In today’s digital world, most businesses rely on some form of online marketing. This could involve maintaining high-quality social media accounts, paying for ads on search engines, or getting reviewed by experts. And anyone who wants a strong online presence knows the value of SEO—search engine optimization.
This post will take a look at how a VPN can help you in your efforts to enhance your SEO.
Why you should use a VPN for SEO
Search-engine optimization is the process of improving a webpage or website’s content with the goal of ranking higher in Google’s search results. A content creator or SEO specialist performs these enhancements based on research and understanding of Google’s algorithm.
A VPN can help you in the SEO process in various ways.
Unbiased ranking and competitor research
Where you rank for keywords relating to your product can make a huge difference for your business. Over 90% of Google traffic stays on the first page of search results, and the first search result (excluding paid ad) gets about 30% of the clicks.
So the first place you want to start when analyzing your own site’s SEO is by searching with a relevant search term and seeing where your site ranks in Google’s results, as well as the rankings of your competitors.
The problem with this is if you’ve been looking at your own website repeatedly—which surely you have been—Google might favor your site to you, because it thinks this is content you want to see. These results would not be an accurate representation of what a random potential customer sees in their Google results.
Using a VPN masks your IP address, so you’ll be able to get Google results that are not biased for you specifically. This means you’ll get a more realistic view of where your site stands in comparison with your competitors.
Seeing how your site appears in different countries
In today’s world, you could easily be working for a UK company while being based in the U.S. yourself. But if you wanted to see where your company ranks on Google from your own computer, you would be shown the results for U.S. searches rather than UK. These results might not be relevant for your company.
The solution is simple: Turn on your VPN to place your computer in the UK. Conduct the same search, and your results will be different.
There are certainly also examples where a business has locations across the globe. With a VPN, you’ll be able to check how your website is doing in Google’s algorithm in various countries and optimize them accordingly.
Additional tips for unbiased SEO research
Sign out of your Google account
Your search history can affect your search results. Performing Google searches while logged into your Google account will display personalized results due to your IP address, any physical location registered to your profile, and your search history. By signing out of your account, you will ensure that your search results haven’t been skewed by your personal preferences.
Use private browsing window
Conducting SEO searches in incognito browser windows—like those offered in Chrome, Firefox, or Edge—also ensures that your search results aren’t affected by cookies, nor your profile settings. Results generated by these searches would be more in line with what your potential customers will see.
FAQ: Using a VPN for SEO research
Does a VPN change your search results?
Yes, using a VPN will likely change your search results. Not only will results change based on your VPN server location, but using a VPN will also negate some of the data that a search engine might use to tailor results for you specifically.
Does VPN affect Google Analytics?
If people viewing your website are using VPNs to change their location, then your Google Analytics results might reflect these VPN locations rather than their true physical locations. No other stats should be affected apart from this.
Can you use Google with a VPN?
Absolutely! ExpressVPN can help you unblock all of Google’s products and services in regions where they are blocked.
- Subscribe to ExpressVPN
- Download the app to the device(s) of your choice
- Open ExpressVPN and select a country where Google isn’t blocked
- Go to Google and start searching