VPNs or Virtual Private Networks can be used for a wide variety of purposes. They allow you to create a secure connection between your device and a private server, which will encrypt your online activity and keep you safe while browsing the internet.
VPNs can also be used to access content that would otherwise be blocked in your country. This is because when you access the internet via a VPN’s server, you’ll essentially be using the internet from the server’s location, as opposed to your own.
Let’s take a better look at VPN’s and what they can do.
What is a VPN?
In simple terms, great VPN will create a secure connection between your PC, tablet, or smartphone and a private server located somewhere out in the world. This allows you to access the internet using the server’s location instead of your device’s
Therefore, if the server you are using is located in the United States, it will appear as if you’re accessing the internet from there, even if you might actually be located somewhere in Europe.
VPNs and Analytics
To a certain extent, using a VPN may affect analytics tracking when using platforms such as Google Analytics.
Just imagine that your website has a large database of users, but they all use VPNs when browsing the internet. This would make it impossible for Google Analytics to track them when they visit your website.
Therefore, you may be able to see that your website is still getting plenty of visitors, however, you will not be able to know their actual location or where the traffic is coming from.
VPNs and Search Engine Optimization
As you can see, there’s no doubt about it that using a VPN can have an effect on local SEO, or search engine optimization, practices.
For example, if you’re in Paris, but you’re using a VPN server located in New York, anytime you search for “restaurants near me”, you’ll be given a list of restaurants located near the server in New York, as opposed to restaurants near your actual location in Paris.
Therefore, VPNs tend to be an annoyance for small local businesses, who rely on Google’s local SERP, or search engine results page, to help potential customers find them.
VPNs and Page Load Speeds
Another issue that sometimes occurs when using a VPN is that some users may experience slower page load speeds due to the VPN’s encryption efforts.
Google has made it clear that page load speeds are an essential factor that contributes to how well a website is ranked in their search results. Therefore, if you’re using a VPN and it’s slowing down the website that you’re marketing, you may be penalized for it by Google’s algorithm.
Also, having a slower website means that your visitors will spend more time waiting for your pages to load, which might trigger higher exit and bounce rates from your site.
VPN Benefits for Digital Marketers
Although VPNs can have a few negative impacts on digital marketing, they can also be used to a digital marketer’s benefit. Let’s take a look at a few ways that using a VPN can be beneficial.
Spying on the Competition
In the world of digital marketing, keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is crucial if you want to succeed. This allows you to adjust your strategy according to what your rivals are doing and can give you a boost in the digital marketplace.
However, checking on your competitor’s websites can be tricky at times since different people will get different, personalized ads when they visit a web page.
Fortunately, using a VPN allows you to visit their websites anonymously, which allows you to see what type of advertising your competitors are offering, without the ads being targeted directly at you.
Another common practice in digital marketing is link building for your clients. The problem is that some websites might restrict people from creating multiple links.
You could simply create multiple accounts, but that can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Plus, some website owners are savvy to this and will track the IP address of any devices that attempt to create additional accounts.
One way to solve this issue is to use a VPN to mask your actual IP address, using one of the network’s decentralized servers. Then, you’ll be able to visit websites anonymously and create as many links as you would like.
Search Engine Optimization
When you use a search engine like Google, the results that you get are highly personalized. This can make it hard for you to see if the site you’ve been optimizing is ranking well on the SERP (search engine results page).
However, by using a VPN or proxy, you’ll be able to make a search and see the same results that anyone else would from anywhere in the world.