How To Scrape HTML Data For Your Data Needs (And Why)

Saheed Opeyemi
February 26, 2021

With so much information available to us online, it can be challenging to know where to start. Searching through pages and pages of content can be a time-consuming, sometimes fruitless endeavor. And even when you manage to do it, you might not get all the data you need. However, there is a common link between every web page on the internet; HTML, the code in which websites and web pages are written. To collect data en masse, you will need to deal with a lot of HTML code. That is why you need to scrape HTML data.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we have to ask one question: what exactly is this foreign concept of “scraping” the internet for targeted content? Luckily, the idea of scanning the internet for data is not an entirely new concept, and it’s a lot less complicated than it might sound upon first hearing about the idea. When it comes to data scanning through HTML scraping, you’re not in it alone. In this blog, we’ll explore what exactly it means to scrape HTML data, how to extract URLs from HTML, how it benefits your business, and take a look at one of the best HTML scraping tools on the market.

Table of Contents

What is HTML Scraping?

What is HTML Scraping? Let’s define what it means to scrape HTML data. Every website is created using a code. Arguably the easiest and most efficient way to code is by using HTML or “Hypertext Markup Language.” HTML is straightforward, and anyone can learn the basics without having advanced knowledge in web development. There are so many tutorials online you could even learn a few tips and tricks in a matter of hours.

To put it simply, scraping is the act of taking data from the HTML code of websites and collecting it into one place for your personal use. The HTML code then gets broken down and separated according to the information that we want and require. Think of web scraping like hunting for rubies within a cave filled with treasures. The little pieces of information that you need are hidden gems within an overcrowded room. All objects in the room are treasures, but only a few are useful to you and your business. 

For the daring, you can scrape HTML data by hand on your personal device. This requires inspecting the code on a webpage and hunting for tags specific to the information you’re in want of. While perfectly doable, this option is time-consuming and not altogether scalable when pulling large quantities of data at a time. There is a better way, though, and that is by using web scraping bots. Web scraping bots work by parsing through a given web page’s source code and extracting data according to some preset parameters. A bot or a web scraper tool quickly recognizes the HTML code that the website is made out of, extracts the information within it and stores it.

Typically, a web scraping bot parses through the HTML code to extract the content within. This usually means the visible content that can’t be manually extracted easily. However, there are other valuable datasets in the code itself. This includes data like links, metadata, page attributes, alt texts, and the code itself. All these datasets can have quite an impact on your understanding of the content on the webpage. Therefore, you need to scrape HTML data not just for content but for the code itself. Web scraping bots can help you do this.

Use Cases for Scraping HTML Data

Use Cases for Scraping HTML Data

If it is written with HTML and is publicly available on the internet, then it can be scraped. There are many reasons why you should scrape HTML data and many ways you can scrape HTML data to meet your data needs; business and personal. Let’s look at some of the ways you can use HTML scraping:

  • Research: If you are looking to research business needs like industry trends, consumer analysis, market research, then scraping HTML data is your best bet. You can scrape HTML data from social media, industry thought-leadership platforms, market analysis forums, etc.
  • Political analysis: You can scrape HTML data from news websites, political observation sites, and forums to obtain data that can help you make informed decisions about the political situation of a particular nation or the world in general.
  • Competitor Analysis: If you are a business owner, then one of your major duties is keeping an eye on your competitors. You can do this easily with the aid of an HTML extractor. You can scrape price listings, deduct their business strategies and understand their company midset. You can also scrape links from their blog to find out the websites they link to for content-ranking.
  • Financial analysis: Many platforms like Yahoo! Finance carry financial data that can be useful to your business. Scraping HTML data from these platforms give a lot of data to work with when building a financial strategy for your business.
  • Content analysis: You can also scrape HTML data for content creation purposes. You can scrape the top-ranking blog posts or articles in your niche for data such as embedded links, meta description, alt text, etc. All these datasets help you better understand how to create content that will rank high.

