Multiple studies have linked data to success. For instance, McKinsey Global Institute established that data-driven companies are 23x more likely to acquire customers, 6x more likely to retain the acquired customers, and 19x more likely to extract profit from these customers. Similarly, the company discovered that companies that personalize their experiences realize 40% more revenue from personalization than those that do not. What these successes have in common is the fact that they are brought about when companies extract and subsequently use data. Simply put, everything begins with web scraping.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping refers to the practice of retrieving data from websites. It encompasses manual and automated forms of data retrieval. Manual web scraping involves copying and pasting, while automated web data harvesting entails using bots known as web scrapers or scraper APIs. And given just how extensive the internet is in terms of the number of websites that constitute it, automated web scraping, which is fast and reliable, is preferred to manual data harvesting.
Why Every Business Should Undertake Web Scraping (Including Yours)
Web scraping offers numerous benefits. As stated, it promotes customer acquisition and retention, personalization, and profit generation. But these are general outcomes that result from nuanced benefits offered by the data extraction process. These benefits, which constitute the reasons why businesses scrape data, include:
- Review and reputation monitoring
- Competition monitoring
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Lead generation
- Price and product optimization
Let’s now look at each of these reasons in greater detail.
1. Review and Reputation Monitoring
According to multiple studies, over 90% of customers first read reviews before deciding to purchase a product. Thus, they are more likely to shun items that have received negative feedback. This is where web scraping comes in.
By using web scrapers or scraper APIs, companies can scour the internet to establish instances where their brand name or products have been mentioned. They can then address the concerns highlighted in the feedback if they are true. They can also use the review as a basis to make improvements as they will get to learn customers’ likes and dislikes. Alternatively, the process can enable them to deal with negative press. In this way, web scraping becomes an avenue to acquire customers.
2. Competition Monitoring
Companies can use web scraping as an avenue to identify other companies that operate within a given market. What’s more, web data harvesting provides insights into the products and services that the competitors manufacture or offer. This market research positions businesses for success, especially when looking to penetrate a new market.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first five entries on the first search engine results page (SERP) receive 67% of all clicks. Further, a colossus of 75% of search engine users do not go beyond the first SERP. These statistics underline the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a practice of using a combination of proven strategies to rank websites higher on search engines. This way, SEO ensures that websites receive more traffic, greater brand visibility, and, by extension, sales.
Through web scraping, companies can unearth competitors’ or high-ranking websites’ SEO strategies that, when customized, can help their websites rank equally high. The data extraction can provide data such as keywords, topics discussed on blogs, meta descriptions, and more.
4. Lead Generation
Web scraping can unearth publicly available contact information that companies can then use as the basis of lead generation initiatives. This way, web data harvesting becomes a customer acquisition tool.
5. Price and Product Optimization
Businesses use web scraping to unearth their competitors’ pricing strategies as well as sentiments on how to improve their product offerings. Combined, this data enables them to come up with competitive prices and better products.
How to Ensure Success When Web Scraping
The benefits attached to web scraping highlight the fact that websites store valuable information. In this regard, some of these websites usually implement anti-scraping techniques to safeguard the data therein from access by third parties. These techniques often limit the chances of success. But not anymore, thanks to the scraper API.
A scraper API is an advanced technology that enables developers to link their data analysis software with a sophisticated web scraper via an application programming interface. Provided by a service provider, the web scraper is packed with tools that make it immune to anti-scraping techniques. For instance, it includes an IP network pool, proxy rotation capabilities, the capacity to solve CAPTCHAs, and the ability to mimic human browsing behavior. In this regard, the scraper API guarantees success whenever companies are extracting data from websites. It also eliminates the need for developers to create in-house web scraping tools.
If you’re looking for a reliable tool that can handle scraping large-scale data, be sure to check out Oxylabs’ Web Scraper API by clicking here.
Web scraping offers insights that companies can capitalize on to stay ahead of the competition. It aids in market research, SEO, product and price optimization, reputation and review monitoring, and lead generation. For success, it is vital for companies to use tools that are well suited for seamless data extraction. A scraper API is one such solution.