Recent Events

Attracting New Users With SEO

Trey Gordner and Corinne Hill

Trey Gordner and Corinne Hill

Corinne Hill, Director, Chattanooga Public Library, was interested in Trey’s company and what they were doing. She had come to the end of siloed ILS systems. Regardless of how you feel about it, you must work with Google. The library is now experimenting with Google ads, but you are forced to find the best keywords and worry about where your ad will pop up. Trey gathered a sample of popular searches over a 30 day period and identified the library’s competitors. They were also able to target their services and found people wanting to learn English and do subject searches. The keywords were chosen based on popularity as well as cost/click. The library has invested $1,000 and will be expanding their search terms to meet more people online and expose them to what libraries do, such as story times, English language programs, etc. They have lots of databases that nobody uses; if they aren’t used, the subscription won’t be renewed. The citizens’ tax dollars are invested, and they need to know what they get from the library

Trey said that the goal is to get to the top of the search results. Here are 4 steps that were taken:

  • What do we target? What are the opportunities and who can we reach? Students, parents, teachers, immigrants.
  • What do we avoid? Magazines and traditional reference materials
  • How do we free book data? The library uses Polaris which is session-based and is not amenable to a Google book session. So they got a dump of MARC data and put it into a discovery layer that knows where the user is.
  • How do we test? Some popular terms were inserted to populate searches. Ad extensions were put in as needed (opening hours, evening pickup availability, etc.)
  • What did we learn? It’s not that expensive to have an impressive amount of coverage. People click on some things at a high rate; “free” does generate traffic.

If you would like to receive the raw data, send an email to Trey, or tweet with questions and commons.

Comments are closed.