KCET Website optimization

KCET achieves significant growth in website conversion through optimization

The challenge

KCET – the nation’s largest independent nonprofit public television station – has a content- heavy website, as it welcomes a variety of audiences: viewers looking for programming information, local residents looking for community events, parents and teachers looking for resources on education – and donors looking to support the organization or renew their membership.

KCET’s challenge is driving visitors from the various content-rich areas of the website into the giving funnel. Given that the website was not originally designed as a profit center, KCET was looking for a solution to drive and increase donations.

Russ Reid solution

In January 2012, Russ Reid engaged with KCET in a deep dive of KCET’s fundraising programs. Through this discovery session, the fundraising challenges on the website were unearthed – mainly the struggle between serving good content and increasing donations.

Russ Reid recommended conducting ongoing website optimization through A/B testing. We created a comprehensive testing matrix, outlining a variety of different tests that will help increase conversion. This battery of tests will be carried out over the next few months, testing each variable in a methodical and iterative fashion.

Below are two successful examples from our first tests.

Test #1: Donate button

In order to increase traffic to the main giving page KCET needed to find a way to increase the visibility of the Donate button located in the top navigation.

Russ Reid proposed altering the placement of the Donate button from the top right location in the upper auxiliary navigation into the left most position within the main navigation. The test hypothesis was that the change in location of the Donate button would increase traffic into the donate funnel.

Russ Reid worked with KCET to launch A/B split test testing the two Donate button placements. The test was set to a 50/50 split, ran for two full weeks, and reached a confidence level of 98%.

Control Treatment:

Control - Case Study


Test Treatment:

Test - Case Study 

The placement of the Donate button in the left position increased the click-through-rate to the main giving page by 60%.

Test #2: Main giving page

We moved the button, and it won as far as click-through rate; however, the total revenue raised was higher with the original location of the donate button. Noting this discrepancy, it became clear that the next test needed to be done with the main giving page so that we could both increase click-through rate and total revenue.

The RR digital team took KCET’s original main giving page and simplified and enhanced the most important assets of the page (i.e. dollar handles, why a donor should give – value proposition, incentives/benefits, etc.)


Test #1: Donate button

Click-through-rate increased by 60%!

Additionally, we determined the click-through-rate for “Support” for the control treatment was12% higher than the test treatment. This leads us to conclude that visitors clicking through”Support” are converting at a higher rate than those landing directly on the main giving form.

Test #2: Main giving page

One-time conversion rate increased by 34%.

Consequently, this improvement directly affected revenue-per-visitor, achieving a 34.5% lift –given that average order value remained constant across both treatments.

Next steps

As part of our ongoing optimization testing plan, we’ll looking into the testing variables such as price array and Donate button copy treatment.

To view a downloadable PDF of this case study, click here.