Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, can be the bane of every company’s existence. It can seem so daunting. If you’ve found yourself here, let us break down some crucial key points in understanding and automating SEO.
Content scraping sounds like a scary thing. But in fact, content scrapers are automated programs that pull data from othe websites so that you can see what your competitors are doing and how.
To do this, you could, in theory, go through every one of the posts your competitor is posting to their site and record everything in a spreadsheet. But that is time consuming and time is money!
The good news is that there are content scrapers out there that do the work for you and gather all of the information you need in just a few clicks of your mouse. Google has already been doing this for years. They scrape your website and content, and it learns what to add to its already growing index of searches (if you’re interested in that, check out our blog Why Your Business Needs A Website). That is how your website and content goes up the index ranks.
One thing to be aware of are vicious content scrapers out there that steal your actual content (especially original content, because that is good marketing!), and post it to their website in order to outrank you in search engines. Not only does this hurt your potential SEO, but it also is playing dirty with Google.
When using programs to scrape data from websites and other multimedia content, make sure you are only using that just for data and not to copy other content for your own gain. After all, that’s plagiarism.
One of the best uses for content scraping is searching for keywords that your competitors are utilizing to rank higher in search engines. There are multiple simple content-scraping platforms that run with Google Chrome plugins, or ones that you can download directly to your desktop.
A good example of this is Scraper for Chrome. It’s a simple data-mining program that is easy to use. If you are looking for something more “heavy duty”, this probably won’t be a good option. You can also build your own scraping tool if you’re tech-savvy and know how to code. The possibilities are endless once you have a scraper handy.
The tool you choose to use will help you decide how many or what websites you’re wanting to scrape. Heavy duty content scrapers are used if you’re wanting to see how multiple sites within your industry are doing.
An example would be the makeup industry. You want to scrape all sites that sell makeup (your competitors in the same market). You would scrap Cover Girl, Maybelline and Wet ‘N Wild’s websites, blogs and content to see how their SEO is and what they are doing to improve it. Then come up with a strategy to improve your own.
Blog comments can help your SEO because it connects you to your audience. If you find this hard to accomplish, try guest blogging. Guest blogging (especially for big influencers if you can get them to write for you) is a way to enhance your SEO, and bring in lots of traffic with very little effort.
If you can’t find big, popular influencers to write for you (they are often times busy and may not post on other pages) try to find some lesser known people to write for you. You can do that by searching blog comments too.
If you’re comment scraping blogs, make sure to scrape their name and contact information that any of the commenters leave on their posts/comments. This will help you get in touch with them later.
Not all blogs will show up on the first page of Google, even if you really want them to. Trying to write content that is “first page” worthy can at times, be difficult.
To enhance your chances of showing up on the first page of any search engine, it’s a good idea to scrape your past content to see what has done well in the past. If you scrape your data and find that a blog you have written about has done really well, then you can try to mimic the content and how you marketed it last time.
Some people think that online forums are a thing that should’ve stayed in the 90’s. But, forums on platforms like Reddit have a large fan base and following from people across the globe. Reddit specifically has blown up in popularity within the last 10 years. This is good news for you!
You can easily go onto forums, and find questions or threads relating to your business and answer them. Be sure to link your site in your comment/thread, so people will click on it and bring higher traffic to your site.
Content scraping can be incredibly helpful when it comes to marketing your content. Make sure you are using the right tool for the type of work you are wanting to do.
Make sure you are searching/scraping keywords, pay-per-click ads and other inspirations for your own original content. Make sure to scrape your own content too! You might have missed something on your own content.
All scraping should be done via white hat programs—and make sure you’re not doing anything malicious with the information you are receiving.