When you type a keyword in Google, you see hundreds if not thousands of valuable and informative resources in the search results. For instance, if you need to see the current market trends, you might choose to get valuable insights from different websites. But extracting data from each site will take a lot of energy and time.
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So, how can you pull data from a website without wasting too much of your time? Fortunately, we live in the 21st century, where technology allows web scraping.
Web scraping extracts data from a website in an easy-to-read and understandable format. Below, we discuss how to collect data from a website for research or merely to gather information.
If you’d rather skip to the topic of your interest, use the table of contents to find it.
How To Collect Data Through Web Scraping
Some websites on the Internet have vast reserves of data. They may offer sports stats, product details, stock prices, and company contacts. If you need this information for research, it would be tedious to gather the material manually.
Web scraping is a less time-consuming and more streamlined process to extract data from a website.
The gathered information is then exported into an easy-to-use format, such as an API or spreadsheet. While the outcome is easier to navigate and understand, a web scraper’s working mechanism is a bit complicated.
Then, the web scraper extracts all the data from the website. Ideally, users select the data useful for them. For instance, on an e-commerce site, you might only want to scrape the models and prices but not the product reviews.
An automated web scraper caters to this demand and only extracts your selected data. The web scraper will show this data in a format that is easy to understand for the user. Most scrapers present this data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet or CVS.
While this is useful, it doesn’t give the user access to real-time website data. Therefore, web scraping with an API is the best option to collect data from a website.
How Is Web Scraping with API Better?
An Application Programming Interface or API is a set of communication procedures that give the user access to an operating system’s or application’s data.
Typically, people use APIs to develop other apps that use the same data.
Let’s say a weather forecast company creates an application programming interface. Different developers can use the API to access the company’s data set. Then, they can make a weather app for Android or conduct research studies using this data.
While both API and web scraping provide access to a website’s data, they differ slightly. Web scraping lets you use software to access this information, while API allows direct access in real-time.
How To Pull Data From an API?
Nowadays, there are many web scraping APIs. Many of them are too complicated for beginning users. Scraping Robot is a simple, single-command API that lets you scrape any page on the Internet you want.
All you need is the URL of the web page you want to scrape. The API will do the rest. It’s that simple. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to use the program.
Step 1: Copy the URL You Want to Scrape
Start by copying the URL you want to scrape.
Step 2: Paste It in the Bar and Click Run
Then, paste the link in the search bar on the Scraping Robot website and click Run. Doing this will start the scraping process. You will receive the final output in HTML.
Step 3: Download the Results
Once you click the ‘Run’ button, the page will start scraping. You will see the results in the black box at the bottom.
Under the results, you will see an option to “Download Results.” When you click on this, the data will be downloaded to your computer.
How to Collect Data From a Website With a Custom Scraping Project?
If you require data that is not offered by the pre-built modules of Scraping Robot, you can request a custom module for your particular need by following these steps.
Step 1: Communicate Your Needs
Get in touch with Scraping Robot and let us know the kind of data you need and how frequently. Let us know all your automation requirements.
Step 2: Proposal Planning
We review your requests and create a proposal that reflects the price quote.
Step 3: Agreement to Terms
After reading our proposal, you decide if we are the right fit for you. If yes, our developers will create a customized solution for your needs.
Step 4: Handing Over
We will deliver the customized scraping solution so that you can get started as soon as possible.
How to Pull Data From a Website to Improve Business Processes
Scraping data from websites is not just for research purposes. You can also use this information to improve business processes. Here are some web scraping ideas and examples:
Real Estate Listings
The listings you see on any real estate website are API-generated. As a real estate agent, you can scrape MLS listings and build an API.
Then, this API will directly populate the data in real-time to your website.
Suppose your business is in the process of starting a marketing campaign to attract a specific target audience that your competitors already cater to. You can use a web scraping API to gather information about your target customers through their social media profiles.
Once you have scraped the profiles, you can study trends and use predictive analysis to foresee the success of your campaign or make any tweaks as required.
If you are going to create an account as a third-party seller on a popular e-commerce site, you want to scrape the analytics data on the website so you can study the market trends.
With web scraping, you can scrape thousands of sights and collect sufficient data to research your particular niche and the extent of competition.
Along with considering your current customers, you can also generate new leads through web scraping. With Scraping Robot, you can scrape your competitors’ social media, websites, and business directories.
It will help you identify the audience you need to target and how you can improve your strategies to keep up with the competition.
When you price your products, make sure they’re competitive. Overpricing is a path to lose customers while underpricing will deliver a loss. Web scraping allows you to collect data from competitors and determine the perfect pricing strategy for your goods and services.
You could have your human workforce manually scour the competitors’ websites and note the prices. However, a 2013 study published in the Journal of Applied Statistics indicated that 28% of humans manually scouring websites made at least one error in data entry. As a budding business, that’s more error than you can afford.
To sum up, web scraping with API comes in handy for many business processes and needs. Whether you want to automate a process, curate the perfect pricing strategies, generate leads, or simply get your finances in order, web scraping can help.
Now that you know how to pull data from a website, you can use the Scraping Robot API for recruitment, automation, real-time analytics, and almost any data-analysis project in business. Get in touch today to build a customized module for your specific needs.
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