Oldham’s Heritage, Libraries and Arts (HLA) service has engaged Koios to manage its Google Ad Grant and provide essential analytics support to help expand their reach.

The HLA service combines an art gallery, theatre workshop, libraries and local archives in Oldham’s new Cultural Quarter.

This agreement was brokered by Koios’ international sales partner Digital Content Associates Ltd (DCA).

The Koios subscription will empower HLA to exercise the full potential of Google’s free advertising program by primarily exposing its website to online searches, driving traffic and engagement.

“Having completed a successful pilot project with Koios in 2022, we are very pleased to engage their team to promote our exciting new Heritage Library and Arts service. Oldham HLA wants to connect people to high-quality information and creative experiences. We have seen how Koios’ digital campaigns with the Google Ad Grant improved our library’s reach and impact and we are looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity to promote our broader cultural offer.”

Vickie Varley, Digital Offer Lead for Oldham HLA

HLA offers a rich array of resources, events and activities that people search for but often don’t find online. Koios makes these resources visible, and reintroduces people to their own public library.

In 2022, Koios successfully applied for Oldham’s Google Ad Grant via a community library and started running a pilot ads program for Oldham Library, including major campaigns for YouTube and the library’s online catalog. These Koios-led campaigns boosted monthly visits to the library website by over 40% plus an 86% increase in visitors to the library’s YouTube channel.

‘We are grateful to Oldham Libraries for showing that a UK library can successfully apply for and secure a Google Ad Grant via associated non-profit bodies. Our experience with Oldham Library showed the HLA how we can increase, significantly, visits to their online resources and programming. When the public is more aware of what libraries do, it is more likely to support libraries.’

Peter Velikonja, Head of Research at Koios

‘For HLA to thrive, people need to be aware of the depth and range of their excellent services. Google is where we start searching for the things we want, so it makes sense to put HLA there. A Google Ad Grant is a great way for Oldham HLA to reach and attract a broad demographic. We are confident we can create a real success story here, and that Oldham’s initiative will become a model for other UK library systems.’

Barney Allan of Koios’ UK agent DCA

Our recent survey, in partnership with Koios, asked library staff to think about the role of their website.  While the number of responses we got were too small to draw any meaningful statistical conclusions, the feedback and comments we got were thought-provoking enough for us to make some initial observations.

  • We asked, ‘In terms of providing service, what is the relative importance between your building and your website?’  Most people rated the importance of their website and their physical building about equally. 
  • While almost every library surveyed has web analytics installed, most respondents felt their analytics were underused.
  • It seems that everyone would like more online discoverability.  

We also found that the libraries paying for online advertising on social media platforms, primarily Facebook,  are not sure whether this advertising has any effect. Our analytics have shown that social media generally does not drive much traffic to library websites.

Most respondents rated ‘Promotion’ as their websites’ primary function, but driving circulation, providing community space, and meeting the needs of the underserved also scored highly. Other recurring themes included combating digital exclusion,  supporting local business,  and community health. The current economic squeeze in the UK will give libraries an opportunity to show their value in providing all of the above. It’s good to know that so many librarians recognise the critical role their websites are going to play. 

We have two winners of our prize draw: Congratulations to Doncaster and Hertfordshire libraries – some nice tea is on its way to you.

We’re donating $300 to our nominated charity, Clear voice interpreting services. 

Huge thanks to our respondents and if you haven’t yet shared your website thinking, please look out for our new and improved perma-survey, which will be out soon.

If you want to talk about how your library can get more value from its website, make better use of analytics, and spark more traffic – both online and to your buildings – please get in touch. Email us or fill out our online form to learn more.

This survey is designed to grow our collective knowledge and understanding of how library websites are perceived, designed, and used. It is not about website design, but rather about the utility and purpose of your website. We want to know: what is your website for, and how successful has it been in achieving your goals?
We will summarise and share all responses with you.

DCA will donate $2 to Clear Voice for each completed survey. You’ll also have a chance to win a special prize of some delicious tea!

The information you provide will be used by DCA (Digital Content Associates Ltd) in relation to the optional prize draw, and market research purposes only. Prize Draw winners’ surnames and regions may be published. If you object to this, please email dataprotection@digitalcontentassociates.com

DCA regularly conducts library research, which is very important and valuable to all parts of our business and the library sector –  including content provision and product development. If you do not wish to participate in future public library research, there will be an option to select this at the end of the survey.

For more information on your rights and how we use your data, please see our Privacy Policy or contact dataprotection@digitalcontentassociates.com.

An example of a library website’s Google Analytics doughnut, showing where their visitors are coming from.

At DCA, we have a thing for libraries; we love public libraries and we want them to succeed. But when it comes to library websites, well our besottedness enters the realm of a disorder: We’re obsessed, we can’t lie. 

So to feed our beast we’re doing some work designed to grow our collective knowledge and understanding of how library websites are perceived, designed, and used. 

This is not about website design, we don’t care to debate button placements or colourways. But we do want to know stuff like: What’s your website for? And how successful is it in achieving your goals? What is the right ratio of service population to website visits? What represents a good library website ROI? And what’s more important, your building or your website?

We know something about this already from the clients and customers we work with, and some of that (eg what Koios knows) is pretty darned interesting.  But we want to know more, understand better, and then we’ll share.

