You wouldn’t think of proxies – no matter what type, because there are many – as a tool for improving your marketing, in general, and your PPC campaigns in particular. But this is how they are successfully used by marketers from around the world.   

In this article, you will learn what are residential or mobile proxies, how they are usually used and how you can use them to improve your PPC campaigns. 


What are mobile and residential proxies 

First, a backdrop on what are proxies.

Like scraping api proxies in general, have a bad rep because they are used by people to hide their real IP address. But, hiding one’s IP address is not always done for shady purposes. Sometimes, you really need to display a different IP address to get the information you need.

For example, to check Amazon’s real listings from Germany and to see the actual website version Amazon displays to its german customers you need an IP address from Germany. 

Here’s were proxies come into play. They act as middle-man for your web requests and handles them on your behalf. So when you connect via a proxy to a website, that website will see the proxy’s IP address and location and not yours. And it will serve content for the area/city from where the proxy is located.  

In our Amazon example, to connect to and get the content that any regular guy from Germany will see, you need to use a German IP address.  

Now, in our case, mobile/residential proxies will do the same thing as any other proxy server. However, with a slight difference.  

  • A mobile proxy will display a mobile network ISP to websites (think of AT&T, Vodafone, Sprint, T-Mobile) 
  • A residential proxy will display a residential, consumer-oriented ISP (such as Comcast or Sky from the UK). 

That’s all there is to know about these proxies. They are called mobile or residential based on the ISP they advertise to visited websites.   

Note that in the rest of the article I will refer to these proxies ether as residential or mobile. Basically, they tend to be the same thing and sometimes they are sold together. 


How mobile proxies are used 

As mentioned above, all proxies are used primarily to display a different IP address to visited websites through them.  

The reasons for doing such a thing varies from user to user.  

Some of the common proxy uses are: 

  • Data gathering/scrapingScraping data from the web is an intensive task and some websites limit it. Using proxies, requests are diverted through multiple IP addresses to avoid blocks and rate-limits. 
  • Social media management – Here’s were most 4G/mobile proxies are used. 4G proxies (also referred to as mobile – they are the same thing) are used by social media managers to manage their clients’ social media accounts. For example, they are used on Instagram by managers who control several clients at the same time to avoid account blocks. They need these proxies to avoid blocks to all their accounts at once. 

Basically, these are the two main ways in which proxies are used. However, these two ways split into several sub-categories, that split into several sub-subcategories and so on. But the important thing to remember is that when you need to either automate your use of a website or to access that website in different forms and shapes, you need proxies. 


How to use residential proxies to improve your PPC 

By now, you know how proxies are used and when you should use them. But how can they actually improve your PPC?  

One word: competition 

SEO and PPC are a zero-sum game. When one competition advances, the other competitors get taken lower or taken down. That’s why it’s important to always monitor your competition. 

Here’s how residential proxies can help you.  

I mentioned above that you can use proxies to do data gathering. Well, you can use residential proxies (with IPs from regular ISPs – that most of us use at home) to access PPC rankings and your competitors from different cities, countries and with different devices emulated. All of this from the comfort of your office.  

That’s the power of proxies. With one tool (that you can develop or find online) you can browse and check the actual rankings of PPC listings and SERP for any keyword you want.  

In this way, not only that you can see who your real competitors are. But you can also see the cities, areas where they focus on one. For example, they might not bid for LA listings as much as they do for New York, where your competitor is the first listing on all your keywords. This is valuable information for the success of any PPC campaign.  

There are other ways to use residential and mobile proxies for PPC. The only limiting factor is your imagination.  


Are they necessary 

Nothing is necessary and at the same time, everything is… 

Can you run your PPC campaigns without proxies? Of course. This is what most marketers do.  

Can proxies improve your campaigns by getting real information on your competitors? Of course. This information can help you improve your campaigns and reduce costs.   

So bottom line, there is no imperative need to use proxies, but they are a good tool for gathering information on search engine’s real listing and on competitors biding. 

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