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Web Scraping: What It Is & How to Use It?

What is Web Scraping

What is web scraping?

The term “web scraping” refers to the process of gathering content and information from the
web. It will be possible to manipulate and analyze the information since it will be saved in a
local file on most occasions.

Benefits of web scraping for business

1. Achieve automation

It will be possible for powerful web scrapers to help you in extracting information automatically
from websites, thus enabling you to save lots of time that you would otherwise spend on
performing some boring data collection chores. It likewise implies that you will be able to
collect information at a higher volume as compared to what can be achieved by a single human.

2. Business insights and intelligence

Web scraping information from the web will enable you to monitor the marketing activities of
the competitors, verify competitor prices, and also research your industry online very quickly. It
will be possible for you to establish a clear picture of the market by downloading, cleaning, as
well as evaluating information at a significant volume. Moreover, you will get a clear picture of
the activities of your competitors which will allow you to make sensible business decisions.

3. Effective management of data

It will be possible for you to decide which information you like to accumulate from different
websites rather than simply copying and pasting information from the web. Following this, you
will be able to collect the data precisely with the help of web scraping. Information is going to
be stored inside a cloud database, and there is a possibility for it to run on a regular basis.
Storing information using automatic applications implies that less time will be spent by your
company or employees in copying and pasting data and more time can be invested by them in
creative tasks.

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4. Generation of leads

Lead generation can help any company to convert leads to prospective sales. We often make
use of web scraping for drawing leads and finding marketing solutions and sales solutions as
well for the sales agent. It is the ability to script info from all hub spots and sources with higher
lead activity. The entire procedure will become faster with the help of web scraping. Apart from

this, you will also be able to provide high sales information accuracy. When businesses are
trying to scale up, it will be advisable for them not to put their cash in the leads which cannot
be converted.

How is web scraping going to work?

It will be possible for web scrapers to extract all the information on a particular site as desired
by the user. Ideally, it will be imperative for you to specify the information you want such that it
is possible for the web scraper to extract only that information quickly.

For instance, you might like the idea of scraping an Amazon webpage for various types of
juicers available on the market. However, you might want the information regarding the various
models of juicers and not feedback from the customers.

The URLs will be provided at first when it is imperative for a web scraper to scrape a particular
site. Following this, the scraper is going to load the HTML code for all those sites while a more
sophisticated scraper might also extract all the JavaScript and CSS elements.

Following this, the scraper will extract the required information from the HTML code, plus
output the information in the specified format as desired by the user. Although on most
occasions, the information will be saved as a CSV file or an excel spreadsheet, it is also possible
to save it in other formats like a JSON file.

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What are the different types of web scrapers?

Although it is possible to have self-built web scrapers, it will need you to have advanced
programming knowledge. However, this type of web scraper will provide you with more
features. On the contrary, pre-built scrapers are those that have been created previously and
can be downloaded and run without any problem at all. The good thing is that it will be possible
to customize these types of scrapers.

Browser extensions web scrapers happen to be those extensions that you can add to your
browser. Although they are simple to run, they are somewhat limited when it comes to their
features. On the contrary, software web scrapers do not have any restrictions since it is possible
to download and install them on your computer. They will likewise provide you with advanced
features which will be beneficial to you in the long run.

Conclusion

Hopefully, after going through this article, you have some good idea regarding the benefits of
web scraping as well as the types of web scrapers that you will come across right now. You will need to choose which type of web scraper will be beneficial for you depending on your
requirements.

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