If you’ve ever had the task of copying & pasting information from a website, you’ll appreciate the benefits of using a web scraper. A web scraper is software that collects data from a website in a structured way. I’ll use an example to explain: You want to create a list of all the plumbers in your area so you visit a local directory website, search fro your area then copy the website URL into your web scraping tool. Within minutes, you’ll have an Excel table with the plumber name, address, phone number etc Is this useful for my business? Using a website scraping tool is useful for: Collecting customer contact lists Doing competitor research Compiling reports from directory websites i.e. real estate, services etc Downloading product information for use in research or on your own website What tools should I use? For a quick, single page website scrape, try https://magic.import.io For the deluxe option where you schedule scraped information, try https://www.import.io/ For free options, check out https://www.parsehub.com/ or https://scrapinghub.com/scrapy-cloud For more tools for scraping websites and social media sites, see this article. Got questions? Let me know.