You’ve probably discovered that many of your competitors already use data to achieve various goals. Should you start your own website data collection initiative or not? After all, it costs both time and money. So, what’s the next step?
The best way to make a business decision is to get as much information as you can.
Below you can find all the crucial facts about website data collection, including the definition, types, benefits, and how to streamline it in your organization.
Website data collection – a brief definition
You can easily make a common mistake thinking that data collection simply refers to the process of collecting information. And, yeah, in its essence, that’s what data collection means. However, in the world of business, it’s a strictly defined and structured process.
It refers to collecting information on target variables in a predefined and systematic fashion that enables businesses to achieve specific goals, draw conclusions, or inform decision-making. The prefix “website” dictates that the sources are publicly available websites.
Collecting the data
There are several ways your company can collect website data. While all these methods meet the standards of the definition mentioned above, they differ in terms of how the data is collected. Generally speaking, you can collect in three ways.
Since the data on websites is publicly available, businesses can access it at any time. You can list all the websites you want to source your information from. Then, you can make a spreadsheet with the variables you want to track and start the tedious copy/pasting process.
This method is time-consuming, potentially resulting in many errors, and information can be outdated by the time you complete the collection.
The following method for collecting data from websites is more advanced than the previous one. It involves using web scrapers. These are bots or, simply put, programs that are created to automatically visit the target websites and extract the exact information you need to achieve your goals.
Web scraping is a challenging procedure. You need reliable web scrapers, relevant IT infrastructure, and professionals to carry it out.
Third-party data is the information that data vendors collect, process, and sell to organizations. This data is practically ready-to-use, and data vendors ensure it’s complete, error-free, and regularly updated. Vendors specializing in data collection often offer different databases to businesses, such as firmographic data, startup data, employee data, job posting data, etc.
It’s by far the most convenient way to collect data. You get access to accurate and most recent data from relevant websites for a fraction of the cost. It can help you save hundreds of work hours you and your staff can spend on core business.
Collecting data from relevant websites can help you achieve several goals. Here are the most noteworthy benefits of doing it.
Dynamic pricing optimization
Many businesses rely on website data to discover other businesses’ pricing strategies in the markets they share. This data can help you maximize your profits while enabling you to still offer your products or services at competitive prices.
Staying tuned to the information scattered across your competitors’ online assets, such as websites, social media channels, ads, and customer interactions, can enable you to improve your marketing, plan your budget, discover potential customers, and discover trends.
Better lead generation
Website data also holds vital information on your target customers and clients. You can discover details about your customers, personalize your offer, and make your messaging more relevant to generate more leads and capture more sales.
Informed product optimization
Customer reviews are a powerful resource you can use to inform your product optimization strategy. You can leverage this data to run sentiment analysis and learn what customers think about your and competitors’ products or services. This information will allow you to make your offer more attractive.
Website data collection is definitely worth engaging with. If you have the internal resources and proper IT infrastructure, you can launch such an operation on your own. However, if you want instant access to website data with minimal upfront costs, the most optimal way would be to invest in third-party website data, which you can use right out of the box.