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Are You Web 3.0 Ready? 12 Steps For A Successful Social Media Audit

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Web 3.0 is here. Have you considered a social media audit?

Look in the mirror and ask, “Is my social media stuck in a Web 2.0 world?”

A social media audit is like a health and wellness check-up for your brand’s digital marketing results, business outcomes, public relations, and brand awareness.

Here are 12 tips for conducting a social media audit in a Web 3.0 world.

1. Schedule It

Instead of waiting until a potential problem is detected or failing results appear, proactively schedule an audit for your brand, a quarterly checkup, and an annual exam.

A social media audit will create an efficient and actionable update to an existing social media plan or a reset to a new social media strategy.

Social PR Secret: Keep your team accountable and transparent by scheduling the social media audits on a calendar with all stakeholders invited.

Follow the SMART method of goal setting when it comes to social media audits. Keep it.

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Realistic.
  • Timeframe.

Like any action item tied to successful outcomes, it is important to access your social media audit’s requirements including:

  1. Create a timeframe. Set aside a realistic amount of time to complete the audit.
  2. Allow for research into new technologies and innovation.
  3. Know what resources are needed to complete the social media audit.
  4. Understand what team members or outside consultants need to be involved in order to achieve a successful social media audit.

2. Include PR, SEO & PPC, And New Innovations Of Web 3.0 In The Audit

Working remotely or living behind closed doors in the social media marketing room leads to dehydration and loss of healthy nutrients in a social media marketing plan.

Public relations, search, and PPC will add depth, optimization, and vital content to a social media plan.

Combining marketing agendas gives a sense of synchronicity and supplements social media planning with aligned business goals and objectives.

The emergence of Web 3.0 technology and innovation is impacting all areas of digital marketing including social media.

Web 3.0 is defined as the next generation of the internet only operating in a more decentralized environment.

This means marketers and brands can be less reliant on big techs, like Google and Facebook, and focus more on community, creators, and even crypto.

Social media marketers should have a third eye on new social networks bubbling up from Web 3.0, NFTs, virtual worlds, and how physical worlds blend with digital worlds.

“It’s also important to consider if all of your digital marketing is connected with your social strategy by evaluating relative to the digital marketing landscape,” says Krista Neher, CEO, and Founder of Boot Camp Digital.

3. Grading Scale

A process and methodology for a social media audit are essential for long-term success and efficiencies.

Whether it’s your own process using Excel, a template from a third-party source, or a platform such as Sprout Social, using consistent methods puts science behind the historical comparisons.

Considering 45% of content professionals say they’re challenged with managing content production workflow, Sarah Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at Landscape Management Network, shares her approach to a social media audit.

social media audit scaleScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit scale

4. Headlines & Grades

“We start with competitors and look for ‘who’s to beat.’ Then we write the headline for what each competitor’s strategy appears to be. We map it on a quadrant to determine the white space for the brand we represent,” says Collins.

Taking the quantitative and qualitative factors, Collins breaks down a social media audit approach like this:

  • Quantitative considers competitors, community size, engagement, native channels (including Meta insights, analytics), and paid channels (such as Iconosquare, Cubeyou, Nuvi, Rival IQ).
  • Qualitative analysis content, paid social via Rival IQ, and engagement.

Looking at your competitors on social media, see what they are missing and what you can do that they are not doing.

social media audit methodologyScreenshot taken by author, March 2022social media audit methodology

5. Website & Blog Assessment

Check the relevant website and blog pages to check for social media factors, including:

  • Shareability.
  • Meta titles and descriptions.
  • Formatting.
  • Keywords.
  • Visuals.
  • Content performance.
  • Links.
  • Accessibility.
  • Integration with paid media.
  • Behavior.
  • Security and privacy.

