Given the web’s massive size, web scraping has been an essential tool for web developers and data scientists to quickly access information from web pages.
Web scraping is useful for several different activities, such as performing sentiment analysis on social media posts or searching for files on a website. This article will explore how web scraping helps grow a business by understanding the competitors better.
How to Scrape Websites
There are multiple ways one could scrape websites to become more competitive in a certain industry.
Web Scraping in R
One of the more popular web scraping tools is R. R is an open-source language explicitly designed for web development projects.
R web-scraping packages allow web developers to automate the web scraping process so web pages can be saved as training data or other web-related information can be harvested. Web scraping in R allows web developers to programmatically extract data from web pages, regardless of their HTML structure.
For example, to implement web scraping using R to retrieve all the images on a competitors’ web page, only a few lines of code are necessary with one of these packages installed.
Web Scraping in Python
Another web scraping tool available is Python. When comparing R vs. Python, the web scraping capabilities of the Python programming language allow web developers to automate web scraping and save web pages as training data.
Unlike the R programming language, Python is a multi-purpose programming language and has thousands of packages available for web development projects. This makes it much easier to programmatically extract specific information from web pages using Python than using R.
Scraping Competitors Web Pages
With web scraping, it is possible to scrape a competitors’ web page. This provides insight into how they are marketing themselves, the keywords that are relevant for their business, what type of information they are presenting on their web pages, and what additional features or services they offer.
For example, for a business person interested in starting a web development company, web scraping provides many ways to source excellent web design companies. It’s possible to see what web designs they have provided for their clients and what keywords were used in the web pages.
A particularly interesting web page can be used as training data for web development projects in your own company. After web scraping, you can save the web pages to a folder and use this training data in web development projects.
Scraping competitors’ web pages help you understand your market, what trends are popular in web design, and what web design companies are most effective at marketing themselves.
Scrape Google Trends for Market Research
You can also use web scraping to determine how web development companies are doing to stay up-to-date with their competitors’ latest web development trends. For example, it’s possible to scrape search results on Google Trends to see which web development-related keywords are trending.
This allows web developers to gain insight into the industry’s current focus so that they can create products or services that meet these needs while staying competitive with other similar businesses.
For example, if “responsive web design” is trending on a web development company page, web developers can create web design services that focus on responsive web design as a way of differentiating themselves from their competitors.
Get Insights into your Users and Customers
Web scraping can also be used to understand the needs of web designers and web developers. For example, one can gather information about what type of web design or web development companies people are looking for.
This helps determine the types of web development projects most sought after. And how frequently specific keywords pop up in search results related to web development services. With this data, a business can start offering particular web development services more regularly than other ones.
In web development, web scraping is a helpful way to understand better how web development competitors are doing. It also allows web developers to analyze web development trends and determine what web design keywords or web design services are most in-demand, thus allowing a business to become more competitive in their industry.