So, you have heard the buzz around web scraping and it has got you quite excited.
Also, you have been doing some online research and have toyed around with the notion of starting a few web scraper projects. You even have a couple of novel ideas that you can’t wait to try out.
However, you are not sure where… or even how to start. Fret not. We are here to help you out. We will provide you with detailed information to guide you on how to go about this.
Let’s get you started! But, first things first.
What is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is also known as web harvesting. It is the extraction of data from the internet using an automated software tool. The information is then collected and stored in a more useful format for the end-user such as a spreadsheet.
To remain competitive, businesses need to gather real-time information on their industry, customers and the competition. While the internet offers this information, copy-pasting the information manually would be too tedious and expensive. Web scraping allows you to do this faster, with more accuracy, and efficiency.
There are tonnes of information on the web and lots more gets added daily. Web scraping can help you gather data to support your business or help you make informed business decisions. You can also monitor the market to discover new trends or opportunities.
What Web Scraper Will You Use?
When web scraping, it is highly advisable to use proxy services. Proxies allow you to hide your IP address and avoid geo-restrictions while maintaining privacy online. Opt for one offering 24/7 support, preferably with a big pool of IPs in many global locations.
At the bare minimum, have a basic idea of what you need to scrape. This will help you choose the most ideal proxies for your project. Your proxy service provider can also assist with this.
Web Scraping Project Ideas
Below are a few interesting project ideas you can use to get started on your web scraping projects:
1. Scrape a Leads Database
You can use a web scraping to scrape names, email addresses, and phone numbers of potential customers. These can be sourced from different directories. You can then use this data to generate quality leads.
Once you collect the email addresses, your sales team can proceed to send bulk emails to potential customers. Use the collected data to create a database. This can serve many other purposes other than lead generation such as brand building.
2. Price Comparison
Price analysis and study is a complex process. For example, Amazon prices change frequently and to do a proper study, you need fast and realtime web scraping. You can build a web scraper that can notify you when the price of a given product falls below a certain point.
First, you’d need to crawl all the prices of the product on the site and set your desired price. The scraper will then scrape the site regularly for the lowest price. It will notify you when the price hits your desired price. Similarly, by scraping competitor websites, your business can monitor competitor prices and adjust prices accordingly to remain competitive.
3. Product Reviews Project
Here, you would need to study how online reviews affect the reputation of the different products you offer. Also, find out whether the reviews work and what can be done to improve them. You can also scrape reviews from retailers to find out if there are any fraudulent reviews.
For this project, you can scrape data from multiple sources such as social media pages, own sites, and competitor websites. You can then analyze the comments or the percentage of likes over dislikes. You can also use these reviews to track your online reputation, improve your products or to conduct user sentiment analysis.
4.Gather Real Estate Listings
Here, you can use web scrapping to gather property listings. You can source the data from property websites. From this, you can create a consolidated website featuring all the available properties.
Maintain this database by keeping it up to date. This will be super helpful and convenient for someone looking to purchase a property.
5. Search Engine Results for SEO Tracking
Discover your SEO competitors for a specific search term through scraping organic search results. You can also figure out their title tags and keywords. This will reveal traffic-driving keywords and the kind of content attracting links and driving user engagement. Such information can help you improve your search rankings.
Web scraping projects are fun activities that can also offer you a great learning opportunity. Working on these projects will help you develop your web scraping skills too. Besides, you can use it to enrich your customers’ user experience, enhance your marketing strategy, or for research into new business innovations.