Questions To Ask

  • Do you have a newsroom to feature media coverage and press releases on your website?
  • Are your blog posts and pages easy to share?
  • Do your titles and descriptions make sense in a share?
  • How about those visuals? Are they shareworthy or boring?
  • Have you experimented with the most popular types of content: videos, reels, augmented reality, filters, avatars, and Artificial Intelligence-enhanced content?
  • What is the best performing content? (You might be surprised and want to rework the content strategy.)
  • What is the top-performing social media network in Google Analytics?
  • Are you integrating chatbots into your home page?
  • Is there a place for 3D or immersive content?

6. Social Media Channel Review

This is where you want to review each channel, including this checklist:

  • Page/profile optimization.
  • Cover and profile image use.
  • Visual assets.
  • Video optimization (i.e. playlists, featured, etc.).
  • Frequency and timing.
  • Content types/mix.
  • Comment sentiment and response time.
  • Live video use.
  • Engagement.
  • Branding.
  • Optimization.
  • Chatbots and messenger use and strategy.
  • Augmented reality use.
  • Virtual reality.
  • Creator coins.
  • Web 3/NFT marketplaces such as OpenSea.
  • Audio experiences such as Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse.
  • Community platforms such as Discord.
  • Security and privacy.

Integrate social media with your email marketing strategy.

Optimize email marketing by running retargeting campaigns. Share your email newsletter content on social media, including social media share opportunities within email marketing content.

Explore metaverse types of channels, including:

  • Spatial.io.
  • AltspaceVR.
  • Horizons Worlds.

Tap Into Employees On Social

Don’t neglect to audit your customer-facing employees’ LinkedIn profiles.

Are they representing the brand well? Are they posting valuable content and building meaningful relationships?

“It’s no longer enough to focus on your company pages alone. You need to equip your team with the right strategies to build their personal brands on LinkedIn,” says Mandy McEwen, Founder & CEO of Mod Girl Marketing and Luminetics.

Considering four out of five LinkedIn members drive business decisions, LinkedIn is a gold mine right now for B2B organizations. The brands leading the pack to invest in building a tribe of industry thought leaders.

“I like to see how they handle the customer service on social media feeds,” says Melissa Fach, Lead SEO Content Manager at Kelley Blue Book & Autotrader.

Fach adds, “Many brands are using chatbots and Messenger wrong. They respond to everyone the same way. Chatbots will be a huge problem in the future if brands don’t start paying attention. Right now, it may look like they don’t care.”

Social PR Secret: Consider adding a chatbot strategy or SMS to your audit checklist.

See what the competition is doing and how you can improve social customer service, better serve website visits and improve messaging outreach using chatbots.

Social VR Secret: Consider investing in an Oculus headset and start exploring virtual worlds and landscapes to see where virtual reality content fits your social media strategy.

7. Competitive Social Media Review

Compare your brand’s social media channels with at least two competitors or like-minded brands.

Create a spreadsheet and make notations of:

  • Publishing trends compared to competitors.
  • Creative.
  • Frequency.
  • Content types.
  • Influencers.
  • Engagement.
  • New social networks.
  • New technologies.
  • Use of Artificial Intelligence.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Employee/team personal brands relate to your business brand and how they influence social media positively or negatively.

8. Content Style, Messaging & Optimization Analysis

This is an opportunity to see how well your content feeds social media results. Look at the overall content style and brand voice.

  • Is your content robotic and informal, or is it personalized and conversational?
  • Does your content reflect a strategic content calendar, or are you winging it?
  • Are you using hashtags effectively to maximize reach?
  • Is your social team considering trends?
  • Are you paying attention to the latest features, bells, and whistles being introduced by channels? Make sure you are not using what worked last year versus what is performing the best this year.
  • Be sure to claim social media profiles as new networks pop up so you can control the brand name on each channel.

Look at each social media network as its own search engine.

Social PR Secret: Brands need to optimize for each social media channel just like they would optimize using keywords, links, and images for Google.

Treat each channel like a search engine and optimize your content, images, video, and profiles.

“I look to see where social shares lead to,” says Fach.

“Is it helpful content versus something salesy? Offer a solution that will help the person – most brands make a promise and lead the audience back to misleading content. Avoid the bait and switch type of social content.”

