How Two Nonprofits Improve Their Site Performance With Google Analytics

Friday, May 25, 2012 | 7:25 AM

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At Google, we’re proud that our products are used by nonprofits to help them better achieve their objectives and improve the world. We believe that data holds amazing power for all types of organizations and it’s inspiring to see some forward-thinking nonprofits live at the edge of adoption. Today we’d like to share two brief case studies we’ve published: how the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) are using Google Analytics. Links to the full case studies are included after each summary if you’d like to dive deeper.





By tailoring the features of Google Analytics, LunaMetrics helps PBS increase conversions and visits by 30%

Top Notch Programming, The Public Broadcasting System’s interactive arm, helps individual PBS producers and local PBS stations create and promote each section within PBS.org for programs such as NOVA, American Masters, and Sid the Science Kid. A selection of web analytics tools had been installed, but these proved difficult to maintain and use. PBS wanted to develop a coordinated approach to analysis and reporting that would inform their future strategic decisions.

Led by Web Analytics Director Amy Sample, the team at PBS needed a cohesive system across the entire enterprise, and for this they turned to Google Analytics. In addition to top-level analysis of PBS.org and PBSKids.org, they also hoped to implement a solution that would allow producers of individual programs to see only the data on those pages and microsites that related to their own shows. It was critical to have a solution that gave Amy the over-arching view she needed, and the microcosm view that each producer needed. To meet these requirements, LunaMetrics devised a custom technical solution for PBS that expanded their existing standard implementation. 

Google Analytics has been a key facilitator in the transformation of PBS online. The tool enables reporting that is robust, tailored and meaningful, which means that stakeholders are no longer focused on static monthly reports. Instead, they are increasingly able to use analytics to inform  critical and timely business decisions on a day-to-day basis. Analysis of search engine trends led to an increase in PBS traffic by 30% during the first year after implementation. PBS also used valuable conversion funnel data to optimize the registration path in PBSKids; this activity increased conversions by one-third. Furthermore, since Google Analytics was set up to allow PBS to evaluate the way users consumed video, the broadcaster created two new portals: PBS Video and PBSKIDS Go!




SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) chooses Google Analytics and masters the art of metrics

In 1995, SFMOMA was one of the first museums to launch an institutional website. SFMOMA.org offers a fluid space of exploration in which visitors can easily navigate an online collection of more than 9,000 artworks and a rich archive of studio and video content. The site also has an online store and a detailed calendar of exhibitions and events. 

Their primary goal was to develop rich, dynamic content that engages visitors and keeps them coming back to the website as well as the physical museum. SFMOMA’s website receives nearly four times the number of visits than the physical museum. Providing compelling digital content that visitors want was as critical as hosting popular exhibitions.

Google Analytics Certified Partner E-Nor helped SFMOMA connect key business objectives to a robust web analytics strategy and recommended Google Analytics as the best solution for their needs. As a result of the switch to Google Analytics with a thorough implementation plan, SFMOMA saw a tremendous increase in available insights about their online presence. They realized a 15% gain in traffic accuracy, and so were more willing to make decisions based on the data. 

They could clearly see what content users liked best, and made changes and improvements to their website to keep them coming back. Their marketing campaigns were tied to sales and other goal conversions, and so they could optimize accordingly.

All this new data is helping produce valuable insights on how the website is used and what marketing efforts and website designs are delivering results. SFMOMA is now prepared to continue its online leadership thanks to careful planning and strategy coupled with an expert use of the advanced features in Google Analytics.