Knowledge is power. Web scraping for data is an efficient way to compile vital knowledge from limitless sources around the digital world. Imagine what it would be like to know when your competition lowers its prices in real-time. Imagine how you could tailor your marketing strategy if every review a customer has ever left was at your fingertips. Web scraping can help you get your hands on this vital information. A scraper API has the capacity to connect your digital interface with any online source material of publicly available data. With a dedicated scraping API, you can optimize how your digital processes relate and use data at a greater volume and higher speed.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into what a scraper API is and why it’s the perfect solution for your company whether you’ve worked with automated data collection tools in the past or you’re still developing your web scraping processes.
Do you have a specific question in mind about web scraping API? Please feel free to use our helpful table of contents listed below.
Table of Contents
What is API Web Scraping (How Does it Work?)
Let’s say you’re on Amazon and you want to download a list of certain products and their prices to better tailor your business strategy. You have two options: first, you could use the same format the website you’re viewing uses, or two, you could manually copy and paste the information you need into a spreadsheet. If both of those options sound daunting and like a lot of work, you’re right. Fortunately, web scraping can make this process easier.
In short, a web scraper API is the perfect solution for any developer, digital marketer, or small business leader who is looking for a programmatic way to scrape data without any need to worry about the management of scraping servers and proxies. An API will handle all of the obscure processing stuff for you and simply funnel scraped data into your existing software programs and processes. From there, you can do whatever further data processing you need. An API can drive data-driven insights in limitless ways. Treat data as a valuable resource, use the right tools to optimize that collection process, and then you can use its value to guide your processes in whatever direction you need.
What is web scraping?
Web scraping is the process of extracting large amounts of data into a spreadsheet or another format of your choosing. In order to scrape a website, you’ll pick a URL (or several) that you want to extract data from and load it into the web scraper. Once this URL is entered, the web scraper will load the HTML code, allowing you to customize what type of data you’d like to be extracted.
For example, let’s say you sell camping gear and you want to extract all of the products and their prices from your competitor’s website for the same kind of products but you want to omit the excess information like reviews and other information you don’t need. All you’d have to do is filter out what you don’t want to be included and the web scraper will compile a list containing only the information you need. This is where API comes in.
What is API?
Application programming interface (commonly abbreviated as API) allows two different types of programs to talk to one another. An API is a computing interface that simplifies interactions between different pieces of software you use APIs every single day. Chatting with someone through social media and even checking your daily email on your iPhone are both common examples of how an API works. In the case of our web scraping API, you can use a piece of software to send a request to our API endpoint and execute a web scraping command, as defined in the documentation. Users can submit a web scraping request and get the data they need immediately – 60 seconds to be exact – and have it organized and downloaded in their preferred format, all of which is done in real-time.
Online Web Scraper API (Why Your Company Needs It)
Use our web scraping API to drive data directly into your software. Our technology allows you to gather and collect data at the source and feed that data directly into your own software. Ultimately, this feature is designed primarily for those who are building some kind of software to leverage the use of data. The main benefit of using a scraper API over building your own implementation completely from scratch is that the former removes the headache of having to upkeep thousands of dollars per month in proxies and servers–using an API simply makes your process more cost-effective and time-efficient.
An API provides the value of speed and information. As a business, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s trending in a rapidly changing environment. But what happens when your competitor drops their prices of an item you both sell, undercutting your competitive intelligence? How do you respond to such an occurrence and still retain customers? web scraping will allow you to extract a list of the competitor’s products and their prices but it can also alert you as to when this price reduction occurs so you can tailor your pricing strategy on the fly and retain customers.
Web scraping API also allows users to gain invaluable insight into what their customers want. As a business owner, you need to know what customers are saying about you and your products. After all, this is what will help you develop a marketing strategy that will yield ongoing success. With an online web scraper API, you have the ability to find out what customers are saying about you and your company all in real-time.
This is ideal whether you’re planning on rolling out a new product or in the development phase of a new marketing strategy. What do customers think about your product while it’s in the preliminary stage? How can your product or marketing strategy adapt to changes? Web scraping introduces a data-driven strategy that can cut down the amount of time you’d be wasting trying to sift through all of this data. Furthermore, it allows you to immediately respond to negative or positive feedback with observable metrics, making it much easier to strategize effectively.
