Using a virtual private network (VPN) can enhance your SEO strategy, keep your data secure, and give you access to organic search engine results page ranking from around the world.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) encrypts users’ internet connection and masks their IP address, allowing users to access restricted content, appear to be in another country, and have greater digital security.
VPNs have become an essential piece of tech by those who take their online privacy seriously or who live in countries with strict censorship laws. However, few are aware of how VPNs can benefit digital marketers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is now a core element in most marketing strategies. Without it, your digital presence will be severely restricted, causing diminished recovery time objective (RTO) and customer acquisition.
This article will outline how VPNs work and how they can be used to enhance your overall SEO and digital marketing strategy. I’ll also give some tips that I’ve picked up while working at Top10VPN on how to choose a VPN.
VPNs Are a Practical Solution
A VPN establishes an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote VPN server. In the process, your data is encoded at one end and decoded at the other, making the data unintelligible in-transit.
Your traffic then continues from the VPN server to your requested website, adopting that IP address and hiding your device’s original IP address.
Effectively, you take a detour via the VPN server before reaching your target page, but in terms of performance, it will make little noticeable difference.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any other prying eyes can only track your activity as far as the VPN server, making it impossible for them to view your internet activity when you use a VPN. Additionally, since your initial connection with the VPN server was encrypted, they can’t see what the original request was.
While these technical aspects may seem a little daunting, most leading VPN providers have interfaces that are easy to use which means you can easily use them.
Get a More Accurate View of Search Engine Results Pages
The major advantage of using a VPN from an SEO perspective is the ability to view organic Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) from around the world.
With the increasing amount of geo-restricted content, cookies, and page trackers, it can be difficult for digital marketing professionals to view SERPs in the same way consumers do.
Skewed SERP rankings can have a big impact on your overall SEO strategy. Without an accurate understanding of the current rankings, you won’t be able to strategize accordingly and may not even know the true ranking of your website.
Despite there being a number of digital marketing data aggregation tools available, these are often inaccurate in their predictions, particularly given that rankings can fluctuate daily.
Without a VPN, it’s impossible for you to view the genuine SERPs of any other location, which can dramatically limit your SEO strategy.
As the image below shows, the rankings for the same keyword can be dramatically different depending on where the search is coming from.
Not only are the rankings different on each search, but you’ll also notice that the type of content and related questions are different. With this knowledge, you’ll be in a better position when considering which keywords to target and what type of content you should create.
It also provides important information regarding what title tags and meta descriptions are likely to be successful in each area.
Always remember to use an incognito or private browser when searching for genuine SERP rankings as your past internet traffic may influence the order in which the search engine lists the results.
The ability to see genuine SERPs from around the globe provides you with the ability to properly explore international markets and understand to a fuller extent how your company’s SEO strategies are affecting your company’s overall ranking.
Avoid Google Ad Preview Inaccuracies
As most Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing professionals will know, Google Ad Preview is an essential tool when monitoring and planning your PPC adverts.
The tool allows you to stimulate searches for keywords in different locations to see your ad and the organic listings.
It also means that you can monitor your adverts without risk of skewing Click Through Rates (CTR) by searching the keyword multiple times and not clicking on your ad.
However, Google’s Ad Preview tool isn’t always accurate. Not only is the order of the PPC ads not always correct, it often gets the organic rankings in the wrong order too.
The only effective way of getting around this is by using a VPN which allows you to see both the organic and paid results in their true order.
Without a VPN, you’ll have to rely on the Google Ad Preview tool which has the potential of skewing the results and organic rankings. This can lead to confusion and delays in your SEO strategy.
Keep Your Data Secure While Working Remotely
According to a recent Gallup study, almost 50% of all Americans work remotely, so it’s vital that you know how to keep your data secure while working away from the office.
From using unsecured networks to out-of-date personal devices, working remotely poses several cybersecurity risks.
Arguably, the biggest risk of working remotely is using unsecured public WiFi connections. Although it’s convenient to work in a coffee shop, they often have WiFi connections that leave you at risk.
From Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks to malware distribution, your data is not safe while you’re connected to public WiFi.
However, with a VPN installed on your device, you’ll be able to utilize these networks without fear of losing your data.
Due to the complex encryption methods used by leading VPN services, you can be assured that your work will still be safe even if you’re working away from the office.
Consider What Features You Want Your VPN to Have
There is a lot to consider when choosing what type of VPN subscription you want to use. For digital marketers and SEO professionals, the most significant issues are the number of locations offered and the nature of their encryption methods.
Not all VPN providers offer the same number of locations to their users. Some offer as few as two or three different locations while some have more than a hundred.
By choosing a VPN with a lot of different locations, you can view the SERP rankings in more countries. More locations offered means more markets that you can target accurately.
With more locations available, you can also target your PPC campaigns more effectively in more destinations.
Some VPN providers, like that shown above, also have several servers in one country so you can get specific information in different areas of the same country.
You should also consider the encryption method offered by the provider.
Though the majority of the leading providers now offer advanced AES-256 encryption methods, many of the free alternatives do not offer the same level of safety.
If you’re thinking of opting for a free VPN, it’s also worth investigating their privacy policies as many of these apps have been shown to share your data with third-parties.
Conducting thorough research about the VPN provider is critical if you want to benefit from the increased digital security that they offer. Once you’ve considered the number of locations they offer and their encryption methods, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
VPNs Can Benefit Your SEO Strategy
A VPN is a useful tool that can help create a more efficient and accurate SEO strategy. With access to organic SERP rankings from around the world and a true sense of the PPC market, you’ll be able to be more effective with your SEO strategy.
As increasing numbers of people are now working out of the office, it’s essential that you know how to keep your data secure while working remotely. Using a VPN can help keep you secure even when you use an unsecured public connection. However, not all VPNs offer the same level of protection and some can put your cybersecurity at risk.
By diligently researching VPN providers and their privacy policies, you can minimize these risks and choose a provider that will help you keep your data secure and boost your SEO efforts.