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How to maximise your inbound marketing impact with web scraping

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Interested in magnetizing customers to your website? According to Andrius Palionis, VP of Enterprise Sales at Oxylabs.io, ethical web scraping - the process of extracting valuable marketing data from public website pages - is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to maximize your content strategy.

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Used together with other Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, web scraping is an essential tool that gives you the insights required to optimize your marketing and attract the right customers to your site.

The key is to leverage the power of inbound marketing and attract customers currently in the buying stage of the conversion process. Unlike outbound marketing that broadcasts messages to a large audience, inbound strategies use content to rank high in search engines, drawing in users while they are looking for the goods and services you provide. Web scraping supports that process by helping you uncover the relevant topics, keywords, and article formats that rise to the top of the search engine results pages.

How Web Scraping Works

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Web scraping uses scripts (or “bots”) to scour the internet and extract data from public websites. Besides using it for content marketing, web scraping can also be used to obtain:

  • Product and pricing information for consumer goods and services
  • Flight and accommodation prices for travel aggregator websites
  • Catalog, stock, and shipping information for e-commerce sites
  • Illegal sales of branded products on counterfeit websites

The process works by scraping the code of a website and transforming it into text that is easy for analysts to read. “Smart” proxies enhanced with AI and ML technology make the process more effective while regulating requests and preventing server overload.

Web Scraping Practices for Inbound Marketing

Web scraping can be used specifically to enhance an inbound marketing strategy by providing critical data from public websites, search engines. With these insights, marketers can create targeted, precision content that addresses consumers' concerns while offering products and services that solve their problems. 

Some ways web scraping can optimize an inbound strategy include:

  • Scraping competitor websites for topics, keywords, optimal article lengths, and formats
  • Extracting data from publicly available website’s comments and reviews
  • Improving website content with internal scraping that analyzes keywords, article lengths, formats
  • Analysis of data in comparison with Google Analytics to determine the most popular articles 

Web scraping accomplishes much more than standard SEO tools by providing targeted, specific information that can be applied to your marketing strategy for superior results.  

How Web Scraping Benefits E-Commerce

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E-Commerce activity is rising exponentially in the wake of COVID-era restrictions. According to Statista, over two billion people purchased goods or services online in 2020, and sales surpassed $4.2 trillion worldwide.

The expanding e-commerce landscape calls for strategic marketing to attract this growing pool of customers. Web scraping with a SERP scraper API answers that demand with precision search engine keyword research that delivers insights into consumer actions, trends, and keyword performance over time. 

Scraping search engine results pages (SERPs) also helps marketers check if the optimal results are displayed according to the queries submitted. This data is essential to confirm which search terms result in the displayed content, giving marketers the ability to focus on what content they need to produce. 

Competition analysis is also critical to a comprehensive marketing strategy. Web scraping can be used in this regard to generate insights from their website content. In addition, scrapers can be configured to extract data on new topics being published in the news to produce fresh content ideas. 

Web Scraping Challenges

Web scraping can be complicated, resource-intensive, and time-consuming when performed without a ready-to-use tool. Some of these challenges include:

Bot Detection Measures

Websites usually implement security measures that block malicious bots that cannot distinguish the visitor’s intent. Legitimate web scraping bots are often mistakenly flagged, making blocks inevitable. To address this issue, datacenter and residential proxies help distribute requests and provide anonymity to prevent server issues.

Geo-restricted Data

Specific keyword information may not be accessible from different regions, making the research difficult and incomplete. Ethically-sourced residential proxies from worldwide locations can be used to obtain geo-restricted data from any target website, providing a diverse range of data for use in global marketing campaigns.

Parsing Challenges

Transforming data into an easily-readable format can be complicated due to changing website layouts. AI and ML-powered next-gen residential proxies are a solution that enables web scrapers to easily recognize patterns in content and increase the success of any website scraping project.

Inhouse Scraping vs. Ready-To-Use Tools

Large companies with extensive budgets typically employ a team of professionals to create and maintain scripts and monitor the web scraping process. Smaller businesses can choose from many ready-to-use scraper API tools that can be customized to extract specific data at a fraction of the investment needed to maintain an in-house team. 

Conclusion

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While web scraping has been mostly used for external data collection, it can play a tremendous role in optimizing on-site content and marketing. You can achieve a constant state of monitoring for your competitors, find out what works best, and even gather data to analyze internal performance.

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