Technology needs to be given props from time to time for it has ushered us into new realms of possibilities. With technologically advanced systems, businesses can thrive through proper implementation of relevant strategies. As a result of the dynamism and the trend of the internet being at the centre of anything we do right now in the world, businesses have taken their activities online. Virtually, anything that could be done in the store is now made available online. Consequently, the need to get ahead of the long list of similar businesses in your niche is imperative. By making informed decisions through digital tools, your business can gain authority online and become an authority in your niche.
No company after months of rigorous marketing campaigns, wants to queue up behind other businesses on the web. Hence, several companies adopt strategies that will guarantee them leverage and a considerable amount of gap from the other competitors. Therefore, companies use internet scraping to outsmart the competitors and reach their audience to drive profit. Here are all of the data acquisition steps:
- Web crawling: This is a process where crawlers or spiders move from page-to-page scraping information from websites. It is the first step in the data acquisition process.
- Web scraping: This entails the collection of the data by the web crawlers then copied out onto another platform.
- Data extraction: This is the systematic sorting of information from the scraping stage. The data is sorted into categories to help identify what needs to be done.
- Data formatting: After the extraction phase, data is then transferred to a user application.
These elements are instrumental in the accessing of data that is necessary for your business. For the purpose of this article, web scraping will be the only element that will be reviewed.
What is Web Scraping?
Imagine having to visit each site one after the other to copy information necessary for your business growth. The strain of picking out websites one after the other could be detrimental not just to the business but your own health. However, web scraping uses automated tools to gather large amounts of structured data from different websites. After the crawler or spider has successfully found different websites pertaining to your area of specialization, web scraping tools help to gather the data from those websites. Companies find ways to scrape information relevant to their business for better services and brand quality.
Types of Web Scrapers
There are different variations to web scraping on the internet therefore understanding what each type is about is necessary for your business. Here are some types of web scrapers:
- Self-built web scrapers: For this type you will need an experienced programmer to work from the scratch.
- Pre-built web scrapers: These are managed web scrapers (such as SERPMaster and many others) that allow you to customize and run easily.
- Browser extension web scrapers: This may be limited in operation as it does not accept any advanced feature outside of your current browser. However, it acts as an extension and is fully integrated with your browser.
- Software web scrapers: This type can be downloaded and installed in your computer as well.
- Cloud web scrapers: If you buy a scraper from a company most likely there will be an off-site where your operations can be done. It allows you to work on other projects since your computer does not use data from other websites.
- Local web scrapers: This requires more of your computer’s resources unlike the cloud-based scraper.
How do these Web scrapers work?
Evidently, there is no way companies will want to scrape every piece of information from websites, it is time-consuming and frankly a waste of effort. They would still have to sieve through the piles of unnecessary information to extract the data that matches business needs. Web scrapers can extract specific information as long as you make the necessary adjustments.
What is the relationship between web extraction and business intelligence?
It is clear that some strategies need to be employed for your business to thrive. For your business to have the necessary intel on creating content, pricing, promotions and all other campaigns that can be used to improve; you need web extraction.
In the volatile business environment, we find ourselves today, information is a valuable asset to the people who have and utilize it properly. Therefore, whoever has sufficient data becomes the leader and overwhelming favourite to thrive.
Here are some benefits of web extraction that enhances your business intelligence:
From scraping the data from competitors’ websites, you can easily see how they attribute prices to their products and their services. Hence, you can be able to adopt similar and even much favourable pricing strategies that will appeal to your customers. Market analysis can be swiftly and orderly done by scraping best-selling information from competitor’s websites. Stay ahead of the pack by price tracking the competition so that if there are changes to their prices, you can make informed decisions consequently.
You can see what type of content other companies such as yours are posting, this will serve as a guide to structure your content to meet the pain points of your audience. Content is a major pull that endears your business to an audience, the tone, style and quality of content are all elements you need to consider. By scraping the competition’s website, you can see how these contents are being created.
Web scraping is an indelible tool for creating contact lists from websites such as google, LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites. Lead generation becomes a seamless process as web scraping simplifies the process by categorizing the leads based on demographics as contained on the websites being scraped.
You can easily scrape job recruitment sites for the best candidates for any position you are looking to fill.
Evidently, business is so much easier when web scraping is adopted and implemented properly. Hence, improving your company hinges on the amount of business intelligence you have in your niche.