3 APIs to Boost Your Search Ad Relevancy

As search marketer, relevancy is king. Ideally, every ad served on a search result page should be specifically tailored to best answer the user intent and lead to most appropriate page on the advertiser website. APIs can help.

Why use APIs in SEM?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Practically, APIs are ways for websites to share their content with each other in a structured way. Social media platforms are big API targets, with Facebook and Twitter features available on a wide array of apps, websites and services.

For SEM campaigns, APIs are a great way of tailoring contextual ads to improve their relevancy.

While I’ve done some “how-to” articles in the past (here and here), this one definitely isn’t  You will have to figure how to implement these APIs by yourself. Be aware that Public APIs come with their own set of policies, TOS, T&A, etc. Play by the rulse when using someone else’s precious data.

1. Weather API by Weatherunderground.com

We’re all aware that ice cream parlors are minting money on hot days and are very quiet on rainy ones. Similarly, many retail and entertainment businesses are strongly influenced by weather conditions. Fortunately for search marketers, weatherunderground.com has weather data we can use to trigger ads for theme park, ice cream, beer, golf on sunny days and Movie Theater, online shopping, comfort food on cold ones. Adwords Script website has a cool example how to leverage weather data for a fictional theme park.

2. Local events and shows by Eventful

Eventful offers us data to find various events by date and cities. For nightlife, entertainment, travel, restaurant and bars, Eventful API allows us to display what is going on in a city at a specific moment. Every morning, advertisers can refresh their ads with upcoming shows coming to town. Use caution though, brands can be understandably picky about what events they line up with. A family restaurant won’t be too pleased to be associated with a Slayer concert.

3. Local business with Yelp

Since 1 in 3 search queries have local intent, local is still a buzzword in digital marketing. Yelp is a strong player in that space, and is kind enough to open up a little of its data with an API. Every advertiser with a stake in local can benefit from it, either by gathering intelligence about its competitor or by leveraging its own business review (provided it’s a good one) as a selling point.

Final thoughts

Leveraging APIs can strongly enhance your digital campaigns. However, setting up APIs requires a lot of up-front work, programming skills and a good understanding of the providers’ policies and, if done incorrectly, the results can be messy, questionable or even harmful for the brand. Ensuring all stakeholders are aware of the risks and rewards is the best way to ensure success with APIs.

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