Persona Review

When conducting your persona review, you might find your brand does not have any persona. Now is the time to add personas to your social media marketing regimen.

Every brand usually has several types of audience personas to target. If you don’t have personas, start with a template from xtensio or Hubspot.

Social PR Secret: Have a persona review with your team. Add insights, interests, and more details to make each persona as authentic as possible.

Remember to have one of the personas represent your brand’s targeted journalists, reporters, and media influencers.

Metaverse PR Secret: As we enter the Web 3.0 era, consider creating avatars to represent and interact with each persona (companies like Genies) or even as easy as using Bitmojis and Facebook avatars to interact and engage with your personas in a meaningful way.

9. Social Media Distribution & Publishing Assessment

Brand to self: “I’ve created amazing social media content! The only problem is it’s not getting exposure, reach, or results.”

Check to see the content channels and ensure the channels line up with your audience.

Consider additional distributions such as:

  • Press Releases.
  • Medium.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Guest posts.
  • Events.
  • Conferences.
  • Trade shows.
  • Webinars.
  • Lives.
  • Podcasts.
  • Audio experiences such as Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Discord.
  • Communities such as Facebook Groups and Discord Servers.

“Make it easy for your team to share social media posts to their personal social media accounts, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter,” says McEwen.

Your employees’ personal social media channels are an overlooked distribution channel that can dramatically impact social ROI.

Social PR Secret: Content distribution is a critical step in social media success.

Many brands publish once and move on to the next piece of content. Guy Kawasaki’s famous advice for social media distribution is to publish, rinse, and repeat.

10. Visual Asset Audit, Including Video and 3D

Today’s social media visual trend mix includes all of the following:

  • Live video.
  • Vertical video.
  • Square images.
  • Stories.
  • GIFs.
  • Memes.
  • Infographics.
  • Augmented reality content.
  • Lenses.
  • Filters.
  • Text overlay on images.
  • Filtered images.
  • NFTs.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Digital goods and advertising.
  • Avatars.
  • PFP (picture for proof) and profile pic.
  • Livestreams in digital experiences.
  • 3D content on social and websites using platforms such as Threedium.

Make sure your video is optimized for each channel. Check out this cheat sheet for digital video optimization.

Match up today’s social media trends as to what is working and trending compared to your brand’s use of visuals.

Are you behind the times? Using last year’s famous trends? Are you keeping up with the Web 2.0 transition to Web 3.0?

Now is the time for a visual facelift to stay up to speed on what your audience is expecting and engaging in.

Sift through the trends and compare your visuals with this checklist:

  • Types.
  • Optimization (i.e., alt tags, titles, descriptions, playlists).
  • Web/blog visuals.
  • Social.
  • Stories.
  • AR/VR.
  • Metaverse.
  • Virtual worlds.
  • Virtual events like Fashion Week in the Metaverse.
  • Emerging tech such as virtual beings, holograms, NFTs, avatars, and using artificial intelligence.

“Make sure to keep your team up-to-date on the latest digital marketing,” says Neher. “Social media is always changing and evolving, so invest in yourself and your team with training, conferences, and events.”

Social PR Secret: Social media and digital marketing skills are the #1 in-demand skills for marketers. Investing in your skills future-proofs your career.

11. Dig Deep & Set-Up Accurate Tracking

You’ve got to be real when it comes to social media auditing.

Social media is full of “fluffy” metrics, such as likes and comments, commonly known as vanity metrics. These metrics types don’t really tell us a whole lot of meaningful insights.

“If you’re looking to dig a bit deeper and correlate actual ROI and money being made because of your social media efforts, you need to get nitty-gritty when defining your goals and metrics on social,” says Ashley Ward-Segura, Vice President Of Global Operations at TopHatRank.com.

One of the best ways to track an actual purchase from a social media post is to do any of the following:

  • Use UTM codes within your social media posts with shortened links to product pages.
  • Track the referral source in Google Analytics or Semrush.
  • Create a unique promo code that you only share on a social media network. (Make sure you use a unique one for each social media network to track which network gives you the most purchases.)
  • Leverage the power of QR codes.

