Most network managers view a virtual private network (VPN) as fundamental technology for organizations who need to ensure online privacy.
Many, however, are not aware of the key benefits of VPNs to digital marketing. In fact, VPNs are now strategic essentials for marketers in a majority of today’s tech-savvy companies. Beyond keeping your data more secure, a virtual private network (VPN) can help optimize your website. Below is a list of ways that a no-logs VPN can be employed to enhance SEO and the overall digital marketing strategy for your enterprise.
What is a VPN, and What Does It Do?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a private computer network that utilizes a public network, normally the internet, to create virtual connections between remotely located users or sites. A VPN can route from a company’s private network, or it can work from another (a third-party) VPN provider.
The VPN allows you to connect to the internet privately and more securely, by routing your access through the VPN server, encrypting the route, masking your IP address, obscuring your actions online from your ISP and any other potential privacy breaches, and encoding your data just during transit. Even your initial request for VPN service is encrypted and thereby inaccessible to others.
Leading VPN services provide user-friendly interfaces, and network traffic within your VPN routes through your VPN server on its way to its destination, without making a discernible difference in performance.
A no-logs VPN, a VPN without logs, goes even further to protect your privacy — even from the VPN provider itself, by not logging your network’s activity.
How a VPN Facilitates Website Optimization
In addition to serving its cybersecurity and web functionality purposes, a VPN is a critical component of online marketing strategy for companies moving toward full digital maturity. Here are some of the key ways in which your VPN facilitates SEO marketing needs:
1. Allows You to See and Analyze Organic SERPs
Between cookies, geo-restrictions on content transmissions, and other impediments to web traffic, digital marketers are typically unable to view search engine results pages (SERPs) in the same way consumers see the organic results of their searches. This means that, for marketers, the search results are effectively skewed, which naturally leads to a big negative impact on SEO efforts overall.
After all, without being able to see accurate, current search engine rankings, there’s no way you can understand them and form a marketing strategy that involves any consideration of them. In fact, you can’t even strategize with the knowledge of your own site’s real ranking.
Add to that the problem that aggregation tools for web marketing data are known not to work ideally. So, arguably, the single most critical SEO benefit of a VPN is that it gives you the ability to view the true organic SERPs worldwide. That empowers you to comprehend how your organization’s and others’ SEO efforts are impacting your business’s search engine rankings, from day to day.
- Keyword rankings can differ spectacularly between locations from which searches originate.
- Content-type and related questions stemming from keyword searches also differ significantly between origination points. Having access to both allows marketers to operate with the advantage of understanding which keywords they need to target and which kinds of content they need to create, and which meta descriptions, title tags, etc. are most useful.
TIP: Using a private browser when searching for SERP rankings prevents your previous web activity from impacting the ordering of search results.
2. Enables Accurate Views of Google Ad Search Results
The Google Ad Preview tool enables web marketing professionals to generate keyword search in a variety of locations to view their paid ads and organic listings. Marketers can monitor their ads while avoiding impacts to Click-Through Rates (CTR) from conducting multiple keyword searches without actually clicking on their ads.
The ad preview tool is essential for marketers who need to monitor and strategically plan their Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. But, the tool is notorious for inconsistent accuracy. PPC ads are not necessarily ordered correctly, and organic rankings are frequently displayed in out of order as well. This is a serious deficiency that can leave marketers working in the dark, working with misleading information in their work to form a successful SEO strategy.
Using a VPN is the only method of avoiding the problem of inconsistent accuracy in the order of both organic and paid ad search results. The VPN enables the marketer to view both paid and organic search results in the actual order that their target consumers see them, unaffected by the inherent problems that the Google Ad Preview tool has in delivering such information in true order.
3. Increases Data Security
Of course, SEO optimization isn’t of much value without a secure site where sensitive data is adequately protected. These days, about half of US Americans work remotely at least some of the time. So, naturally, keeping data while working away from the office has become a more widespread concern than ever before. Working remotely over unsecured networks presents multiple security risks.
Using unsecured Wi-Fi connections in restaurants and other public buildings is among the highest-risk remote activities for users. Your organization’s users are especially vulnerable to the spread of malware and other kinds of cyberattacks while using public Wi-Fi provided for unrestricted use in such locations.
Because of the sophisticated encryption methods employed by VPN providers, having a VPN installed on devices enables users to work through public networks free from the risk of losing your company’s data.