How HTML Scraping Tools Benefit Business

How HTML Scraping Tools Benefit Business

So much of business requires knowing what market competitors are doing to stay viable in a fast-paced world. Good old-fashioned research, while well-intentioned, can take too much time out of the workday and your already busy schedule. When client deadlines are fast approaching, you need research to be delivered quickly and with precision. We’ve looked at the ways you can scrape HTML data to meet your data needs. Now, let’s look at the reasons why you should scrape HTML data.

The benefit to your company

Web scraping can gather all the information needed from competitors in your field. This information can include inventory price, what perks the company offers members or cardholders, and even the inventory being sold itself. This information is invaluable, not only when starting a new business but also when companies stay relevant and aware of changes in their industry.

Almost the entirety of your online presence can be found in one place. Another positive aspect of scraping HTML is the housing of information into one spreadsheet. By collecting all the information on a specific topic in one place, you’ll no longer have to bookmark, star, or screenshot a million different pages with piles of data. The ability to reference one sheet instead of many websites saves energy and time on the part of you and your employees. Information on the spreadsheets can be used in every aspect of the business, from financial concerns to marketing purposes.

The benefit to your website

In the paragraphs above, we discussed how a URL scraper might benefit your company. But how exactly will an HTML parser help you better measure the success and accuracy of your website?

Using scraping tools to parse HTML on your website is a fantastic way to check for technical errors on your website. A potential technical error could be anything from a broken link to a third-party website to broken pages or a missing image. Doing a quick sweep for these errors can minimize potential customer issues and complaints. Extracting website data from HTML will also keep your website looking professional and beautiful for all those that choose to visit.

In addition to cleaning up a website’s errors, using a bot to scrape HTML on your website can help maximize your presence online by checking for SEO keywords and phrases. When discussing a product or service online, choosing the right language is an essential part of SEO. The more you use words and phrases related to your website, the larger your presence will be online. Not only that, but the more significant your advantage will be over competitors. Scraping HTML on your website can give a clear picture of how often, or how little, you’re taking advantage of SEO. Once you establish a baseline, working to improve SEO will be a faster, clearer process.

The benefit to the customer

With web scraping, you’ll be able to see what kind of online presence your company has and how your customers are responding to your products and the customer service. HTML scraping can offer a clear picture of what your company is doing well and areas that might need improvement. It’s an easy way to perform market research based on what customers say on your website or another website where your products are being sold. This kind of communication between the internet and your business can significantly impact the urgency with which business decisions are made and implemented.

Lastly, you can connect with your customers on a deeper level. What business really comes down to is the customer. Is your customer interacting with and enjoying the product or services that you provide? Web scraper can make you privy to customer satisfaction, customer reviews, and whether or not you’re steadily gaining new customers throughout the fiscal year. The bottom line for every business is its customers. By gathering all the web has to offer about the people giving your business money and loyalty, you’ll know exactly how to make their interactions with your company even stronger.

Web scraping can be applied in various ways, depending on what kind of company you run. Once you’ve established the reasoning behind a company’s need for HTML scraping, you will be able to utilize all an HTML Scraper service has to offer you and your company.

How to scrape HTML data with Scraping Robot.

How to scrape HTML data with Scraping Robot. With the help of a digital bot, a site’s content is collected, analyzed, and organized into data for you to read and understand. The next step is finding the right online tool to extract data from HTML and collect it for your benefit. There are many scraping tools out there, but Scraping Robot is here to provide the best web scraping services and HTML scraping tools, all at a competitive price. Using our HTML API, you can scrape data from any web page on the internet. All you have to do is enter a URL, and with a single command, you can scrape all the data you need.

Wrapping Up

Wrapping Up From a business perspective, the concept of HTML scraping can be a daunting task. When so much information is available to the public, it can be challenging to know what is relevant and what only stands in the way of getting the correct data. Gone are the days when research requires hours of scrolling on a company computer. Understanding what information is useful for your company is half the battle; the other half is knowing where to look for that information. But you no longer have to do the heavy lifting all on your own. Nor do you need to know how to create your web crawler to scan the World Wide Web for you.

With the help of a third-party bot, you can extract text from HTML efficiently. Use your newfound knowledge of HTML to decide precisely what information you require and let Scraping Robot get to work scouring the internet.

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