Maybe purchases aren’t your thing, and those 500 likes are the gold mine for your business. That’s totally fine!

What’s important is defining a realistic goal, something actually measured from social media, and giving yourself a realistic timeline to do so, says Ward.

Let’s not forget that not everything is quantitative – there is the power of qualitative data.

It’s called “dark social,” meaning not everything in social can be tracked. Just because it’s not trackable does not mean it is not happening or having an impact.

12. Third-Eye Chakra

Consider bringing in a third-party outside source to review or facilitate a social media audit.

This independent insight can unlock fresh perspectives and ideas while also identifying problems and blocks your in-house team might not be able to see.

“We often conduct social media audits for brands already doing a great job,” says Neher.

“The outside perspective allows businesses to better benchmark and get a fresh set of eyes. Even businesses already doing a good job benefit from expert advice.”

A thorough analysis of the data is also key, says Neher. A strong social media audit from an outside consultant should include the following elements:

  • A clear understanding of the business goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • A deep dive into the analytics to review performance to date.
  • Competitive analysis and data to support performance vs. competition.
  • Industry expert best-practices assessment to determine opportunities.
  • Addition of new trends and features to enhance results and performance.

Conclusion

Get on the scale, and see how your brand weighs in.

Are you overweight on Web 2.0 and lacking any muscle in Web 3.0?

This could be a social media health issue.

Brands that choose not to adapt to the rapid innovative changes moving away from the reliance on big techs like Google, Facebook, and Apple will have a lower survival rate.

Keeping your social media marketing healthy creates the most opportunity for audience retention and attention.

This is the Web 3.0 era of the social media community, creators, and utility.

It’s where your audience has more of a say so in your success than you do.

Adapt or die.

More Resources:


Featured Image: apghedia/Shutterstock

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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

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Microsoft Announces ChatGPT Capabilities Coming To Bing

Microsoft announced today that it is bringing cutting-edge AI capabilities to its Bing search engine, with the addition of a new ChatGPT-like feature.

Microsoft revealed its plans for integrating ChatGPT at a private event held at its Redmond headquarters today, which centered around its partnership with OpenAI.

Unlike recent virtual events, this particular press conference was held in person and not broadcast online.

During the event, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella highlighted the significance of this new feature and how it will revolutionize the way people interact with search engines.

“I think this technology is going to reshape pretty much every software category,” says Nadella.

Nadella proclaimed, “The race starts today,” and Microsoft is going to “move and move fast.”

The event attendees were given a sneak peek at the latest search experience, which Microsoft refers to as “your AI-powered copilot for the web.”

This new experience combines the all-new Bing search engine and Edge web browser, which are designed to complement each other.

Nadella explained that the new Bing would provide direct answers to questions and encourage users to be more creative.

He also stated that the current search experience is not working as efficiently as it should be, as 40% of the time, people click on search links and then immediately click back.

This clearly indicates that the search experience needs to be updated and improved. Nadella claims that the search engine user experience hasn’t changed in 20 years, and it’s time for Microsoft to adapt.

Introducing The New Bing

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which has been specifically customized for search purposes. It’s even more powerful than the ChatGPT model.

Microsoft has implemented a new way of working with OpenAI called the “prometheus model,” which enhances the relevancy of answers, annotates them, keeps them up to date, and more.

The search index has also been improved by applying the AI model to the core search algorithm, which Nadella calls the largest jump in relevance ever.

It runs on a new user experience with an expanded search box that accepts up to 1,000 characters. Examples shared during the event look exactly like recent leaks.

The new Bing includes a chatbot that behaves similarly to ChatGPT, allowing users to interact with Bing in a natural language.

Bing’s new ChatGPT-like feature will take it a step further by allowing users to have an actual conversation with the search engine, with the ability to follow up on previous questions and provide more context for their search.

The new Bing is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and anyone can try it out by visiting Bing.com and performing sample searches.

