I’m going to tell you something right up front.
Now I should warn you: this might ruffle your feathers a little bit.
But I did warn you 🙂
SEO doesn’t have to be a struggle.
It really doesn’t.
Fortunately, that’s far from the case.
In fact, when you know what to do and how to do it, SEO can be pretty darn simple.
Well today I’m going to show you a step-by-step case study of how I doubled Backlinko’s search engine traffic traffic in 2-weeks…
Click “Display Images” to see a screenshot of my meteoric traffic increase.
The best part is that you can execute this same technique in any niche…
- Even if you don’t have connections with influential bloggers
- Even if you’ve struggled with Google’s punishing updates
- Even if you don’t have 10 hours a day to write content
How did I do it?
I used something called The Skyscraper Technique.
And I’ll show you exactly how it works is in a minute.
But first, a quick story…
When I first started Backlinko I was in the same boat as many other people building an online business today:
1. I was in a brutally competitive space (internet marketing) with dozens of entrenched competitors (Moz, Search Engine Watch, QuickSprout…just to name a few).
2. I wasn’t famous. In fact, I had a grand total of 58 Twitter followers.
3. I didn’t have a team of highly-trained content ninjas pumping out articles.
But I did have two things going for me:
Thing #1: I knew that SEO (when done right) pays off…big time.
I learned that lesson after taking one of my web properties from a blank WordPress installation to a $10k/month success…in 4 short months.
How did I do it?
(Keep in mind that my success came after building over 100 websites that failed. I don’t want you to have to go through the same painful learning curve that I did. That’s why I’m sharing what I learned with you today).
Thing #2: I knew that the “publish and pray” approach does NOT work.
A few months back I went to an internet marketing conference in London.
One of the first talks of the day was this SEO “expert” who worked at a digital marketing agency in London.
As soon as he walks onto the stage, he puts up this slide:
“If you publish great content people will naturally link to you.
I don’t know about you, but I live in the real world.
“Publish great content” sounds nice in theory, but it doesn’t work in reality.
The fact is, the percent of people that will “naturally” link to your content (even if it’s amazing) is VERY small.
And the fraction of these backlinks that come from authority sites (the kind that boost your search engine rankings) is even smaller.
In other words, relying on random links to increase your search engine rankings is like waiting for the lottery to make you rich.
Quick note: In a few days I’ll send you an email that shows you exactly how to generate white hat backlinks from authority sites. But that can wait 😀
I knew that white hat SEO is one of the most lucrative traffic strategies online.
I also knew that white hat SEO works ONLY if you’re proactive with link building (NOT “publish and pray”).
There was only one problem:
My $10k/month site was in a pretty competitive niche…
…but it was NOTHING like the dog-eat-dog internet marketing space.
The strategies that I used for my $10k/month would be like bringing a knife to a gun fight in the internet marketing industry.
Worst of all, I was a one man show.
My competitors? Hundreds of highly-trained employees at companies like About.com and The Huffington Post.
This is David vs. Goliath at it’s best.
A 110% increase in organic search traffic in 14-days…
…not to mention thousands of targeted visitors from forums, social media and blogs.
Here’s the exact 3-step process that I used:
First, I found content that already had a proven track record of generating authority backlinks (AKA your “Base Content”)
This is HUGE.
Unless you have a crystal ball sitting next to your laptop, you NEED to base your content on something already proven to work.
Read that sentence again. It’s important.
You can easily find proven content in your industry using…
- Google’s first page results (obvious…but it’s one of the best places to look)
- BuzzSumo (free tool that shows you popular content in any niche)
- Open Site Explorer (pop a competitor into the tool and hit the “top pages” tab. That shows you the pages with the most backlinks)
In my case, whenever I searched for information about Google’s 200 ranking factors, I noticed the same piece of content mentioned over and over again.
It was called “Vaughn’s Google Ranking Factors Checklist”.
Here’s a screenshot of what Vaughn’s guide looked like:
And when I checked the backlinks pointing to that page, my jaw practically hit the floor.
That outdated, ugly piece of content had over 1200 backlinks pointing to it.
Want to hear the weirdest part?
Vaughn didn’t even list all of Google’s 200 ranking factors (he only listed 118).
That’s when it hit me:
Second, I improved upon the content that’s already proven to work.
Once you find something that’s already done well, you need to make it even better.
Actually, this is why this strategy is called “The Skyscraper Technique”…
Have you ever walked by a really tall building and said to yourself:
“Wow, that’s amazing! I wonder how big the 8th tallest building in the world is.”
Of course not.
It’s human nature to be attracted to the best.
And what you’re doing here is finding the tallest “skyscraper” in your space…and slapping 20 stories to the top of it.
All of a sudden YOU have the content that everyone wants to talk about (and link to).
Is this hard work?
You better believe it.
But that’s the only way to separate yourself from the generic “10 tips for…” content that falls flat 99 times out of 100.
It’s what I like to call “Skyscraper Content”.
Here are 4 super-practical ways to improve the content you just found:
1. Make It Longer
In many cases, publishing an article that’s simply longer or includes more items
will do the trick.
If you find a link magnet called “50 Healthy Snack Ideas”, publish a list of 150 (or even 250).
Simple and effective.
2. More Up-to-Date
If you can take an out of date piece of content and spruce it up, you’ve got yourself a winner.
3. Better Designed
A visually stunning piece of content will generate a lot more links and social shares than something similar on an ugly page.
4. More Thorough
Most lists posts are just a bland list of bullet points without any meaty content that people can actually use.
But if you add a bit of depth for each item on your list, you have yourself a list post that’s MUCH more valuable.
Important Note: I recommend that you beat the existing content on every level: length, design, current information etc.
This will make it objectively clear that YOU have something WAY better than the Base Content you found in Step #1.
Which is really important when you start promoting your content.
(Actually, I’ll show you an insanely powerful content promotion strategy in step #3 of The Skyscraper Technique).
I just realized that I’m running out of room here.
We’re already clocked in at over 1,000 words.
That means I can’t show you the super-practical examples of how I dramatically improved the content that I found…
…and how I promoted my content to generate high quality backlinks.
I’ll send that to you in my next message. It will hit your inbox in about 3 days.
So keep your eyes peeled for my next email.
The subject line will be: “The dirty little secret to publishing content that gets results”.
PS: I forgot to mention something.
In a few days I’m going to send you a tested, word-for-word email script that I personally use for link building. It’s designed for The Skyscraper Technique, but you can use it for practically any piece of content you want to generate links to. Stay tuned.
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