NonProfit CMS joins Gray Digital Group

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How We Used a Heat Map to Make a Change

Posted on 12th November 2012 by Tim Spell
By Admin |November 12th, 2012

I work with mostly left-brain computer science aficionados. But my degree’s in people, not machines, so I look at things differently than my team members. I look at our website the way I imagine you probably look at it. When I saw the menu options of “Awards” and “Conferences” I took it literally–that nonprofitCMS receives awards and hosts conferences. In reality, these menu tabs reference our software called awardsCMS and conferenceCMS–tools built for associations who give out awards and host conferences. 

We’re still receiving many quote requests for awardsCMS and conferenceCMS, so we shouldn’t worry about it, right? Wrong! If visitors do misinterpret the options, then we could be missing out.

Of course, just looking at it differently isn’t enough to warrant a change. We needed some sort of evidence. We looked at the heat map for our page. A heat map shows where people are going on your webpage. This is what we saw: 

As I suspected, there wasn’t a lot of action on Awards and Conferences. Our hypothesis is that our site visitors are seeing it the same way I did, and that the awards we won and the conferences we have (not) hosted don’t interest them. So we made a change:

It’s important to us not to lose the SEO (search engine optimization) benefits of having the menu titles as the name of the software. Having the drop down menu eliminates that problem while still grouping it together in a way more people will understand. Do we know that the new change is going to help direct potential clients where they want to go? No. But that’s OK -it’s a test. Maybe it will last, maybe it won’t.

Your site doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) static. Little tweaks here and there will give you great insights on the impact your site has on visitors.

What about your site could use improvement? Find someone with a fresh pair of eyes to look through and give you first impressions. You might find some small changes can bring in a lot more business!


  1. Great post Abigail! Here is a good heat map tool that can be used for the analysis:

    • Thank you Tim!