The last thing marketers want is to add yet another tool to their toolbox. Research from the Winterberry Group estimated that marketers use up to 30 different applications to do their jobs effectively.
Luckily, the evolution of APIs and API technology makes it easier than ever for teams to access the data they need in less time and glean insights that no standalone application can provide.
From giving someone the ability to check the weather on the same website they plan their running route to equipping marketers with APIs to enhance SEO, this 20-year old technology integrates into every person's daily experience online.
In simple terms, an Application Programming Interface or API is a valuable tool that helps website visitors either do something or access outside information without leaving a website.
Essentially, the API is like a bridge between two pieces of software, connecting them so users can quickly get from one side to the other. For example, anyone who has ever embedded a YouTube video on a website has used an API.
Website visitors are becoming more demanding regarding how they search for information and interact online, demanding to find more information in less time. As a result, businesses that create solutions around this demand are more likely to surpass competitors in website traffic and conversion rates.
The best travel APIs like Kayak allow users to see every airline's information for a specific flight path and compare pricing in real-time.
The most visible API benefit for many is its ability to connect a website to other applications. For example, if someone hosts their website on Squarespace and the platform doesn't offer a direct connection between the website and their email service platform, an API gives users a seamless experience of joining an email list right inside the website, anyway.
This type of process works with e-commerce, as well. Integrating marketing channels allows marketers to offer their audience convenience on the front-end and simultaneously reduce the work on the back-end.
For instance, if a company is using two different systems to handle sales and marketing, they could integrate Salesforce and Marketo, respectively. An API would build a connection between these systems so that one will update to match any changes the other will experience.
While there seems to be SEO software out there for just about everything, the limitations caused by siloed products are often detrimental to marketers.
Because there is no single application that gives the team all of the data they want to see in one, streamlined fashion, an API allows them to connect two sales platforms and develop more strategic insights into the sales productivity.
Often, an API paired with SEO software will help a company determine engagement metrics. Most SEO software works to analyze the potential findability of a website, which is the first step to engaging potential clients. An added API can integrate this data and help analyze the response towards the SEO.
When trying to fashion a new SEO tool, an API will deliver data immediately. This deliverance will help determine how useful the developing tool is and better increase client engagement.
The evolution of SEO software for keyword research tools has made it easier to do this work. However, the amount of information to search is also increasing at a faster pace.
Tools like Google Analytics speed up the research and package the data in a way that's easy to understand (especially if using the Google Analytics API), but even it has limits. To use most of these research tools effectively, a person must know which keywords to monitor and which websites capture the lion's share of traffic.
This process might require scanning the internet every week; fortunately, there's a way to speed up this research process and use APIs to enhance SEO efforts.
It's called web scraping, and it's like the process described above but on a massive scale and done automatically. An API contains the process and eliminates much of the manual work associated with SEO research and implementation.
By putting the most helpful information in the hands of teams charged with the ability to mine and use the data in the least amount of time possible, web scraping APIs have revolutionized the way marketers conduct SEO research and opened an entirely new world of possibilities for keyword research.
For marketers, the evolution and growth of API technology is excellent news. Companies utilizing APIs have the ability to enhance a customer’s experience by prioritizing their privacy and protecting information that is shared between applications.
APIs have become robust and necessary tools that help save companies time and money while adding extra layers of ease and protection to their clients.
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