’re doing a good job for most small businesses.

Backlinks

One of the biggest influencers of domain authority is backlinks to your website. These should be from companies with a higher domain authority than yours.

Boy in a superhero outfit in front of the United States flag
Domain Authority Man!

So how can you find your domain authority? Well, the easiest way is in the Google Chrome browser. You can download an extension from Moz called the MozBar. Once you do that, you can get the domain authority of any website you’re on.

Now let’s go back to Ubersuggest and the keyword research that you’re doing. If your website has a domain authority of 15, for example, you want to make sure that your keyword difficulty is no greater than 30. Your maximum keyword difficulty should be 30 because it’s 15 more than 15. So you’re not targeting 50 anymore, it’s 30.

If your keyword difficulty is seven, your greatest target should be 22. Brand new websites with no domain authority shouldn’t have anything higher than 15. And if your domain authority is 50, target 65, or possibly a little higher than that. That gives you a general range of what’s a target with that keyword difficulty metric.

Price Per Click

The final thing that you should look at is the price per click. That’s a metric that’s related to pay-per-click, which is a common name for buying ads in Google AdWords.

But we’re talking SEO. We’re creating blogs and creating perfect content for your website. It’s still a good idea, however, to look at the pay-per-click number or the cost that people are paying per click. This way you can see if there’s buyer intent behind the term.

Let’s say you see a term and you type in Skyscraper Technique. But doing so says people are paying 10 cents in Google AdWords. Then that means it’s not something that companies have associated with actual buyers. It might be more associated with people that are researching things. There could be ample search volume and low cost-per-click. That happens often. So you want to make sure that you’re seeing numbers that are reasonable to you.

Usually, I look for anything at one dollar or higher. A lot of times I’ll see $3 to $20. You want to look for that higher number that shows that people are buying whatever the term is. That’s keyword research made easy using Ubersuggest.

There are a bunch of other tools out there like Ahrefs, KWFinder, etc. Everybody’s got a different tool, but Ubersuggest is free. It’s a little slower than some of the other ones, but, in general, it has the same data they’re using at all the expensive places.

The Perfect Video

If you’re creating perfect content, you’ll also want to create the perfect video.

Start by putting an outline together for yourself. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just start with a general idea of what you’re going to talk about. Then create a video about these things that you have some knowledge in.

Then, you’re going to take that three-to-six-minute video, and submit it for captions from Rev.

Why captions? Because you’re going to be paying about $1 a minute to get those captions back. Three to six minutes is going to be three to $6, and that’s going to result in about 300 to 600 words. It’s usually about 100 words per minute. What this allows us to do is leverage this content that we’re creating in as many different places as possible.

Monkey using a computer
Not an actual Rev employee (we think)

After, you’re going to take this video and put it on YouTube. While YouTube creates captions, they’re created by a machine and they’re not perfect. If you pay the $1 a minute for the captions from Rev.com, they’re processed first by a machine and then by a human. The quality goes up from 80% accuracy to 99% accuracy, so it’s worth the money.

Best of all, you can take those captions and export them as plain text. Then, you can use that as the basis for your blog post. That’s now the first draft of your content.

You want to get to the point where you have:

  • Your video
  • Completed keyword research
  • Your transcript and all the different text for your content.

You’ll use all that to make your different blog posts. Now go crazy!

Also, you may use a content management system like WordPress, or plugins like Yoast SEO, to assist with creating perfect content. There’s a lot of different tools out there, but mainly, make a ton of content. That’s critical.

It’s going to take a little while. But, you’re going to want to have Google Analytics hooked up. As well as see what content is engaging your audience.

Creating Perfect Content Using Google Analytics

Let’s say after a month or two, you start to identify that the blog post on the Skyscraper Technique is working. And, the blog post on the cat collars is working. But, Maine Coon cat collars aren’t getting anybody at all.

Well, now you know the Skyscraper Technique. Now you know that those bullets are hitting the target. And you can start launching cannonballs. That’s where things get fun, and that’s where we can start to creating perfect content.

Girl wearing a NERD shirt
Already into Google Analytics!

The easiest way to do that with Google Analytics is with the Acquisition setting. Here’s how:

  • Go to Organic Search
  • Set the time span to the last 30 to 90 days
  • Click on the section that says Organic Search
  • Click on Landing Page

This will show you what the URL of the landing page was, and it’s where you can find the source of your traffic.

Then, you’re going to want to look at the user count for each page. If things are all equal, you can start looking at other things, but that’ll get you there 90% of the time.

Now that you’ve:

  • Created your outline
  • Recorded your video
  • Turned your transcript into a blog post
  • Figured out which ones are working
  • Done research

We’re going to double down on the Skyscraper Technique. Now we know what’s getting engagement from people.

Check Your Competition

At this point, make an outline of all the things that you said. By now, you may have more things added to your outline.

Now, research the other articles on the Skyscraper Technique that come in when you type it into Google. Then find out what other things they’re talking about in their blog posts, add those to your outline.

And finally, I want you to take a couple of minutes to think, how can I make this even better? And add even more stuff to your outline. You’ll end up with a big, high-quality outline for this brand new post to create on the Skyscraper Technique.

We condone cheating

What we’re going to be targeting is around 1,500 words, which is going to be around 15 minutes. That’s about the sweet spot for YouTube, and that’s where Google starts to take notice.

The caveat to that is if you see your competitor’s blog posts are at number one. These are the people hitting Skyscraper Technique. They have a 6,000-word blog post. Guess what? You have to hit 9,000 words. You have to go 50% higher.

Now you have your outline for the 15-minute blog post that you’re going to do. You can then start creating a bigger blog post.

What’s Next in Creating Perfect Content?

The final piece to keep in mind after you go back and double down on your blog post, to hire graphic designers. They can put together media that’s going to engage people.

Remember to take that video that you record and slap it on the page. You want to be investing at that point when creating perfect content because now you’ve started to prove that it can work.

That’s how you end up creating perfect content It starts out easy and doesn’t take too much of your time. And what’s most important is that it’s calculated and strategic. You’re not throwing time out anywhere. You’re putting time where you’ve proven that there can be some value.

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