In the digital age, data has become as good as gold, if not better. It’s said that money makes the world go around.
Owning data is one of the most effective ways to make money and, therefore, help the world go around in your favor.
Personal data allows companies to target potential customers and even to adapt marketing strategies to convince individuals the merits of their products.
Collecting company data makes it possible to evaluate the competition, build strategies, and even steal data or personnel when appropriate.
The biggest companies around today are all doing it.
Perfect examples are Amazon and social media apps like YouTube and TikTok.
When collecting data first became important it was necessary to know code.
However, it’s now possible to discover how to scrape data from a website without code.
Understanding Web Scraping
If you’ve ever been on YouTube or Amazon you’ll notice that you constantly get fed links.
These suggest other products and videos that you may be interested in.
The more you use a site the more accurate these suggested links become.
That’s because the site has been data scraping, collecting your data to identify which things appeal to you.
The site then proposes things that you like in the hope of keeping you engaged and perhaps buying products through them.
If you’re in any type of business you need to be collecting information about your clients and potential clients. It will help you to be successful.
There are four simple steps to data scraping:
To collect data you need to start by downloading the relevant pages from the web.
Once you have the web pages you need to scan them and extract any data that is needed.
The specific field requirements are usually decided before you start.
For example, you may want to know the age, employment status, and whether they are in a relationship or not.
This is the process of pulling the data from the page and entering it into a predefined format, such as a table.
It makes it easier to see trends.
Finally, the file must be saved, ideally as a database or spreadsheet.
This allows you access whenever you need it and creates a template to compare future data collection against.
Previously it was necessary to understand how to code to tell the computer what you needed and how you needed it formatting.
Today, there are plenty of web scraping tools on the market and you don’t need any coding knowledge.
That doesn’t mean there is no work involved, you’ll still need to decide the parameters.
That’s the data you want to collect.
How to Scrape Data from A Website Without Code With These Apps
The simplest way to scrape data from a website without code is to use an app.
There are several options worth considering.
Phantombuster is aimed at salespeople looking to create a list of leads or market consultants looking to reach existing and potential clients with a targeted campaign.
This app has over 100 ready-made scrapers, you can select one and get it going in minutes.
It will then send the compiled data to your chosen CRM. This gives you and your team the latest information at their fingertips.
Phantombuster is designed to work in the cloud, reducing your prep time and getting you the desired results faster.
This app will also help to keep your social media accounts secure and you get a free 14-day trial, ensuring you know just how good this app is.
Bright Data is one of the leading names in proxy servers and web scraping.
There’s a good reason for this. They aren’t just fast at what they do, they are very accurate.
The Bright data web scraper is designed to collect large amounts of data effortlessly, saving you time and money.
You can choose from the templates already created in the app or make your own structure.
There are more than 38,000 customer-built scrapers in the app.
If you create your own search criteria then you can actually watch the program being put together and make any changes necessary.
It’s even possible to use the built-in debugging tools.
Bright data has an extensive network of servers across the globe which offer a proxy service.
This proxy network also allows the web scraper to collect data from websites across the globe, because the request appears to be local.
Again, this app is cloud-based, offering you the fastest possible solution to any data collection needs you may have.
Oxylabs is another big player in web scraping and promises to scrape data from any website, no matter how complex, in minutes.
All you have to do is get the data file and decide what to do with the data.
It has a large number of standard data scraping tools and also offers the ability to customize your search criteria.
Alongside this, you only ever pay for results. If, for any reason, the scraping fails to get the goods, then you don’t have to pay anything.
It does have an auto-retry if the scraping tool has failed.
Again, Oxylabs uses its established proxy network to ensure you can scrape data anywhere on the globe.
You can target specific websites or simply choose a specific country.
Getting to grips with all the features offered by Oxylabs Seb Scraper API can be a little confusing.
But, they have an excellent customer support system that will patiently guide you through anything you need to know.
ScraperAPI has been specifically designed to beat proxies, browsers, and Captchas to ensure you get the best possible data, as simply as possible.
This app is also cloud-based as it can handle anywhere between 100 pages a month and 100 million!
