How data scraping can give you a competitive edge

In the cutthroat world of business, staying ahead of your competitors is vital. The Digital Age has afforded a considerable competitive advantage to those who know how to extract and utilise key data from online resources. This public data has enabled businesses to step up their competitive analysis and market research game and stay one vital step ahead of their competitors.

The internet is constantly expanding at a rapid rate. Individuals alone create a mind-boggling amount of data every day. This makes it relatively impossible for an individual to find, extract and meaningfully interpret relevant data for their competitive analysis purposes. This is where a nifty tool known as the web scraper comes in to play. Read on as we give you the complete lowdown on data scraping, and how it can give you a competitive edge in the modern world.

How Data Scraping Works

In simplified terms, data scraping describes the process of extracting data from websites. To do so requires an advanced code known as a “scraper”. Most internet sites are created using a code known as HTML, a language known only to those familiar with computer coding. Data scraping not only extracts the data you require from each relevant webpage, it also converts it from its HTML origins into your specified format. For example, you may wish for the information to appear on a standard Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet.

Data scraping enables your business to extract all relevant data that is available online in relation to your competitors, market or industry in order to further your commercial interests. Some examples of data that a web scraper is capable of extracting include:

  • Images
  • Text
  • Videos
  • Products
  • Public contact information (including emails, phone numbers, addresses)

The Competitive Advantage of Data Scraping

Market Research

The information extracted by a web scraping tool is integral when collating market research. No matter what type of business you own, it is likely that potential customers have previously scoured the internet to find a service or business that is comparable or identical to your own. This type of search leaves a breadcrumb trail, capable of being extracted and identified by a web scraping tool. By restricting your search to specific locations and keywords, data scraping tools are able to provide you with the details of qualified leads to add directly to your potential customer or client base.

Direct and Indirect Competition

One of the main benefits of a web scraper is that it can be run continuously to provide real-time information on the actions of your competitors. This enables you to take note of any changes in your competitors’ prices or be aware of any promotions that they are running. With this information, you can alter your own pricing structures in order to remain competitive within the market.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In the Digital Age, having an SEO-friendly website is integral in order to remain a competitor within your industry. All search engines including Google and Yahoo have a set of rules that are utilised in order to rank their search engine results. SEO simply refers to the process behind optimizing your website content in order to climb up the ranks of a search engine results page. Modern consumers are primarily web-driven, making SEO strategies more important than ever for a competitive business.

Web scrapers are capable of extracting key data from the websites of competitors that consistently rank higher in search engine results. This data includes the links, titles, keywords and descriptions that are being used by your competitors in order to dominate web traffic. This gives you an intimate insight into the successful SEO strategies of your competitors. Search engine rankings change frequently. A web scraping tool enables you to review your ranking in real-time and monitor the progress of any new SEO strategies utilised by your business.

Data scraping services provide your business with the information required to remain competitive in even the most cutthroat markets. Utilising the wealth of information available on the internet ensures that your business stays ahead of the game.

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