You can also sign up to be notified when it becomes more widely available.

The preview will be expanded to millions of users in the near future, and a mobile version will be available soon.

The New Edge Browser

The chat interface Microsoft demonstrated in Bing is available as a sidebar feature in Edge, allowing users to access it without navigating to the Bing website. The interface can run alongside any webpage and interact with it.

During a demonstration, the AI assistant in Edge could summarize a 15-page PDF with one click and even translate a code snippet from Stack Overflow into another programming language.

Another benefit of the Edge browser’s “AI co-pilot” is having it complete tasks for you, such as filling out forms and writing emails.

In Summary

Microsoft has made a substantial leap in search engine technology by integrating a ChatGPT-like feature in its Bing search engine.

The new Bing is powered by a next-generation language model from OpenAI, which takes key learnings and advancements from ChatGPT and GPT-3.5.

Bing with the AI co-pilot is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and a mobile version will be available soon.

Additionally, the chat interface will be available as a sidebar feature in the new Edge browser, which has the ability to summarize information, translate code, and even complete tasks.


Source: Microsoft

Featured Image: Poetra.RH/Shutterstock



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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

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From Competitors To Partners: Conductor Acquires Searchmetrics

Conductor, a leading enterprise organic marketing platform, has acquired European-based competitor, Searchmetrics, to accelerate its expansion in the European market.

After acquiring ContentKing in 2022, the acquisition of Searchmetrics continues to strengthen Conductor’s position in the industry.

Seth Besmertnik, Conductor’s CEO and co-founder, said that the acquisition would bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and its shared customers:

“Searchmetrics has been a competitor almost since we started Conductor, with a strong data foundation and a powerful presence in the European market. We are excited to bring the best of what Searchmetrics does to Conductor and to our now shared customers. Our goal is for customers to greatly benefit from this acquisition through delivery of more product value on a global scale.”

 

Matt Colebourne, the CEO of Searchmetrics, expressed his excitement for the company to join Conductor, calling it the “definitive global leader”:

“Conductor is indisputably the SEO space market leader. For years, we’ve admired their commitment to innovation for customers and their efforts to foster a dynamic and rewarding workplace culture for employees. By joining Conductor, we bring the best of what we do along with a large European customer base—solidifying Conductor as the definitive global leader. We cannot wait to build more for customers going forward.”

 

Ken Ogenbratt, Searchmetrics’s Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is a “pivotal step” for the SEO industry as the two companies move forward as partners with the opportunity to drive even greater value to customers.

With this acquisition, Conductor continues its commitment to creating a single, global platform that integrates all parts of the SEO workflow.

With Searchmetrics’ strong European presence and solid customer base, the acquisition will significantly accelerate Conductor’s growth in Europe.

Conductor has completed its second acquisition in a year with the purchase of Searchmetrics, which follows the company’s significant funding round from Bregal Sagemount in 2021.

This acquisition is seen as a sign of Conductor’s recent growth. It is expected to solidify its position as a leading player in the SEO space by incorporating the strengths of both companies for their shared customers.


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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

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How to Execute the Skyscraper Technique (And Get Results)

In 2015, Brian Dean revealed a brand-new link building strategy. He called it the Skyscraper Technique.

With over 10,000 backlinks since the post was published, it’s fair to say that the Skyscraper Technique took the world by storm in 2015. But what is it exactly, how can you implement it, and can you still get results with this technique in 2023?

Let’s get started.

What is the Skyscraper Technique?

The Skyscraper Technique is a link building strategy where you improve existing popular content and replicate the backlinks. 

Brian named it so because in his words, “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.”

Here’s how the technique works:

Three steps of the Skyscraper Technique

How to implement the Skyscraper Technique

Follow these three steps to execute the Skyscraper Technique.

1. Find relevant content with lots of backlinks

There are three methods to find relevant pages with plenty of links:

Use Site Explorer

Enter a popular site into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. Next, go to the Best by backlinks report.

