What is web scraping and how it can boost your affiliate marketing

What is web scraping and how it can boost your affiliate marketing

In this article, we are talking about the proxies, process of scraping and how exactly it can help affiliate marketers.

Affiliate marketing might seem to be a new concept, but in reality, it’s not. It’s quite an old practice to get a kickback for bringing someone a client. The only nuance that changed is the approach to the process. In the past affiliate marketers had to walk around sticking ads on walls and advertising the goods to the target audience face-to-face. Of course, people still practice such methods to drive sales, but technologies brought us more opportunities to reach more potential customers with a single message.

Today you can simply share an affiliate link to the product in the blog, or on your social media platform. And if someone uses this link to make a purchase, you get a reward for bringing the customer. So now instead of placing ads on walls affiliate marketers write reviews and post them on the Internet, for example.

This practice is appealing for both sellers and affiliate marketers. While the latter receive money for their work, sellers increase their revenue without investing a lot of funds and time in marketing campaigns. Therefore, it’s quite easy to find businesses that offer affiliate programs. And the advertising job became simpler for marketers as well thanks to all the tools like ours that can speed up and ease processes.

Our Automatic WordPress Scraper and Content Crawler Plugin Scrapes can bring you valuable data very quickly and in large quantities. In this article, we’re talking about the process of scraping itself to understand this instrument better. And, of course, we are going to tell you how exactly this tool can help affiliate marketers.

What is web scraping?

It’s a process of gathering available data from the Internet. It’s a very time-consuming and, most importantly, extremely boring job for humans. However, computers are great at gathering and analyzing lots of information. So it’s only logical to let them take responsibility of this process and sit back while the data you want to gather is getting acquired.

To gather information you will require a web scraper – a special program, a robot if you will, that is created to crawl through websites, acquire the needed information, and process it. Using this tools, you will only need to set the requirement for the data. The scraper will gather, organize and present it to you in the easy to consume format.

Is scraping legal?

Yes, until you are gathering the information that is available for the public eye. There are no strict legal regulations when it comes to web scraping. So while you’re not violating anyone’s privacy or rights, you’re not doing anything wrong. Basically, a scraper does exactly what you would do to gather data – browses the pages and processes the information published on them. The only difference is that the robot can do this job much more efficiently and quicker than you. Please check “Is it legal to use?” title on our F.A.Q section for more.

What are the pitfalls?

A lot of website owners are not very fond of web scrapers. These robots may gather information for competitors of a business – that’s one of the reasons why e-commerce sites usually try to keep scraper bots away from their servers. They would implement various anti-scraping techniques. The most widely-used method is to block the IP address that sends the peculiar number of requests.

Also, if scraping is not executed properly, it looks like a DDOS attack. To gather the information a bot goes to the web page which means it sends the destination server a request. If there are too many of these requests, and they all come from one IP address – it looks like a hacker attack to the destination server. So it blocks the IP and doesn’t accept any more requests coming from it.

Both of these issues can be solved with two actions. The first thing you should do is to lower the number of requests the scraper sends. The bot should send them with at least a small pause – say, a couple of seconds between requests. Then your scraping activity will seem more natural to the destination server. Increasing the value of “Wait next processes” option may help in this case.

Another and more effective solution that should be implemented along with reducing the number of requests is proxies. A proxy is a remote server you can use as a medium between your device and the destination server. As you connect to a proxy server, you pick up its IP address and use it to mask your authentic data. Therefore, when you reach the website, the destination server can’t see your real IP. This means you can pretend to be different people if you use proxies.

You can find free proxies, but we advise against using them because they’re not reliable. You don’t know who else is using them, and most of such IP addresses are already blacklisted. Thus, free proxies can do more harm than good if you use them for scraping – you will constantly get blocked, and the process will get stuck.

You should look for reliable providers that offer quality proxies for affordable prices. A good example of such a provider is Infatica. This vendor offers three kinds of proxies – datacenter, residential, and mobile. The best choice is residential proxies, and here is why.

Datacenter proxies are shared servers used by several customers simultaneously. While this solution is still quite reliable, datacenter proxies might increase your risk of getting blocked. Residential ones, on the other hand, are real devices that use IP addresses issued by an ISP. And you are the only user connected to a residential proxy at the same time. Therefore, the destination server won’t even suspect that the request is sent by someone who is using proxies. Mobile type is quite the same as residential with the only difference – these are IPs of just mobile devices. Such proxies are quite expensive, and they’re too much for scraping.

So, if you use residential proxies and keep your scraper at a reasonable pace, you can expect the data gathering to be quite effective. Of course; there are some more anti-scraping measures that you can’t bypass with only proxies but once you decide to get a proxy service from this provider, you can easily define the required lines in your wp-config.php file as it described on our related post.

How to use web scraping to boost affiliate marketing?

You can utilize this approach to gather valuable data for your activity. So let’s see in detail how exactly Octolooks Scrapes will help you improve the processes and boost your income.

Search for the sites with affiliate programs in your location

It’s rather cumbersome to gather all the websites of e-commerce business in your country, let alone structuring the list by sectors and other criteria. You will waste a lot of time and effort trying to complete this job manually. Moreover, the chances that you create an incomplete list are quite high. So it’s more logical to trust a robot this job and let it gather all the relevant websites for you. Then you will have a complete list to jumpstart your affiliate marketing activity.

Get the list of relevant products to offer them to your users

Using different parsers you can build a custom scraper and implement it on your website. Such a bot can bring the list of positions from your partners considering the keywords users are searching for. Also, if the e-commerce website you’re working with has a very wide choice of goods, you can use such a scraper to fish out goods that will be useful for your customers.

Define the best selling goods to drive sales

Using scraping you can analyze the websites of your partner’s competitors to determine the most popular positions. Advertising bestseller products you can increase your income as more users will buy these goods. Also, you can see which positions have higher commissions, and stick to those to get more money.

Keep the data updated

There is nothing worse for your business than the user clicking on the affiliate link and seeing that the product is out of stock, or the price is different. Such a potential buyer will leave both your and your partner’s websites increasing the bounce rate and lowering your SEO qualities. Also, chances are very high this user will never come back to you, especially if it’s not the first time you provide them with false information.

Octolook Scrapes’ “Update post” feature will help you keep the data updated to offer your clients relevant and real information. This will help you gain trust and, therefore, more users will get attracted to your WordPress based website.

Gather customer reviews

You can use them to make your own reviews and advise your audience about certain goods. Or you could place the gathered testimonials on your site tos to prove the trustworthiness of the data you offer. This is a nice move that will help you sell more positions and, consequently, increase your income and gain trust.

Get the leads

Octolooks Scrapes can help you gather emails, social media posts, and other contact information that you can later use to send offers to your target audience. Also, this can help you learn your customers better as you can go through their interests, locations, jobs, and other valuable data. Then you can figure out which content will have a higher conversion rate considering the details about your target audience.

Bottom line

Affiliate marketers come up with different uses for web scraping, and we have listed the most widely-used practices in this article. We hope, this information will help you increase your income and, perhaps, inspire you to come up with your own implementation of scraping. If you have experience of using Octolooks Scrapes for affiliate marketing, we will be glad to hear about it.

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