In today’s world, there is an abundance of public information on the internet. With over 100 million websites throughout the world, anyone can access this information.
Many entrepreneurs, marketers and data analysts use this information to make valuable decisions to help them grow their company.
At ParseHub, our goal is to help you make better decisions, and in order for you to make better decisions, you need data.
Collecting the right data manually for your business’ growth can be a tedious process and may not always be the most accurate.
That’s where using web scraping tool can make the process more efficient and effective. You can extract online data in just a matter of minutes.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping or also known as web harvesting is a powerful tool that can help you collect data online and transfer the information in either an excel, CSV or JSON file to help you better understand the information you’ve gathered.
Web scraping is incredibly common and can be used to create APIs out of almost any website.
If you want to learn more, you can read our guide on What is Web Scraping and what it’s used for.
Is Web Scraping Legal?
With you being able to extract public information off of competitors or other websites, is web scraping legal?
Any information or data that is publicly available that can be accessed by everyone on the internet and can be legally extracted.
The data has to follow these 3 criteria for it to be legally extracted:
- User has made the data public
- No account required for access
- Not blocked by robots.txt file
As long as it follows these 3 rules, it's legal!
You can learn more about the rules of web scraping here: Is web scraping legal?
For now, we’ll get into how you can use web scraping like ParseHub, a free web scraper, to grow your business.
How Web Scraping Can Help Grow Your Business
For businesses to make effective decisions, they need the proper data to make the best decisions to grow their brand. There are 4 ways web scraping can help your business:
- Collect industry insights
- Generate leads
- Competitor analysis
- Brand reputation management
Collect Industry Insights
Information to see how companies in certain industries are performing will not only allow you to make proper stock investment choices, but you can also use this as an opportunity to choose what niche/ industry to expand your products or services to.
For example, say you’re a reservation app for restaurants. With COVID-19 having an impact on the service industry, you can use a web scraping tool to collect data on other industries like the medical industry, to see if your reservation app can expand into a booking appointment app as well!
Check out how you can use ParseHub to collect industry insights
- How to Scrape Data from a News Website
- How to Scrape Yahoo Finance Data: Stock Prices, Bids, Price Change and more.
Web scraping allows you to grab valuable information like business name, contact info, location and industry to help you create a list of qualified leads a lot faster! You can then use this list to outreach to qualified leads within any city or country. This is ideal for B2B or lead generation companies.
We have a guide on how you can scrap data from yellow pages and use it to your advantage.
Also, check out:
- Lead Generation: How to Drastically Improve your Process Going into the 2020s
- How to Scrape Yelp Data: Business Information, Ratings, Reviews and more...
Competitor analysis will help you gain a better understanding of what exactly your competitors are doing. You can see what their marketing plan is, the prices they have, reputation etc.
For example, say you’re an e-commerce website and you want to see what your competitors are pricing their products, reviews, and sales or discounts. You can use this information for your purchasing process and your business plan!
You can also grab valuable information like titles and meta descriptions to possibly see their targeted keywords. You could also scrape their blog to give you ideas of what to write about. This all helps improve your SEO.
We have several links you can read to help you complete a proper competitor analysis:
- How you can scrap data from any eCommerce website
- How to Scrape Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions from any Website
Brand Reputation Management
Social media has become an important part of a marketing plan. One important factor of social media is to see what people are saying about your brand and this can be done by searching for your brand name on social media.
You can efficiently collect these posts to see what people are saying about your brand name. If it's great, continue with what you’re doing and keeping building a great brand reputation.
If it’s bad or needs improvement, you can do some damage control and improve this before it gets any worse!
You can also grab your online reviews from major sites like Yelp and Amazon. You can use these reviews to help you make any adjustments in the future, or can even help you resolve any issues past customers have had.
- How to Scrape Yelp Reviews: a step-by-step guide
- How to Scrape Amazon Reviews: at step-by-step guide
There are many ways web scraping can help with your business. Everyday many businesses are finding creative ways to use ParseHub to grow their business! Brand reputation, industry performance, lead generation and competitor analysis are only a few of the ways you can use web scraping to help grow your brand!
How will you use ParseHub?