Web Scraping for Lead Generation: A Brief Overview of Scraping Bots
Lead generation helps a business identify and target potential customers, so it is an essential part. Lead generation is also known to increase business profits and revenues. This can be a tedious process, especially when using manual methods.
Fortunately, there are technologies like web scraping that make lead generation processes relatively easier. Unlike the manual process of getting data, web scraping uses intelligent automation methods to get thousands and millions of data in a small amount of time. Web scraping is used by many businesses as a trusted and tested method of efficiently executing the lead generation process. It helps businesses obtain a concise list of contact information of customers.
This post discusses web scraping and scraping bots, and how web scraping can be used for lead generation.
What Is Web Scraping?
Web scraping is an automated process of obtaining data that can be structured or unstructured from websites. This data is usually stored in HTML format, the scraper is usually designed to locate structured or unstructured information using markers called data locators.
The data locators help identify data that the web scraper can then extract and store offline in databases or spreadsheets for analysis. Web scraping uses two main components namely; crawlers which is a program that searches the internet and identifies the content of interest.
The other component called the scraper receives the information from the crawler and extracts the information.
There are many ways to perform web scraping, APIs can be used for scraping, or custom codes can be written to scrape data. In this process, you should protect your IP address by using proxies.
Servers such as Blazing SEO residential proxies minimize the risk of your real IP address getting blocked. They also allow you to make unlimited requests without getting banned. Further, residential proxies allow you to scrape geo-blocked content by providing entry through a different location. This is important for businesses that have competitors all over the world.
What Are Scraping Bots?
Scraping bots are software that are programmed to search through databases to extract information. They are used to recognize HTML site structures, extract content and data from APIs, and store the scraped data. Legitimate web scraping bots do not get blocked while scraping data. A web scraper bot sends HTTP GET requests and saves all the information from the server.
How to Use Web Scraping for Lead Generation
Lead generation is the process of getting data about potential customers for your business. Web scraping bots can help to directly obtain data on the ideal customer for your business. The scrapping parameters can be set to exclude certain kinds of people that do not correspond with the lead generation. Web scrapers can help increase audience engagement. The following steps explain the process of lead generation with web scrapers.
1. Identify the Lead Generation Source for Web Scraping
The first step is to gather data for lead generation from corresponding sources. A well-known lead generation source is the internet. Figure out where the target customers are located on the internet. Another source is the competitor’s websites. When scraping competitors’ websites you can get potential customers and can collect data on them. Social media platforms are another source for web scraping and lead generation. Almost everybody has a social media profile. Identify the social media platform where your ideal client is present and start scraping data. Information such as email addresses, telephone numbers, etc. can be scrapped.
2. Extract Data with a Web Scraper
After identifying the source for lead generation, the next step is to extract data with a web scraping bot. This scrapped data is then used for lead generation. Many web scraping bot tools can be chosen for web scraping. Examples of web scraping bot tools are ParseHub, Scrapy, Python beautiful soup, OctoParse, Scraper API, Content grabber. Etc. These web scraping bot tools are expected to have key features such as
Ability to easily create and extract data.
It should be able to scrape data in multiple threads,
It should also be able to scrape data and sort data,
It should also have automation features.
It should be able to export data to any format needed such as excel, word, or CSV document.
The extraction of data can be done by first choosing a web scraping tool that can be used to build a web scraping bot. Also, custom bots can be built with programming languages such as python, java, etc. for example a custom bot can be built with python beautiful soup and Scrapy, and java selenium.
The general process for web scraping is to first gather the URLs of the pages where data is to be extracted, then the web scraper requests to get HTML from the page. Then finally the web scrapers use locators to find data in the HTML.
It is important to choose residential proxies such as Blazing SEO residential proxies, during the web scraping process, to avoid being blocked. These proxies help the web scraping bot to mimic real human behavior so it does not get blocked. Also, proxies like Blazing SEO residential proxies have a high industry standard for ethical usage. It also provides the ability to limit the conditions in which connections may be used.
Then data analysis needs to be performed on this extracted data by removing missing values and performing data preprocessing. Data analysis also entails performing data visualization and removing unwanted, incomplete, and unwanted information from the scraped data.
3. Organize and Store the Scraped Data
After extracting data, then it needs to be organized and stored appropriately. This scrapped data can be used for lead generation. For example, structured data such as text files can be stored in spreadsheets for easy access. Unstructured data such as images needed to be stored on large storage mediums like databases. Storage makes the data very organized for access and then used for lead generation.
4. Reach Out to Leads
This is the final step for using web scraping for lead generation. After the scraped data is stored and organized in an appropriate storage medium, the data can now be accessed. Potential clients can now be contacted and reached out to. It is important to start reaching out to strong leads so that they can be easily converted to potential and returning customers.
Lead scraping is a transparent process and has a lot of benefits for businesses. Web scraping has become a universal tool for acquiring thousands of customers. Web scraping bots help collect all the data that is needed on your leads or potential customers. This post discussed web scraping and how to use web scraping for lead generation. Hence businesses can use web scraping for lead generation which in turn helps identify target customers and provide other benefits.
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