Best pages by backlinks report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows you a list of pages from the site with the highest number of referring domains. If there are content pieces with more than 50 referring domains, they’re likely to be good potential targets.

Sidenote.

Ignore homepages and other irrelevant content when eyeballing this report.

Use Content Explorer

Ahrefs’ Content Explorer is a searchable database of 10 billion pages. You can use it to find mentions of any word or phrase.

Let’s start by entering a broad topic related to your niche into Content Explorer. Next, set a Referring domains filter to a minimum of 50. 

We can also add:

  • Language filter to get only pages in our target language.
  • Exclude homepages to remove homepages from the results.
Ahrefs' Content Explorer search for "gardening," with filters

Eyeball the results to see if there are any potential pieces of content you could beat.

Use Keywords Explorer

Enter a broad keyword into Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer. Next, go to the Matching terms report and set a Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to a minimum of 40.

Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Why filter for KD? 

The reason is due to the method we use at Ahrefs to calculate KD. Our KD score is calculated from a trimmed mean of referring domains (RDs) to the top 10 ranking pages. 

In other words, the top-ranking pages for keywords with high KD scores have lots of backlinks on average.

From here, you’ll want to go through the report to find potential topics you could build a better piece of content around. 

2. Make it better

The core idea (or assumption) behind the Skyscraper Technique is that people want to see the best. 

Once you’ve found the content you want to beat, the next step is to make something even better

According to Brian, there are four aspects worth improving:

  1. Length – If the post has 25 tips, list more.
  2. Freshness – Update any outdated parts of the original article with new images, screenshots, information, stats, etc.
  3. Design – Make it stand out with a custom design. You could even make it interactive.
  4. Depth – Don’t just list things. Fill in the details and make them actionable.

3. Reach out to the right people

The key to successfully executing the Skyscraper Technique is email outreach. But instead of spamming everyone you know, you reach out to those who have already linked to the specific content you have improved. 

The assumption: Since they’ve already linked to a similar article, they’re more likely to link to one that’s better.

You can find these people by pasting the URL of the original piece into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then going to the Backlinks report.

Backlinks report for ResumeGenius' how to write a resume, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This report shows all the backlinks to the page. In this case, there are 441 groups of links.

But not all of these links will make good prospects. So you’ll likely need to add some filters to clean them up. For example, you can:

  • Add a Language filter for the language you’re targeting (e.g., English).
  • Switch the tab to Dofollow for equity-passing links.
Backlinks report, with filters, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Does the Skyscraper Technique still work?

It’s been roughly eight years since Brian shared this link building strategy. Honestly speaking, the technique has been oversaturated. Given its widespread use, its effectiveness may even be limited. 

Some SEOs even say they wouldn’t recommend it.

So we asked our Twitter and LinkedIn following this question and received 1,242 votes. Here are the results:

Pie chart showing 61% of respondents feel the Skyscraper Technique still works

Clearly, many SEOs and marketers still believe the technique works.

Sidenote.

According to Aira’s annual State of Link Building report, only 18% of SEOs still use the Skyscraper Technique. It’s not a go-to for many SEOs, as it ranks #20 among the list of tactics. I suspect its popularity has waned because (1) it’s old and SEOs are looking for newer stuff and (2) SEOs believe that content is more important than links these days.

Why the Skyscraper Technique fails and how to improve your chances of success

Fundamentally, it makes sense that the Skyscraper Technique still works. After all, the principles are the same behind (almost) any link building strategy:

  1. Create great content
  2. Reach out to people and promote it

But why do people think it’s no longer effective? There are a few reasons why and knowing them will help you improve your chances of success with the Skyscraper Technique.

Let’s start with:

1. Sending only Brian’s email template

In Brian’s original post, he suggested an email template for his readers to use:

Hey, I found your post: http://post1

<generic compliment>

It links to this post: http://post2

I made something better: http://post3

Please swap out the link for mine.

Unfortunately, many SEOs decided to use this exact template word for word. 

