How a Web Scraping Proxy Enhances Your Business Strategy
Your company might consider web scraping to collect data for a variety of reasons. Your digital marketing strategy is all about driving customers to your website and ultimately to purchasing your product or service, and your messaging likely relies on communicating perceived benefits to customers. Collecting data gives you a better understanding of these customers and allows you to tailor your digital marketing to speak to their needs.
Web scraping is also an easy way to collect user comments and reviews and other information you can use to improve existing products and develop new ones. Using a web scraping proxy can let you automate and speed up the process, saving you the time and effort of sifting through vast amounts of internet data.
What Is a Web Scraping Proxy?
A web scraping proxy consists of two components: a proxy IP address and a web scraper. Using a proxy IP address lets you cover your computer’s IP address, enhancing your online security and allowing you to anonymously scrape various websites. Web scrapers surf the internet, automatically collecting large volumes of data and distilling it into useful results. Using a web scraper with a proxy disguises your IP address so the target website can’t identify where the request is coming from.
You can use a web scraping proxy to collect user perception data, analyze your SEO, measure the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, generate new leads, measure brand perception, and much more. Before running your web scraper, you should clearly define your goals for each search. This will allow you to better set your queries so your web scraper can collect useful data.
1. Use a Proxy to Collect More Reliable Data
Many companies use web scrapers to find and collect a variety of customer data, from satisfaction surveys to user comments. If you’re trying to collect this information manually, you need to visit each site individually and copy and paste all your data. There are over 1 billion websites in existence, and you might not be aware of all the ones your customers use to review and rate your products. You could spend hours searching for your company and entering the results into a database, or you could use a web scraper.
Using a web scraper lets you automate this process. You can tell it what data to collect and have the data exported to Excel, JSON, CSV, or one of many other file formats. Once you’ve input what you want to search for, the scraper scans the internet collecting data. For example, if you’re using your web scraper to gauge the success of a product launch, you can direct it to search for any mentions of your new product. All comments, reviews, ads, and more will be collected and entered into your database.
However, many websites are suspicious of web scrapers because they can run multiple queries in a short time. Some website creators are protective of their data, using various tactics to stop users from scraping the site. One of the most common tactics is to blacklist the offending IP address. Running a web scraping program from your own IP address can target websites to ban you.
Since using a proxy disguises your IP address, you are less likely to be banned by websites from which you’re collecting data.
2. Use a Residential Proxy to Scrape at High Volumes
There are two common types of proxies: data center and residential proxies. A data center proxy is housed in a data center and is typically used by multiple users. A residential proxy is attached to a residential IP address, making you appear like any other residential user. Residential proxies are essential for companies conducting a high volume of scraping projects. When you scrape more often, more websites are able to track your online activity. Using residential proxies lets you routinely switch out your IP address.
Occasionally, a website may block the IP address of your residential proxy. Choosing a residential proxy with rotating ASNs will help you complete your projects even if one of your ASNs is blocked.
3. Choose the Best Proxy Provider
When web scraping to collect data, stay away from free website proxies or public proxies. They aren’t as secure as paid proxies and are largely unregulated. These proxies can leave you vulnerable to computer viruses, malware, and spyware. They also put you at risk for making your web scraping public, compromising customer data.
There are many cost-effective residential proxies you can run with your web scraper. Choose a proxy provider that offers a pool of IP addresses, so you can rotate more easily. And since websites track your activity, switching up your IP address frequently reduces your risk of being banned.
Scraping Robot is one web scraper that is easy to use regardless of your comfort level. It’s easy to customize and offers 5,000 free scrapes per month. You can become familiar with the tool by running different queries before you have to start paying for the service.
4. Set Your Query Frequency
If you launch multiple scrapes at once, one or more of your residential IP addresses could be blocked, keeping you from finding useful information. You can improve your chances of successful web scraping by customizing your queries.
Your web scraping proxy should have a setting for query frequency. You can set it to send out queries at regular intervals, from one second to a minute or more. Humans generally limit requests to every 5-10 seconds, and using this setting for your query frequency can make it less likely for your query to be flagged.
5. Set Random Searches
Another way to make your web scraping program appear human to the target website is to randomize your searches. You might be tempted to set up your web scraper and have it run continuously. But that will make your proxy IP website address seem mechanical, which can keep you from being able to gather relevant information.
When setting up your web scraper, avoid patterns. Set different proxy rate limits and stagger your requests across proxy IP addresses.
6. Use Web Scraping to Tailor Your Marketing
Using proxy web scraping, you can collect data that allows you to tailor your products and marketing. Businesses commonly use these tools to gather customer feedback from comments, reviews, and social media posts. Web scraping also lets you assess your local SEO ranking, and a proxy lets you refine your local SEO because you can set your location.
You can use the data your web scraper collects to improve your products or research and develop new and complementary products. This data is also useful for testing marketing messages and refining them to improve your sales.
7. Beware of the CAPTCHA
Websites are becoming savvy to automated queries and robots. Many of them employ security tools like CAPTCHA codes and puzzles to make sure that website visitors are human. You will likely run into these tools while web scraping.
Using best practices, including random searches and rotating IP addresses, improves your chances of bypassing these security measures.
If your web scraper is stuck on a website, try rerunning the query using a different proxy server. You can also try setting a different geolocation, making it appear as though the query is being conducted by a different device.
Choosing a Reliable Proxy for Web Scraping
Blazing SEO offers a premium proxy for web scraping. Our residential proxies provide fast web scraping and useful data. They’re also reliable and efficient, capable of handling large web scraping projects, offering high-level protection that lets you focus on your project. And they’re ethically sourced. We build relationships with our customers and end-use providers.
Blazing SEO’s proxies offer fast speeds, so you can complete your projects quickly and efficiently. You can also control the proxy from your browser. If your company needs a large number of IPs—say you’re performing a wide range of web scraping projects—we offer different packages to meet your needs. We’ll help you choose a plan that works for you.
Using a web scraping proxy gives you easy access to information you can use to enhance your products, tweak your marketing, improve customer service, and much more. To do it effectively, you need to use a reliable residential proxy from a company you can trust.
Choose a proxy that comes with a pool of IP addresses so you can rotate them and reduce your chances of being blocked. Use a web scraper that works well with proxies and can easily be configured to collect your desired data.
Once you’ve mastered the process of web scraping, you can create queries and projects that allow you to put the power of data to work for your company. Whether you’re conducting competitive analysis, generating new leads, or developing new marketing strategies, web scraping can help you better meet your goals.
Blazing SEO offers trusted and reliable web scraping proxies you can use to improve many different aspects of your business. Sign up today for our residential proxy beta.
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