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How Web Data Extraction Can Improve Your App Development Process

Data gathering and building data libraries and databases are some of the most tedious and time-consuming components of the app development process. Most apps require a database that is sizable enough to be credible to potential users. The reason why users download apps are for them to have access to the information in the app’s database without having to search for them online each time they need the information.  

It makes it necessary for app developers to extract as much information as they can from websites and other resources with relevant data. However, some websites have put in place web scraping defenses to repel web scraping platforms trying to get their publicly-available data. You can check this and other similar sites if you want to know more about residential proxies that can help you override or counter blocking mechanisms against your web scraping tool.  

And to begin with, here’s a brief article on how web data extraction can improve your app development process.

What Is Web Scraping

Web scraping is a data extraction method used to get all the information that you need from multiple and numerous online sources. This can be done by humans manually with small data sets. But it would take so much time and effort if they were to do this with extremely large data sets. For this purpose, web scraping platforms were designed and developed as tools. They can be used to extract tons of data from online sources at a very fast and efficient rate.    

Web scraping helps you convert and save data in highly-usable formats. When you use web scraping to extract web data, you can store the data in formats that you can use, update, and manipulate such as Comma-Separated Values (CSV), Excel, or Google Sheets. Once you’ve stored data in these formats, you can fetch the data with ease whenever you need it, and use all your tools of analysis to process your data. 

Web scraping enables you to extract data in a very simple manner. Extracting the data in a CSF format would allow you to process the data outside of its source and use all your various tools and software applications as if you were the original source of the data. This allows you to do away with the need to access the website of the data source each time you use it. In other words, web scraping will save you a lot of time. You can skip the tedious and time-consuming task of having to manually copy all the tables from a source website.

Building Massive Application Database

One of the most important ways a web scraping platform can help improve your app development process is by building a massive application database. It’s important in any app development project to gather as much data as it can that is relevant to the specific use case or particular industry application of the app being developed.  

For instance, an e-commerce platform app has to gather and collect as much data on the product information and prices of all products that will be listed in the e-commerce app. The data extraction for this should include the pricing by the prospective or current competitors of the app owner. A stock or cryptocurrency trading platform should gather and save as much information as possible about the history and price movements of all assets that will be included in the trading platform app.  

API Design And Development

Web scraping is commonly used by real estate agents to populate their database with properties that are already available on the market and listed on other websites or applications. These properties can be for sale or rent. It helps you in the application development process because you won’t have to manually copy-and-paste property listings from existing websites onto your application. 

If you’re designing an application for a real estate agency, for instance, web scraping will help you design an Application Programming Interface (API) that will directly populate the application or website with listings from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system or other real estate listing websites. 

The API would automatically generate the listings for your real estate application. It enables your client’s real estate agent to make money by acting as the real estate agent when someone finds a specific listing on their application or website. 

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Data Analysis And Generating Insights

Web scraping tools are also highly useful in data analysis and insight generation. These tools are used by numerous companies to build massive databases for their application development projects. 

Once they’ve built up a massive database, they would then use them to design and develop data analysis features and functionalities for their application. Having tons of data allows them to design and develop all sorts of application features and functionalities based on the data types and contents they collected from scraping. 

Equally important, application developers make the most of the massive databases that they scraped from other websites. They analyze tons of data to generate new insights about specific use cases or industry applications. They then sell access to these insights to other companies all over the world. It can be done in almost all industries and for almost every possible application that can be developed.  

Functionalities For Comparative Analysis

Web scraping tools are also highly useful for designing and developing comparison tools and functionalities for software applications. The massive amounts of data collected by web scraping tools enable application developers to see all sorts of data types and contents that are frequently used in a given industry or use case. 

When they’ve built up their massive database for a particular software application, web developers would be able to design their framework and tools for comparative analysis. They would use this framework and tools to organize the scraped data into categories by which they can be useful for comparing data. It is highly useful in determining what kinds of comparative functionalities and tools they’re going to design for their application. 

It is frequently applied to compare the prices of the same product carried by several different retailers. They can use web scraping to extract data about products and pricing from various e-commerce stores every day. They could then develop tools and functionalities which will allow their application users to run price comparisons every day.  

They can also develop functionalities that will track the price movements of several e-commerce stores over specified periods such as one week, one month, a quarter, six months, one year, and so on.

Lead Generation Functionalities

Web scraping tools are also beneficial in designing and developing lead generation features and functionalities for your software applications. It is used to scrape and collect massive amounts of data to build the database for your application. But this data isn’t necessarily in a format or structure which would be immediately useful for your application or app users. 

You can use the massive amounts of data scraped to design and develop lead generation functionalities for your applications. You can clean the data and convert it into structured data that can be more quickly processed and manipulated by your application. Your app users may use them to generate new leads with data attributes that are useful for their purposes.  

Integrate SEO Functionalities

Web scraping tools are excellent for identifying gaps and successes in your application’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results. For instance, you can use web scraping tools if you haven’t been able to garner a top ranking in SEO even though you’ve been creating good and effective content. You can use the data you extract from web scraping to develop a successful digital marketing strategy.

  • Keyword Search Results

SEO campaigns are highly dependent on the use of keywords. The keywords used will determine how your website or application will rank on search engines. You can even determine what attracts or distracts web traffic to your sites by using SEO software to extract keyword results for you and your competitors. 

Web scraping is highly useful in SEO campaigns. They can help identify specific user or buyer personas that some of your competitors have been trying to reach. Knowing these user or buyer personas will enable you to determine whether a user who typed in keywords related to your SEO campaign keywords will discover and see your application or website first and ahead of other applications which are similar to yours.  

  • Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is another strategy used in SEO campaigns to improve online visibility. It’s an ideal SEO strategy to build relationships with startups and established blog sites. It can give your application immediate exposure to your target audience. It can also enhance your search results through the use of backlinks. However, it’s difficult to extract relevant information from some of your target sites.  

The process of identifying and vetting sites that have the same blog style or target audience as your site is quite rigorous. First, you have to get a list of blogs that appear to have the same blog style and content as yours. Then, you’ll have to go to the site of each blog and click the article links to find out if they have similar content. Next, you’ll have to come up with topics that will resonate with their audience.  

You can use web scraping tools to add features and functionalities in your app that could help in SEO campaigns. It will enable your application to appear in keyword search results by users who will most likely have the interest or would take the time to download your application.  

You can integrate data gathered by web scraping tools with your SEO campaign features and functionalities. It will help you develop app content which will, in turn, help you earn a higher ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Conclusion

A web scraping tool can make the data extraction process faster and more efficient. App developers have many ways to make use of the extracted data to design and develop the features and functionalities of the app they’re developing. They use the data to develop data analysis and insight generation tools, API integration tools, comparative analysis frameworks and tools, lead generation tools, and SEO campaign tools.

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