Using an API to Extract Data (Top 3 Industries That Benefit)
There are many industries besides software development that can benefit from the quick efficiency and reliability of a data scraping API. We talked about why a business needs to use an API for web scraping, but we didn’t talk about which industries benefit most from it. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re already pretty familiar with what an online web scraper API is but maybe you aren’t entirely sure how it can benefit your particular industry. We explain more below.
The social media industry
Social media has revolutionized the way every company does business. From networking with existing and future customers to generating sales leads and increasing brand awareness, social media has become an invaluable tool for business owners, especially with the analytics these platforms can provide.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte, “49% [of marketers] assert that the greatest benefit of using data analytics is that it is a key factor in better decision-making capabilities.” Companies can use web scraping on various social media platforms to identify current trends, user sentiments, and feedback, all of which play an integral role in decision making.
What are user sentiments?
The goal of social media brand strategy is to have people engage with your product. However, it’s how they engage with your product that matters. User sentiments are the observable emotional responses your customers have while engaging with your company (i.e. – leaving a company review, making a purchase, or the tone they use when mentioning your company on social media). For example, you might find that while your users purchased your product, they were dissatisfied with the cost of shipping.
This sentiment analysis might help you re-evaluate your shipping costs, the carrier you use, or prompt you to offer free shipping if a customer buys a certain amount of product. If your business is heavily reliant on social media, web scraping is an invaluable tool at your disposal.
Scraping Robot offers multiple social media APIs
At Scraping Robot, we offer web scraping demos for various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Continue reading for the types of data that can be extracted for each platform:
- Facebook: Their name, ratings, likes, follows, comments, shares, reactions, and recommendations
- Twitter: Their name, Twitter handle, bio, and number of followers
- Instagram: Their name, total number of followers, the total number of posts, and insights on their last 12 posts; this includes demographics such as age and location and the dates and times as to when their posts yielded the highest level of engagement
To book one of our social media demos, click here.
The eCommerce industry
If you work in the eCommerce industry, you’re likely going to see the biggest benefit of API scraping. As mentioned above, prices can fluctuate and it’s important for business owners to stay on top of these ever-changing trends. Utilizing a real-time data scraping API tool to help you collect this data as soon as it becomes available is invaluable to your product’s overall success. After all, the best way to know you’re selling a product that your consumer wants is to understand what they’re already purchasing.
The financial industry
All finance-based companies and institutions, whether they be a Fortune 500 company or startup, formulate their strategies based on data. If you work in the financial industry and need to extract data from real estate listings or to find out what your customers like and dislike, web scraping can help. This is especially true considering how often bank analysts will use data they obtained from social media to make investment decisions – true story!
Scraping Robot Web Scraping API
Scraping Robot’s API is used in web scraping to make calls faster and more efficiently than using a manual software interface–and our API has dedicated infrastructure to ensure your data is optimized. Our API is ideal for use cases that need real-time data or for developers who simply do not want to spend the time to manually input all the URLs they want to scrape every time they need information. To use our web scraping API all you need to do is send a GET request to the API with your API key and the URL(s) you would like to scrape.
Scraping Robot has demos for every price point
At Scraping Robot, you’ll get 5000 free scrapes every month. Not only do we offer one of the cheapest web scraping products on the market, but we provide a quality product that will help you collect the data your business needs to continue being successful. Our pricing packages are designed to fit any need and budget. What’s even better is that you can try out our services for free before signing up! Learn more about our process here.
Our competitors usually limit the number of requests you can make to their web scraping API. One of the most popular solutions, for example, only allows ten requests in parallel. Here at Scraping Robot, our API has the same functionality with no such restrictions. Users can make as many requests as they want, backed by our guarantee to refund your credits if any scraping request takes longer than 60 seconds.
Beyond that, Scraping Robot offers the most cost-efficient web scraping solution around, with 5000 free scrapes every month! So there’s no need to take our word for it when we say we offer a superior data solution – you can try out our API right now, absolutely free, and see what efficient, data-driven processes can do for your software.
For additional information on how to use Scraping Robot’s web scraping API, be sure to check out our full documentation here.
If you landed on this blog post, chances are you were looking for a simple solution to getting the data you need efficiently and effectively. We understand that data scraping can be a little intimidating, but the products we offer here at Scraping Robot are designed to get you the results you need regardless of your skillset. We’re always introducing new features, so please feel free to schedule a demo with us to get started.