Using APIs to Automate Marketing Tasks – #SMX Liveblog was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.
Rob Kerry (@Ayima), the chief strategy officer at Ayima, is going to take us through his API hacks. Knowing how to use APIs, it turns out, gives you the ability to automate complex marketing tasks like cleaning up your links, identifying brand infringement, and even spotting ad opportunities your competitors are missing.
But first … what is an API?
An API is an Application Programming Interface. In plain speak, an API allows one piece of software to talk to another piece of software.
Working with APIs
APIs have strict rules:
- Some information is required, otherwise the data request will fail.
- APIs are not human-friendly. Your code must handle errors and fail gracefully with a fluffy message.
The good news: Kerry says no coding is needed. GetPostman.com is a free tool for Mac and Chrome. With this tool, you can input a URL, and it will return the code you need.
Why Bother with APIs?
- Software developers and service providers can only guess at what data you need, when you need it and in which format.
- Some web interfaces are slow, long-winded and restrict the amount of data returned.
- With APIs, you choose what data you need and what you don’t.
- Automate client/management report and research data tasks.
Data is Better with Friends
Data sources often don’t like to integrate or play with others.
Are you tired of exporting CSV files to Excel and then resorting to VLOOKUPS and bloated spreadsheet merges?
Using multiple data sources to create new insights can give you an edge over your competitors.
Find Search Volume
- Google AdWords API: Limited to big agenci es and software providers and is heavily restricted.
- Grepwords.com: Scraped Google Keyword Planner tool data, starting at $15 a month or more.
- SEMRush.com: Also offers scraped Google Keywords, also starting at $15 a month.
Keyword Rankings Data Sources for SEO/PPC
- AuthorityLabs.com API: First 10 pages of organic search results and PPC results for 66 cents per 1,000.
- SERPMetrics.com: 62 cents per 1,000 requests but only offers organic results.
- Build/Bring Your Own: You may already collect this data and can use an existing feed.
Link Data Sources to Find Out the Cost to Compete
- Majestic.com: API access requires a platinum-level subscription ($400/month).
- Ahrefs.com: Access starts at $500/month.
- Moz.com: Free API access or $500/month.
Sources for Recovering (not provided) Data
Google Search Console’s API gives you 5X more data than the web interface does. You can get all your keyword data back by requesting keyword data for each individual SEO landing page.
Estimate SEO revenue to a keyword level once more by dividing the revenue generated from an SEO landing page by the percentage of SEO traffic sent by a keyword.
Examples of Ways to Use APIs
Clean Up Links
For example, you can use APIs to do link cleanup.
- Create your own link audits by pulling the data from APIs.
- Add extra link data (such as the linking page’s topic and estimated traffic from the Alexa.com API).
- Get clever at detecting spam. Use third-party security APIs such as Google’s Safe Browsing API and Web of Trust.
- Identify link relevance based on the images on the linking page using Google’s new Vision API.
Identify PPC Trademark Infringement
- Identify people bidding on your brand terms by pulling PPC data from the AuthorityLabs API.
- Request SERP data for every major city to find affiliates breaking your terms by bidding in certain cities/states.
- Can also identify holes in a competitor’s PPC strategy, in which they may not be bidding at certain times or in some locations.