4. Helps You Maintain SEO Competitiveness
To succeed in the intensely competitive SEO market requires staying a step ahead of competitors who are inclined to track your steps as you research their sites or learn from and emulate parts of their marketing strategies.
Operating unprotected from tracking by competitors, makes your site vulnerable to having competitors copying your strategic movements. Protecting your privacy by preventing their open observation of your actions and your strategy is basic for world-class SEO competitiveness.
Whether your site is old or brand new, the state-of-the-art solution for such SEO research and competitive market challenges is relying on a leading VPN provider. Keeping your digital activities as private as possible is an important key to your cybersecurity. A VPN enables you to conduct your marketing research securely, which increases your ability to compete effectively in your market.
5. Increases Research Productivity
Part of an SEO marketer’s role is, of course, to monitor particular SEO keywords and statistics, and sometimes to search for new keywords. Unfortunately, Google is not set up to allow for the special needs of marketing professionals. Google sometimes flags sources for performing what it determines to be unusual traffic from a network or, excessive numbers of searches too frequently.
If Google flags you, then you’ll find yourself constantly being met with the search engine’s reCAPTCHA, just to prove you’re human. This can cause a lot of unnecessary frustration and productivity loss for hard-working marketing professionals.
A proper VPN changes up your IP address as you’re searching, allowing you to maintain your work pace unimpeded by the search engine. This means the relief of being able to bypass Google’s bombardment of reCAPTCHA validations that start to take over your online experience when running multiple search queries for your marketing research in various contexts.
6. Enables Access to Your International Target Markets
SEO specialists need access to Google and other critical tools that may be inaccessible from your geographic location, possibly due to restrictions in the country you’re in. A VPN enables seamless full access to all the tools, sites, and services you may want to use. A VPN also can allow you to access websites that are restricted from your region of users, an important feature for online marketing functionality.
If your company wants to target a certain international market, its marketing team needs to be able to see what people in that particular foreign market are searching for. But, Google only shows you the results for the country you’re in. A VPN also allows you to monitor how your company’s ads are being served in your target foreign market area.
Marketers also need to understand their competition in the targeted international market areas. A VPN allows you to search as if you’re doing so from within the target area or any other area you want to research. This enables you to learn what queries the local audience is using, to understand better their needs and interests — critical information that drives how marketers do their work in many areas of their responsibilities.
TIP: If you assume that you can do as well just using targeted ads, instead of installing a VPN, consider that you’ll still first need to learn about the searches performed by the target audience in the area. Naturally, marketers who understand the local searches have an advantage competing for new customers in the area.
Additionally, a VPN allows marketers to view their competitors’ ads in the target market area to understand what their competition is doing. This is, of course, a fundamental for competitive success in any market.
Are There Equal Alternatives to a VPN?
A proxy server can provide some of the same advantages of a VPN; however, there are numerous other important benefits of using a VPN that a proxy cannot deliver. Some examples include:
- A VPN protects your privacy.
- You can work at a faster rate with a VPN than a proxy.
- The VPN thoroughly secures your network connection.
- A VPN allows you to work on cross-platforms in multiple computer environments.
- VPNs change your IP address as you work.
- Clients / customers feel more secure, knowing their data is better protected in your network.
- With a VPN, you don’t have to deal with constant, time-draining reCAPTCHA prompts.
- A well-established VPN provider enables a robust and smooth experience for users.
- Blogging experts and guides always recommend the use of a VPN for your blogging.
What Should Your VPN Include?
Some VPN providers offer access to only a few locations, whereas well-established VPNs can open the way to over a hundred. Professional marketers should select a VPN provider that services numerous locations, to enable you to see accurate SERP rankings in as more of the international market areas you need to access.
The other vital consideration for VPN users is the quality of encryption methods the provider uses. Choose a provider that offers state-of-the-art AES-256 methods of encryption, not a no-cost VPN app that doesn’t deliver sufficient security, and that may operate with poor privacy policies that even involve sharing your data with third parties.
Takeaway – VPN and Website Optimization
VPNs deliver two key advantages for today’s businesses. First, of course, in order to optimize a site, it needs to be optimally secure. A leading VPN provides superior security through advanced encryption methods. Second, for website optimization, a VPN is essential for many companies today.
In the current environment of rapid SEO marketing industry growth, even for SEO marketers who are already performing well, there are competitive advantages in developing SEO strategies that only a VPN can provide.