Link building doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If everyone in your niche decides to send this exact template to every possible website, it’ll burn out real fast. And that’s exactly what happened.

Now, if a website owner sees this template, chances are they’ll delete it right away. 

Sidenote.

Judging by my inbox, there are still people using this exact template. And, like everyone else, I delete the email immediately.

I’m not saying this to disparage templated emails. If you’re sending something at scale, templating is necessary. But move away from this template. Write your own, personalize it as much as possible, and follow the outreach principles here.

Even better, ask yourself:

What makes my content unique and link-worthy?”

2. Not segmenting your prospects

People link for different reasons, so you shouldn’t send everyone the same pitch. 

Consider dividing your list of prospects into segments according to the context in which they linked. You can do this by checking the Anchors report in Site Explorer.

Anchors report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

You can clearly see people are linking to different statistics from our SEO statistics post. So, for example, if we were doing outreach for a hypothetical post, we might want to mention to the first group that we have a new statistic for “Over 90% of content gets no traffic from Google.”

Then, to the second group, we’ll mention that we have new statistics for “68% of online experiences.” And so on. 

In fact, that’s exactly what we did when we built links to this post. Check out the case study here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

3. Not reaching out to enough people

Ultimately, link building is still a numbers game. If you don’t reach out to enough people, you won’t get enough links. 

Simply put: You need to curate a larger list of link prospects.

So rather than limiting yourself to only replicating the backlinks of the original content, you should replicate the backlinks from other top-ranking pages covering the same topic too.

To find these pages, enter the target keyword into Keywords Explorer and scroll down to the SERP overview.

SERP overview for "how to write a resume," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

In this example, most top-ranking pages have tons of links, and all of them (after filtering, of course) could be potential link prospects.

Pro tip

Looking for even more prospects? Use Content Explorer.

Search for your keyword, set a Referring domains filter, and you’ll see relevant pages where you can “mine” for more skyscraper prospects.

Referring domains filters selected in Ahrefs' Content Explorer

4. Thinking bigger equals better

Someone creates a list with 15 tools. The next person ups it to 30. Another “skyscrapers” it to 50, and the next increases it to 100.

Not only is it a never-ending arms race, there’s also no value for the reader. 

No one wants to skim through 5,000 words or hundreds of items just to find what they need. Curation is where the value is.

When considering the four aspects mentioned by Brian, don’t improve things for the sake of improving them. Adding 25 mediocre tips to an existing list of 25 doesn’t make it “better.” Likewise for changing the publish date or adding a few low-quality illustrations. 

Example: My colleague, Chris Haines, recently published a post on the best niche site ideas. Even though he only included 10, he has already outperformed the other “skyscraper” articles:

Our blog post ranking #3 for the query, "niche site ideas," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

He differentiated himself through his knowledge and expertise. After all, Chris has 10 years of experience in SEO. 

So when you’re creating your article, always look at any improvement through the lens of value:

Are you giving more value to the reader? 

5. Not considering brand

As Ross Hudgens says, “Better does not occur in a branding vacuum.”

Most of the time, content isn’t judged solely on its quality. It’s also judged by who it comes from. We discovered this ourselves too when we tried to build links to our keyword research guide.

Most of the time, people didn’t read the article. They linked to us because of our brand and reputation—they knew we were publishing great content consistently, and they had confidence that the article we were pitching was great too.

In other words, there are times where no matter how hard you “skyscraper” your content, people just won’t link to it because they don’t know who you are. 

Having your own personal brand is important these days. But think about it: What is a “strong brand” if not a consistent output of high-quality work that people enjoy? One lone skyscraper doesn’t make a city; many of them together do.

What I’m saying is this: Don’t be discouraged if your “skyscraper” article gets no results. And don’t be discouraged just because you don’t have a brand right now—you can work on that over time.

Keep on making great content—skyscraper or not—and results will come if you trust the process.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” 

Final thoughts

The Skyscraper Technique is a legitimate link building tactic that works. But that can only happen if you:

Any questions or comments? Let me know on Twitter.



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