One thing is certain – the internet is here to stay. The web has turned startups into global giants without the need to set up offices in different countries. Through e-commerce, consumers are able to access products that are not available locally without having to leave their living room.
The internet has changed the way brands operate in more than one way, but let’s focus on the availability of data.
With over 1.75 billion websites today, the internet is a rich source of data. Through extensive data gathering, businesses can take advantage of this information to understand the market and make more informed decisions. And the best part is that this data grows by the day, providing an endless source of information.
Gathering data manually through the copy and paste method is time-consuming and prone to endless errors. Web scraping automates the process, reducing the time used, and making it possible to gather real-time data. According to Oxylabs, web scrapers are the ultimate data gathering solution.
What is Web Scraping?
Data collection or gathering, also known as web scraping, is the automated process of extracting data from websites. It involves the use of a web scraper. The scraper collects the data from specified websites, parses it, and stores it in a readable format in a database or spreadsheet.
In spite of the numerous benefits that web scraping has for businesses, most website owners ban IPs that are using scrapers from their site. This is because web scraping slows down websites.
For this reason, businesses make use of proxy servers to ensure that the scraper is not easily detected. The proxy masks the device’s IP address and location. Rotating the IPs further reduces the chances of getting banned from resourceful sites.
How Can Businesses Benefit From Data Gathering
Data collection comes with the following benefits for businesses:
1) Competition Monitoring
You can only beat your rivals if you understand how they operate, know their weaknesses, and keep track of their moves. By extracting data from your competitors’ sites, you can stay informed on their strategies and avoid losing your market share.
You can keep track of their marketing campaigns and product releases. You can monitor what their customers are saying through social media pages and review sites. Using this data you can leverage on their shortcomings and learn from their strong areas.
2) Improved SEO
Ensuring that your site is visible on the first page of search engine result pages is one way to market your brand without investing too many funds. It will draw organic traffic to your site and increase conversion. But this requires the use of relevant keywords.
Data extraction enables you to research the keywords that your SEO competitors are using. You can also extract data from search engines on the keywords that your target audience is using to search the web. By incorporating these words into your site, you improve your ranking.
3) Improved Pricing
If you have faced the dilemma of choosing the best prices to set for your products, you are not alone. Most businesses struggle with finding a price that balances affordability without losing value.
By gathering prices and price-related data from e-commerce sites and your competitors’ websites, you can set prices that fall slightly below the baseline. It will keep your products competitive and attract price-sensitive customers.
4) Improved Customer Service
Excellent customer service is an essential aspect of any business. When you listen to your customers’ complaints, address their pain points, and provide products that meet their needs, you build loyalty and trust.
Through web scraping, you can collect data on what your customers are saying through reputable review sites. You can also carry out social listening for direct mentions of your brand in discussions and collect genuine feedback from your customers.
5) Lead Generation
Data extraction enables you to identify and collect the contact information of potential customers. You can extract this information from sites such as the Yellow Pages and LinkedIn. Manually collecting this data would lead to errors and omissions.
Using web scraping for lead generation will ensure that your pool of leads is continuously updated, improving your sales and marketing strategy. It helps you to target the right potential customers.
Data gathering has transformed the way businesses operate. It has improved decision making and enabled business owners to develop better strategies. And the best part is that this data continues to grow exponentially.
All you need to do is target the right sources. In spite of the abundant availability of data, avoid hoarding data. It eats upon your storage space and makes it difficult to focus on the resourceful data.
Through web scraping for your business, you can:
- Set better prices
- Carry out extensive keyword research
- Stay competitive
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Gather quality leads
Web scraping is made possible using two main tools – a web scraper and a proxy server. Ensure that you are investing in the best quality for better results.