When using it you can simply accept the standard tables and just enter the intended search sites.
Or, you can simply customize any table by adding ‘&render=true’, ‘country_code=us’, or ‘&premium=true’.
There is a free introductory level to help you get started but you’ll need to pay to access the premium service, it’s worth it.
The fifth entry as one of the best web scrapers is Apify. This app has hundreds of scrapers ready for you to use.
For example, once you’re in the app simply select the Amazon product scraper and you can extract product data from any URL or country you like.
You can do the same with Booking.com or hundreds of other sites, including Google.
It’s fast and very easy to use. It works with almost any website.
You can export all data collected into a CSV file or a JSON, it can even be added into your existing workflow, ensuring you’re always working with the latest and best information.
Apify is an open-source tool, ensuring it’s constantly updated and improved.
Whether you’re interested in market research, comparing prices, or generating leads, this web scraper will work for you.
How To Use Web Scraping Apps
The first step is to head to the website of the app you’ve chosen.
You’ll want to create an account with the supplier and add the necessary payment details.
You’ll then be able to subscribe to the relevant scraping app, allowing you to download it to your computer or use it via the cloud.
The next step will be to consider what data you wish to scrape.
If you’re targeting a specific website then look at the site to see what elements it has that you want.
When you’re ready, open your chosen web scraping app and choose between a standard table and creating one yourself.
If you select a standard table it will tell you what fields will be collected.
Should you decide to customize it you’ll need to add the elements you want, place one in each of the available scraping fields.
Before you finish make sure you check how the data will be formatted.
You can change the file type to make sure the entire process is as simple as possible for you.
With your template ready you simply need to tell the scraping tool where to start. It’s not possible to scrape the entire web, it would take too long.
Instead, you list the site or sites that the scraping app should target and then press the start button.
The scraper will go to work and can be left to run in the background.
When it’s finished it will save the file in the designated format and notify you that the scraping has finished.
You can then access the file and use the data to help improve your business.
Considerations When Choosing Your Web Scraping App
If you’re serious about web scraping them you’ll want to choose an app that takes it seriously and will give you good results.
Of course, your budget will play a key role in which app you decide on. But, there are several other things worth considering:
You may not have heard of the companies offering web scraping apps. But, that doesn’t mean you should go with the first one you see.
Take the time to research the company and verify what existing clients and industry experts say.
It will help to ensure you choose an app that fits your needs.
2. Client or Cloud?
It’s possible to install the web scraping app and run it from your computer. This approach works.
But, you will be limited by the speed of your computer and the availability of memory for the task.
In short, doing it on your own computer is slow.
But, this can be the more effective approach if the data you’re looking for is behind login screens.
Using the cloud means you’ll take much less time to collect the data you’re looking for.
However, this is a considerably more expensive approach. That’s why it’s mainly used by larger businesses or when you need to do a lot of web scraping.
3. Can You Customize It?
Most apps come with standard tables. You simply choose the table that collects the information you want and it goes to work.
However, there will always be times when you want something specific.
You need to be able to customize some or all of the search fields in the app. This ensures it finds the information that is most useful to you.
You should note that custom scrapers can be used on any website, although if you design it with specific websites in mind it may not be as accurate on other sites.
4. Format Options
Finally, if you’re choosing a web scraping program you need to know what format the data will be produced in.
The program handles this part but you need to be able to read it.
You also don’t want the formatting, or reformatting process, to be too time consuming.
If you’re in business you need to know how to scrape data from a website without code.
It’s the most effective and efficient way to collect the data you need and improve the prospects of your business.
Web scraping is an essential part of almost any business, it can help with generating leads to improve sales, with e-commerce to ensure correct pricing and marketing, and with real estate, to ensure you reach potential clients first.
Alongside this, it can play a valuable role in finance, social media, PR options, and even allow businesses to gather intelligence on competition and impending legislation.
The simple truth is we live in a digital world and scraping data is a common way to improve business prospects.
Not doing so will put you at a disadvantage. It’s legal to scrape data that is publicly available.
In short, it’s time you invested in one of the best web scraping apps that don’t rely on an ability to code.