Redesigning your website is risky business.

You spend money, time, and resources redesigning, hoping to hit a home run.

I’ve evaluated thousands of websites in my career and I’m pretty darn good at sniffing out the good ones and I’m equally good at sniffing out the posers. In this post, we’ll be evaluating 14 industry giants that got it right.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of design inspiration from Crayon; a design search engine that’s been super useful for coming up with new ideas for DigitalMarketer’s “blow it up” style test strategy—a strategy you’ll hear all about when I have plenty of results to share.

One of the best features Crayon offers is notifications when sites redesign their pages, and the ability to look back at the design before the update for comparison.

Light bulb.

I thought it would be fun to break down these design changes using the same criteria in my 15 – point audit to see how they stack up to the previous versions of the site!

These guys are some of the best in the bizznazz, let’s quickly break down the criteria I’m using to evaluate these pages…

DigitalMarketer’s 5 Elements of Optimization

Clarity: If your visitor doesn’t know what the page is about and what’s in it for them in the first few seconds…you’re sunk. The goal here is to:

  • make sure you can properly articulate your offer…
  • make your offer attractive…
  • ensure they know how to take the next step…

Readability: This is a huge factor that is often overlooked on “non-blog” pages. All too often companies go a little crazy with…

  • typefaces
  • characters per line
  • page breaks
  • bolding
  • colors

You need to stay consistent and make content easy to consume. If your text can’t be read, then your message will get lost.

Appearance: A professional site design will build trust with new visitors. Authentic imagery, coloration, and a solid visual hierarchy are all crucial factors for your site. You need some sections to stand out more than other and capitalize where it counts.

A site that does this well can subtly accent the most important content while giving the visitor a sense of autonomy.

On-site experience: You need to articulate the purpose, have solid usability for visitors of all skill levels and devices, and fast load times. If anyone of these things are missing, your user will have a hard time using your site and won’t convert.

Navigation: If we’re looking at a landing page, you want minimal navigation, but for all other pages it needs to be intuitive.