6 Awesome APIs You Should Use

APIs-- or Application Programming Interfaces-- allow you to update your website’s features quickly and easily. Here are a few that will help you keep visitors coming back for more.

The internet is full of flashy websites that catch and hold users’ attention. In a world wide web full of gorgeous Instagram vacation pics and cute cat videos, how can you make sure that your website stands out? The key might not be competing with the web’s most popular sites but borrowing from them.

By taking advantage of APIs designed by some of the internet’s biggest names, you’ll be able to:

• Provide users with all of the features they could possibly desire
• Boost your company’s presence on social media
• Keep track of how effective your site is using session recording

Essential Functions

Google Maps

The Google Maps API is a simple but extremely powerful tool that allows you to embed Google maps in your digital project using a basic JavaScript or Flash interface. The maps are responsive, meaning that they are designed to work just as well on a mobile device as a traditional desktop or laptop. If one of your website’s goals is to get your online viewers to visit your company out in the real world, including a map streamlines that process. It eliminates the need for your visitors to remember your address or search for directions themselves, making their lives easier and increasing the chances that they actually come find you. This API is invaluable to designing a website that really meets visitors’ needs.

Google Maps API
‍You can use the Google Maps API to include map functionality on your website.

Google Calendar

Another awesome API that Google offers is their Google Calendar API. It lets users work with all of Google Calendar’s features from the comfort of their own app or website. Among other things, the Google Calendar API provides functionality that allows you to:

• Edit calendars
• Create events
• Delete events
• Search for events that match specific criteria

Google Calendar API
‍You can use the basic functionality of the Google Calendar API to do all sorts of useful things.

The Google Calendar API is a great option for adding basic calendar functionality to your website, but you can also have a lot of fun with it. Like other Google APIs, the Google Calendar API is incredibly robust and can support a wide variety of custom projects, should you decide that’s what your website needs.

Social Networking

Facebook

Social media plays a huge role in spreading information these days, and Facebook is hands-down the biggest player in that game. As of June 2017, there are more than 2 billion users on Facebook, which makes the ‘ol FB a great place to start your foray into social network APIs. The Facebook API allows you to take advantage of users’ profile information (after they’ve given permission, of course) to make your site more engaging. You can also make content on your site shareable via Facebook, which helps you get your name out there.

Facebook
‍Integrating with Facebook allows you to reach an extremely broad audience.

LinkedIn

Facebook may be the biggest social network, but LinkedIn is the best for businesses. With millions of users in more than 200 countries, incorporating the LinkedIn API’s functionality into your site is a major asset. Notably, the LinkedIn API allows you to maintain a detailed list of contacts and connections, keeping your professional network organized.

LinkedIn
‍Integrating with LinkedIn keeps you connected in the business sphere.

Behind the Scenes

Google Trends

In addition to adding new features to your website, APIs can be used to increase your website’s SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, value. The Google Trends API allows you to retrieve keyword popularity data by location and date using a variety of methods. For example, you can pull the biggest trending topics in a given location, return the top searches over the past month, or even retrieve data by category. You can use this information to make sure you’re posting content on your site that aligns with what your visitors want to see.

Google Trends
‍Google Trends helps you make use of keywords to optimize the content on your site.

These APIs will go a long way towards keeping your website’s visitors interested in your site, but they are by no means the only options out there. What are your favorite APIs? Let us know in the comments!