Search-Engine Optimization should be the goal for every single website on the internet. They all aspire to get the top of the Google rankings (maybe we should just call it Google Optimization these days!)
Effective SEO can prove to be pretty elusive for businesses sometimes. It is not an easy skill to master as a content writer, and just getting a member of the Comms team to draft an article is rarely the best way to go about it. Skilled SEO writing takes a fair bit of experience, technical knowledge and understanding, and craft; it is worth investing a little in the right writer to get they done well.
But there are other things that can aide effective SEO as well as using an experienced writer. An IT team who know how to make the most of the SEO-optimized content when they are given it is very useful. But even they need to have the right tools at their disposal to be able to do that job effectively.
Which brings us to the focal point of this article; because one piece of software that they should definitely have in their Arsenal is a VPN.
What’s a VPN?
What’s a VPN? VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it is primarily an online security and privacy tool. It works by transferring all of a users online activity down an encrypted pathway and via a remote server. This process ensures all of your online data is secure and also offers strong privacy protections too – more on this in a moment.
It might not seem immediately apparent how this tool will be able to help you with SEO, but actually there is a pretty long list of reasons. So, if you are not convinced that using a VPN is a good idea based on it’s security and privacy provisions, let me give you a brief rundown of how it can help with SEO:
- Remote Working
SEO is not a static target. It is constantly moving and effective SEO can require organization to be nimble and be able to react quickly to the activity of competitors.
This can mean remote working and working on the go to get your content where you want it to be. A VPN is important when doing this for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it will secure your connection, even if you are using a public Wi-Fi network. This means you can go online anywhere with confidence.
It also means you can access sensitive information and administrative systems safely, without the risk of hackers of surveillance officers piggy-backing in with you.
As we have mentioned above, a VPN can protect your privacy online. In fact, it can do this to such an extent as to render you almost completely anonymous online.
How? Well, by rerouting all your traffic via an external server, you are ensuring that the IP Address that the sites you visit are seeing is not your own, but that of the external server. This means that you can visit whichever site you like without them being able to track the connection back to you.
How is this helpful for SEO? Well, half the battle of SEO is keeping ahead of your competitors, and a VPN makes it much easier to monitor their activity whilst staying firmly under the radar.
Ensuring the security of your website is vital. Being hacked or compromised in any way can completely undermine all the good work your SEO team have been doing and essentially force things back to square one.
So, security is vital, and nothing can effect a secure connection more than a VPN. It encrypts all of your online traffic, without exception. This means no-one can see your traffic and any vulnerabilities in your systems are beyond the reach of hackers and surveillance officers alike.
- Bypass filters, and unblock contents
SEO is not a national skill. The internet is global and most business operate in international markets too. This means that SEO will often have to be worked in different marketplaces, and on search engines located in different places.
Without having staff on the ground in all of your target locations, it can prove difficult to achieve this, and one key reason is because sites often use geo-blocking to restrict content to certain nations. This makes monitoring and understanding difficult.
But a VPN can evade this geo-blocking and help to open up new markets to your business from the comfort of your head office.
By changing your IP Address to one based in that country, you can appear as if you are there, and access all the content a local could. This means you can access any site or service in that country, no matter where you are located.
- Checking search results for different locations
Being able to monitor the search results in different locations is also a really useful tool, and yet despite not being geo-blocked, seeing the Google Spain results as well as the Google UK results is extremely tricky in the same place.
But again, by using a VPN to switch the location of your IP Address, you can view search engine results from as many countries as you like, enabling your team to build an effective international SEO operation no matter where in the world they are based.
- See ads specifically for the area
Again, adverts are tailored for different countries and locations, and this means viewing adverts for multiple locations without actually being there is tricky.
One more, shifting your IP Address allows you to view adverts running in different locations. This means you can monitor how your competitors are doing, and also to success of your own campaigns.
So, even though a VPN may not seem at first site to be a key tool for SEO, it actually serves a large number of purposes. And for the few dollars a month that are required for a subscription to a decent VPN, it could well prove to be one of the best SEO investments your business will ever make.
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