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Koios boosts web visibility with Google Ads

Library Technology Newsletter [April 2022]


Koios offers a digital marketing service to help libraries improve their visibility on the web through Google Ads. These ads can appear prominently in the search results and channel visitors to the library web site. These ads can feature its website, catalog, or specific resources.

This approach can be viable for libraries since it avoids the fees that businesses pay for web advertising. The Google Ad Grants programs offers eligible non-profit organizations grants of up to $10,000 per month, or $329 per day, toward ads on its platform. Many public libraries are operated as part of a government agency and do not directly qualify, but may have an associated foundation or friends group that operates as a 501(c)3 that would be eligible for the program.

The Koios Ads service includes multiple components. It assists the library in applying for Google ad grants, works with the library to devise its optimal advertising strategy and campaigns, and helps the library set up and manage its Google Ads manager account. Libraries pay fees to Koios, scaled by size of library, for this service. The company offers a sixty-day free trial which includes completing the Google Ad Grant application and the initial setup. Libraries that do not wish to continue would either drop their Google ads or manage their own ad placements.

During the pandemic, Koios offered a free set of services to libraries.

Participating in the Google Ad platform involves placing bids on specific keywords. When the keywords appear in a search query, algorithms determine what ad among competition advertisers is placed among the search results. When a searcher clicks on an ad link, it charges the selected account for the bid amount. Shaping a digital marketing strategy based on Google Ads involves selecting optimal keywords, advertising text, side links, landing pages, and many other factors. Koios helps their library clients create an ad strategy that results in the most impact in terms of increased visits to their website and resources.

Web analytics can demonstrate the impact of Google Ad on the visitors to a library's web site. Koios notes that smaller libraries see substantial increases, since a fixed number of click-throughs represent a higher portion of overall website traffic. Libraries with a service population less than 15,000 may see website visits through paid search representing more than 40 percent of overall website users. Mid-sized libraries can see paid search representing 10-15 percent. Larger libraries with high volume of website transactions, see paid search representing 3-10 percent.

Koios was founded by Trey Gordner and Ralph Kuepper in November 2014. Chattanooga Public Library was an early client. Peter Velikonja became the company's chief executive officer in 2020 when Gordner left the company.

The use of paid advertising has an impact on the privacy of users that visit the library's website. Participating in the Google Ad platform involves the placement of trackers that transmit data about users to Google and others that participate in its advertising network. These trackers can include the tags for Google Analytics, the DoubleClick marketing network, and other commercial sites. These trackers transmit data about specific pages visited, demographic and locational information about the visitor, and often the personal identity of the visitor. Libraries should verify that their privacy policies allow the transmission of this type of data to external commercial entities.

Example of search results including a Google ad for a library site
Figure 1: Example of search results including a Google ad for a library site

[Return to issue: April 2022]
View Citation
Publication Year:2022
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Technology Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 1 Number 04
Issue:April 2022
Publisher:Library Technology Guides
Place of Publication:Nashville, TN
Company: Koios
Record Number:27305
Last Update:2022-08-12 11:20:39
Date Created:2022-05-17 13:54:54