Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Koios Ads. Click or tap a question to see its answer. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, contact us.

Koios Ads FAQs

+ Do people really click on search ads?

They do. Ads on Google are related to whatever a person just typed in; and because the ads are relevant, click-through-rates (that's CTR in advertising lingo) are super-high. We see rates of 8% up to 20%, well above the industry average of 3%.

+ Koios Ads -- Google Ads ... What is the difference?

Google Ads is Google's advertising product; it's how they make all their money. Koios Ads is a service we provide to help you manage your Google Ads, leveraging the free advertising Google offers to non-profits through their Ad Grants program.

+ How do Google Ads work? Highest Bidder Wins?

Advertisers write an ad, then place a bid (usually $1-2) on a certain word or phrase (called a keyword). When the keyword is searched, Google looks at all the bids for that keyword and at the advertisers’ quality scores (1 to 10), which are based on relevance and trust. Google multiplies the bid by the quality score to get an Ad Rank for each ad. The Ad Rank determines who appears in search results and in what order. Because of the multiplication, the lowest-scoring advertiser (quality = 1) would have to pay 10 times as much as the highest-scoring advertiser (quality = 10) for the same space.

+ What’s this Ad Grant program and how do I apply?

Google offers $10,000/month in advertising credit to qualifying nonprofits, including libraries, with a program called Ad Grants. You use this credit to appear in local Google search results tens of thousands of times per month.

+ How do I apply for a Google Ad Grant?

You apply online. You will need a verification code from TechSoup, a Google for Nonprofits account, and a specially configured Google Ads account. We manage the application process on your behalf.

+ How long does the application process take?

Google can take 1 to 2 weeks to evaluate your application. If Google turns you down, it will offer instructions on how to fix your application and reapply. Our clients typically receive a positive decision in a few days.

+ How long does the grant last?

The Google Ad Grants program dates back to 2004 and shows no sign of being discontinued. As long as you follow program guidelines, and maintain advertising activity, you can expect to receive the grant indefinitely.

+ What happens if we spend all the budget?

You can't actually do it. Google caps your daily spend at $329 per day (yes, in advertising spend is a noun). If you hit that cap all your ads will pause until the next day; there are no overages.

+ How much visibility does $10k/month in credit get me?

Paid search works on a pay-per-click (PPC) model. Showing your ad is free; your credit is used only when someone clicks on your ad. Koios aims for an average cost-per-click of $1 and a minimum clickthrough rate of 5%. Theoretically you could receive 10,000 clicks and 250,000 views each month. Those clicks and impressions deliver value by increasing your library's online visibility.

+ How would this work for promoting materials?

To use Koios Ads for materials, you’ll need landing pages for those materials. You can use an existing readers' advisory blog, or work with Koios to set up new landing pages for priority collections.

After this step, the Koios team will bid on Google search terms related to your materials, including titles, authors, subjects, and series names. When someone searches "hugo awards", your Hugo Award Winners list shows up first.

+ How would this work for promoting programs?

First, Koios will check your online calendar to see if it meets Google’s best practices. If it does not, we’ll help you develop high-quality landing pages for your programs. Then, the Koios team will research the search trends in your area and set up campaigns that match local Google searches with relevant programs. This way, when someone searches "computer classes", your programs show up first.

+ How would this work for promoting databases?

Koios will check your website for high-quality, resource-specific landing pages. If you don’t have these yet, we’ll create a special area on your website and publish them for you. After that, the Koios team will research the search trends in your area and set up campaigns that match local Google searches with relevant databases. When someone searches "learn spanish", your language-learning database shows up first.

+ How would this work for [insert service not previously listed]?

You can also use Koios Ads to promote a service or offering that doesn’t fit into the categories above, and the same principles apply: Koios will support clients with high-quality landing pages, local research, and tailored campaigns. Contact us to discuss your unique goals and priorities. We’ll be happy to develop a campaign just for you.

+ Where does someone “go” when they click on one of these ads?

Clicking on an ad takes a user to a landing page on your domain, like We will help you create effective landing pages based on digital marketing best practices.

+ When can I expect results?

Koios will spend 2 to 3 weeks setting up your campaigns and securing your Google Ad Grants before submitting your ads to Google for final approval. After that, you should see your first clicks within 24 hours.

+ How can I tell what results come from search ads versus other marketing channels?

It is not difficult to integrate your existing Google Analytics account with Google Ads to see the amount of traffic coming from paid search and from the specific pages your new visitors access. If you have goals set up in Analytics, you will also see conversion metrics from paid search.

+ How is this priced?

We charge an annual management fee for the Koios Ads service, tiered by service population. Koios has volume discount agreements with certain consortia, including Califa and Amigos. Ask your consortium if you qualify for a discount.

+ Can I promote my resources in more than one language?

Yes. Campaigns in Spanish are free as long as you provide the translations. For languages other than Spanish or for translations supplied by Koios, there may be an additional fee. Contact us for more details.

+ How long does it take to implement this? What does my staff have to do?

Koios starts every new engagement by consulting with you on your priorities, researching local search trends, and setting up tailored ad campaigns. During this 2- to 3-week period, we will also help you apply for the Google Ad Grant. Your staff will be responsible for prioritizing your resources and for helping the Koios team access certain systems like Google Analytics. Once we're up and runnning, ongoing responsibilities for library staff are minimal.

+ What do you do to improve our performance over time?

Koios monitors your performance and works to get you more clicks within your budget. We make regular adjustments to ad copy, keywords, and landing pages, and we monitor the results to find ways to improve.

+ Can I try Koios Ads before I buy?

We routinely start out with a 30-day free trial after we help secure your grant. After 30 days, you can continue with us, for a fee, or manage the grant on your own -- the grant is yours. We also have special year-round partnerships with consortia like Califa and Amigos. Contact us to see if you qualify for a current promotion.

+ My service area is complicated. How can you make sure that people in my service population are the only ones seeing my ads?

Google Ads offers highly sophisticated location-targeting options. Using these, Koios experts can define custom geographic areas down to individual municipalities and zip codes. One library we work with serves 15 municipalities and 10 additional postal service locations within the county, but does not serve 6 other municipalities and 9 other postal service locations. We set them up without any trouble.