The process of data scraping has become so common that most CEOs, marketers, equity analysts, journalists, and retailers daily depend on it for day-to-day business operations. Web scraping has proved to be a gold mine of business insights and strategies, as data access becomes the key differentiator in the digital marketplace.
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What is real-time data scraping?
Real-time web crawling and scraping is an automated process of gathering vast amounts of online data. This process not only crawls massive amounts of web pages at lightning speeds but also mines their data and delivers it easy to use a format such as .csv files.
Web crawling and scraping processes are artificial intelligence aided copy and paste functions that speed up the mundane manual activity to deliver data faster and more efficiently.
Real-time data scraping uses software applications to monitor any slight changes via web crawling solutions to provide up to date data insights to businesses. The real-time web crawler is set to check on the status of individual web pages at a specified interval or after a trigger event happens.
The data scraper then processes the change in HTML, extracting the data, and displaying any changes in status for analysis. The scrapers also perform real monitoring and scraping of images, products, videos, contact numbers, email addresses, or product descriptions, and prices.
What are the Uses of real-time data scraping ?
Business revenue generation and its survival are highly dependent on its marketer’s ability to generate more leads. New leads can be acquired through social media and digital content marketing, as well as through various SEO strategies. Since the internet is a vast landscape with endless possibilities for lead generation, a manual lead generation process can be very disadvantageous.
Machines and AI can aid the performance of such strategic tasks helping you glean useful information from millions of web resources in a short time. You can use web crawlers and scrapers to access your target leads information such as age, job position, education, or geolocation.
You can also mine data from social media pages, websites, and other web publications. Your data scraper will output the data gathered into your CRM or database so that your marketing department can use it to form a lead generation strategy.
Understanding customer personas
The competition for online customers is fierce amongst brands. Attracting new customers is not a walk in the park and requires deep insights into the persona of your would-be customer. You, therefore, need data insights not just on the potential customer but the competition as well.
Web crawling and scraping tools can provide data on customer behavior, trends, prices, sentiments, and demands. Studying such data helps you to understand what your potential customer’s needs, wants, and expectations are from your brand. The process can also form the backbone of a predictive trend strategy for customer retention.
Competing brands always have the challenge of determining the most competitive prices for their products. Your business has to make informed pricing decisions to ensure that your customers do not turn to your competitors’ products instead.
Web scraping tools can mine real-time price intelligence data to help you optimize your prices on the go. The web crawlers can also track your campaigns and promotions and compare their success to that of your competitors. Such data can inform your minute-to-minute pricing strategy to enhance your marketing campaigns.
It is said that reputation is a hard worker, especially for businesses. Your brand’s reputation is, therefore, worth protecting at all costs. Businesses need to monitor their brand’s reputation in real-time.
By initiating real-time social media, reviews, news, and other websites mentions, a brand will be in a better position to arrest any unfavorable sentiment before it can escalate to a full-blown reputation problem.
Real-time data scrapers can access such mentions across different platforms and distill the data for actionable insights. This process can also assist your brand monitoring and protection department in locating counterfeit products and other cases of brand infringement.
Search engine optimization is core to the success of an online business. Good SEO practices can increase organic traffic and conversions, as well. Web scraping software can collect useful real-time data and give your SEO team up to date keywords, descriptions, PPC ads, and content ranking high on customer search metrics and search engine algorithms. These useful insights will significantly assist in your marketing department’s SEO strategy.
Web crawling and scraping public data is a legal process. If you are going to collect personal data or other sensitive information, ensure that your data collection and storage processes conform to the GDPR legislation available.
Use sophisticated data scraping tools to avoid the common hindrances of web scraping such as banned, blocked, or flagged IP addresses.