Data Scraping: A Must Have for Your Data Collection Strategy
Entering 2018, many businesses look to develop data collection strategies to generate profit and identify new growth opportunities through big data acquisition and analysis. Regardless of the niche where you operate, you need to have access to accurate data in order to streamline processes, target your marketing efforts more effectively and reduce operational costs. Harvesting massive amounts of raw data and extracting important insights from it provides you with reference points and helps you discover your strengths and weaknesses. Failing to embrace the full potential of big data analysis, you risk to lose out on revenue and customers. At the end of the day, if you’re not making data-driven decisions when building your growth strategy, you’re losing the game to those who are.
While big data has become a buzzword over the recent years, many organizations still don’t manage to gather data assets and get strategic value from them. The reason for missing the balance between your business goals and data acquisition strategy often lies in the logistics and tools involved in the data collection process. Given the unprecedented volume of information floating across the Internet, old-school methods of data acquisition are no more efficient. Just think that the Internet has been doubling in size every year since 2012 and according to Cisco, the global Internet traffic reached 1.1 zettabytes per year. Yes, it’s a compelling amount of data and it can be harvested to help you grow your business, but only if you know how to do it right.
Of course, you can flip through hundreds of sources trying to copy and paste the information from one page to another file or spreadsheet. But this traditional and outdated method of data collection will cost you long man-hours and tedious efforts, placing you at a great disadvantage to your competitors who use more advanced methods, namely data scraping. From accurate marketing intelligence and competitor analysis to SEO and lead generation, the benefits of data crawling for any business are countless.
Here are just a few ways you can use data scraping to make data-driven decisions and to boost your business’ sales.
Improving the efficiency of your strategy
In a business environment where companies compete against each other and against time to launch new products and offer services first, having a quick access to accurate and scalable data is a matter of life and death. Data scraping automates your data collection strategy, providing you with immediate access to all necessary information without the need to copy and paste hundreds of pages of content. Its most important advantage over the “stone age” methods of research is that it reduces the amount of human effort and time involved in data mining and processing, allowing you to stay competitive and focus on more important aspects of your business. You gain industry intelligence in the shortest possible time, without compromising the quality and accuracy of collected data.
Backing your SEO and link gen efforts
No matter what type of business you have and what you are selling, the heart of your success often lies in your marketing strategy. In our era, promoting a brand involves building an online presence and working with digital data. And in the online world, your marketing strategy is weaved around two things: SEO and lead generation. According to HubSpot’s statistics, 63% of marketers say generating traffic and leads has been their major challenge in 2017.
Web scraping can help you with both things, improving the overall efficiency of your online marketing campaigns. You can scrape competitor websites to see which long-tail keywords they use to generate traffic from organic search. Then you can make sure to include those keywords in your content to improve your rankings in search engines and generate a nice amount of qualified traffic to your website (because people search for exact keywords are more likely to be looking for what you have). In addition, you can search the internet for blogs and media outlets to spot the sources that provide backlinks to your competitors and identify new opportunities for yourself. Targeting relevant keywords and reaping backlinks will help you increase your leads, but this is not all that web scraping can offer in terms of lead generation.
For most businesses, a lead means a contact information of a potential customer. Of course, there are many methods of lead generation, like PPC campaigns, online networking, and gated content, but you can also rely on data scraping services to collect any type of contact information – names, phone numbers, emails, addresses that fit your buyer personas.
Helping your market research
Marketers know that keeping the finger on the pulse of the ever-changing marketing trends, economic shifts, consumer habits and competitor strategies is crucial for any business. Web scraping services can harvest structured data from analytics tools and virtually any website, providing you with nuggets of information you can use to make informed decisions and conduct a predictive analysis of your market.
Web scraping services, like Datahen, can crawl eCommerce websites to obtain information on competitor’s products and provide you with organized pricing lists to adjust your product and pricing strategy to the market demand. The great thing about web scraping services is that they convert raw and unstructured data from hundreds of online sources into a structured, usable form customizable to your specific requirements. With the ability to gauge customer needs and interests, by obtaining lists of best-performing products, reviews, and recommendations, you can give your customers what they want. In addition, you apply news scraping to stay up-to-date about your industry, track and improve the efficiency of your PR campaigns, monitor your brand perception and conduct sentiment analysis for the areas of your interest.
In order to keep up with the market trends, you need to develop agile, flexible and robust strategies for every aspect of your business, and data management is no exception. Web scraping is the simplest and most efficient method to harness the potential of online data and get the most of it to achieve higher results with your business.