So please look out for our library website survey (with prizes) and webinar in the coming weeks. 

It’s going to be a fun summer!

DCA Director

  • Successfully applied and won an Ad Grant via a community library
  • Brought over 40% more visitors to the library website each month
  • Exposed the library catalog to Google searches
  • 86% increase in visitors to the library’s YouTube channel

In January 2021, DCA and Koios approached Oldham libraries with an offer of a free pilot, to explore the potential of setting up a Google Ad Grant campaign for a UK library. Working with Delph Community Association, one of Oldham’s community-run branches, we were able to successfully apply for and secure an Ad Grant. 

Koios started running a Google Ads program for Oldham Library in July 2021, with major campaigns for YouTube and the library’s online catalog. A view of January 2022 shows a healthy account, which attracted over over 8,000 new visitors in 30 days, an in-kind value from Google of $9,942 (of $10,000 available monthly). Most of these new visitors were brought to the library’s online catalog, a resource which is normally invisible to regular online searches.

Koios 30-day performance dashboard, showing 8,175 clicks with in-kind value of $9,942

Bringing in New People  

Koios’ deployment of the Google Ad Grant brought 6,000 new visitors to Oldham Library’s website in the space of one month. Koios also used the Ad Grant to promote the library’s YouTube channel, which was extremely successful. The campaign started in July, 2021, and volume increased dramatically, with January 2022 impressions (number of views for the library’s YouTube ad) up 500%.

Online search is open to anyone with access to a smartphone or computer, so the people Koios bring to the library represent a broad range of communities. Demographics show a tilt toward younger people – for which YouTube clicks can take responsibility. 

Most of the people who were brought to Oldham Library’s website through this pilot were those who would not usually think of their library or know what resources it has. Through Koios, the library was able to reach a new, younger and more diverse group of users and let them know that they have what they were looking for.

Proof of Concept 

The library’s Koios-managed account generated thousands of clicks on ads, introducing new visitors to the library and its resources. 

Libraries have hundreds of thousands of individual resources that people searching online are interested in – if they can find them. Koios makes those resources visible, and reintroduces people to their own public library.

‘We are grateful to Oldham Libraries for participating in this pilot, which showed that a UK library can successfully apply for and secure an Ad Grant via associated non-profit bodies. Koios were able to help make the Ad Grant work grant work very effectively – spending nearly the full $10,000 per month that Google allocates to grantees. Our experience with Oldham proved that working with Koios can create a significant increase in discovery and visibility of library resources and programming. This in turn should help drive usage and so protect library budgets and jobs.’

Peter Velikonja of Koios

‘For libraries to survive and thrive, people have to be made aware that they exist. We wanted to show that a Google Ad Grant is a great way to reach beyond the library’s existing patron base to attract a younger, more diverse demographic. Google is where we start searching for the things we want, so it makes sense to put the library there. And we showed we can do that.’

Barney Allan of DCA London

With Koios free 60-day trial, we’ll set up and manage your Ad Grant for the trial period — and the Ad Grant is yours to keep should you decide to manage it on your own.  

Already have a Google Ad Grant? Let us do a free review with recommendations to improve performance. 

Get in touch today – 

Set up your demo call here for anytime, or meet us at PLA (booth #847).

You can also email us directly if you have any questions.

DCA’s got a thing for libraries; we think they’re great and we want them to do well. But many people outside libraryland have little idea that libraries even exist, let alone the bounteous free space, content and resources they offer. 
It bothers us that libraries are so underappreciated and underused. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to find partners that have either great content that people want to look at or great services that support library marketing. Next week we’ll be at PLA talking with librarians about FT.com and Koios, because they do both things to help libraries do better. Please join us at booth #847.

PS This ad was created by our friend Doug Kessler, one of the world’s most magic marketers. Doug is also a staunch supporter of CLEAR, the charity that provides translation services to refugees. Please join us in supporting CLEAR in their vital work at a critical time.

We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Koios on US sales. DCA represents a number of publishers in international markets, including Koios, now we have the opportunity to work with Koios in North America alongside our other key client the Financial Times’ FT.com.

Whether it’s offering compelling digital content, sharing marketplace insights, or leveraging powerful marketing tools to make a library stand out, the Koios mission is aligned with our own: helping public libraries to thrive. 

Koios allows libraries to reach new audiences – those searching the internet for information or resources, who don’t already know their library has what they need. Koios helps libraries apply for, win and manage a Google Ad Grant to promote their resources. This allows libraries to attract users from diverse demographics and varied backgrounds, enabling them to promote their resources and programming to underserved communities.

Libraries have a wealth of online resources but often struggle to make people aware of them. With Koios, you can bring new people directly to your best resources – and get more usage and a better return on investment on costly subscriptions.

We’ll be exhibiting at PLA in Portland later this month. We’re giving away free tea and a 60-day no-obligation Koios trial; we’ll set up and manage your Ad Grant for the trial period — and the Ad Grant is yours to keep should you decide to manage it on your own.  If you already have a Google Ad Grant we’re offering a free review to improve performance. 

Get in touch today – 

Set up your demo callhere for anytime, or meet us at PLA (booth #847).

You can also email us directly if you have any questions.