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How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions

Conversions are what keep websites going.

For many webmasters, anyone signing up for their newsletter is a notch in the win column. Someone filling out a contact form is also a cause for celebration.

And when a visitor buys a product or service they are offering, they must be jumping for joy because they just scored what many refer to as the ultimate conversion.

There are many measures of a website’s success, from the traffic that it’s getting to its ranking in the search engine results, but conversions will always be the biggest single indicator of how successful a site is.
Many factors impact conversion rates, including the color used for the web design. Some people may not realize it, but the color is a potent design tool, and it’s particularly true in web design.

Color Psychology

Color psychology is a sub-field of behavioral psychology that concerns itself with how human behavior is affected by colors. There are certain emotions, attitudes, and values associated with specific colors, and it’s those associations that web designers and marketers, in general, are using to elicit the reactions they want to further their purposes, whether it’s social, political, or simply entrepreneurial.

I asked Craig Murphy of ALT Agency, A Birmingham based web design company. this question. "So, Craig, what do you think about colors affecting website conversions? Do you think that "color psychology" is a real phenomenon?"

"It's a great question and it is something that we really believe in - However it does all come down to testing. There are certain colours that just work as a baseline: business companies tend to use shades of blue and white space, Outdoor companies tend to use yellows, greens and browns, schools & child friendly websites tend to use bright primary colours. 
Colour psychology has to make sense and be consistent with the website/company that you are building a website for.
There's no point using purple or green on  website if it serves no purpose, just because the psychology behind it is money/financial related.
According to a study "Impact on colour marketing" research showed that 90% of snap judgements were based on colour - So it is hugely effective.
Using a bright contrasting colour for your call to actions can also be a good idea - As it draws attention to your buttons which often instruct a website visitor to buy or click to take an action in the step.
Overall we believe and have found through our own testing that colour psychology plays a huge part in website conversions."

So, now let’s take a look at some colors and the human emotions, attitudes, and values that color psychology has assigned to them.

Red

We don’t need color psychology to tell us that red is the color of love and passion. Interestingly, rage, violence, danger, and jealousy are also associated with red.

How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions

As far as marketers are concerned, red is perfect for projecting a sense of urgency. Take a look at an ad for clearance sales that offer breathtaking deals, and you will see that most, if not all of them are in red, which has the power to make people who see the ad rush off to the store or log on to the website holding the sale before it’s too late.

Few colors are as stimulating as red, a fact that isn’t lost on marketers and web designers everywhere.

Blue

On the human side of things, blue represents calmness. Some call it the coolest color, with people believing that the sight of it lowers blood pressure and their heart rate as well. The word “blue” is also a common English idiom for “sad.”

The business world, however, likes blue for its association with intelligence, stability, security, trust, and reliability. All businesses would like to be seen as having these qualities, which is why they often use blue.

One of the most prominent companies to adopt blue as its color is Facebook.

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Green

Green is one of the easiest colors for the brain to process. Easy on the eyes, green is associated with being decisive. It’s the most prominent association, however, is with the environment or anything that has something to do with conservation, sustainability, and other environmental issues. So websites that have an environmental agenda typically use green in its web design.

Black

Black is generally regarded as the color of doom and gloom. It’s the color most people in the western world wear at a funeral. When a comedy film shows a lot of killing, it’s called a “black” comedy.

 

However, if you get all the depressing aspects of the black out of the way, you will see that it’s a very sophisticated color, at least for advertisers and marketers. Look at magazine ads for high-end products which often use black. This isn’t surprising since black is excellent for projecting glamour, elegance, and beauty.

On top of beauty, black is also associated with power.

White

Innocence and purity readily come to mind whenever we see white, in the West at least. White, however, is also a favorite among businesses in the healthcare industry. White, after all, is hygienic and clean, which makes it perfect for hospitals and other medical facilities.

How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions

Yellow

Regardless of what pop culture says, yellow will always be the warmest color, if only for the fact that it’s the color of sunshine. Most people feel a sense of cheerfulness at the sight of yellow. There are even people who think they feel a bit more optimistic or even younger when there’s something yellow in the room.

How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions

However, just like sunshine, too much yellow can be overwhelming.

Dial back on the yellow when you’re designing a website so you won’t turn people off with too much cheerfulness.

Orange

Orange is a color that gives off a sense of cheer and warmth and at the same time creates a sense of urgency. Then again, it should be expected to do both since orange is actually a combination of yellow and red. Many webmasters use orange for their calls-to-action because it attracts as much attention as red.

How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions

Tips for picking the right colors for your web design

To be clear, the behavioral associations that color psychology makes are not definitive and certainly not unassailable. After all, we as individuals see and react to colors in different ways, obviously influenced by our personal experiences.

Then again, those associations do come close to how people, in general, react to colors, and that is why designers of all persuasions try to understand enough of these associations so they can use them to get what they want from their audience. For web designers, that would be conversions.

When picking the right colors for your web design, you need to do some research on your target market to find out the color that they will respond to positively. You can’t just settle on any one color until you’ve taken all the factors into consideration, including age, gender, and culture.

So if you’re selling to women, find out what their color preferences are. Men also have them, so you have to factor them in. Are you selling products for children? Then your web design must have yellow, green, or any other vibrant color in the spectrum.

If you want to see which color combinations and placements would help your site generate leads and conversions, you must do some A/B testing as well.

Anthony Tisara is the Outreach Manager at My Biz Niche, the go-to Phoenix-based digital marketing agency specializing in effective SEO and stunning web design solutions built to capture your target audience and generate more leads. He enjoys traveling with his family and organizing weekly trivia events with his friends.

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33 comments on “How Strategic Use of Color in Web Design Can Increase Conversions”

  1. Green worked well for the Blogging From Paradise eBooks and brand Anthony for the tropical jungle theme but also because of the easy processing you note. Decisiveness, environment too. High energy stuff, right? Excellent post here.

  2. Wow.. Very informative. I am a digital marketing trainer. Colour psychology is still generalized, and the emotional associations with colours can vary according to culture, personal experience, and other factors.
    Keep post!

    1. Actually Kim I don't believe colour psychology is still generalized. In fact I believe it is very well researched, that's why the fashion industry still makes the amount of money it does. It's also the reason the home decor market is on the rise and why McDonalds will never change it's brand colours. The problem is that us in the marketing industry have been slow to understand the true power of colour.

  3. I am agreeing to this content 100%. I'm connected with Color psychology because i have websites in different niche and for each of them i choose different colors. Example for automobile niche i choose dark colors like brown, red, etc. For health niche i always go with Light green and white.
    Also i choose best color for CTA's buttons to get maximum clicks.

  4. Hi, Anthony
    Thanks for sharing such a helpful and informative posts. It was definitely worth reading. I totally agree with you that colors combination play a key role in making a website engaging and appealing to the viewers. Again, thanks a lot. Your post can be very useful for the web developers who are new in the industry.

  5. Hadnt even considered changing my color schemes but it makes sense - intuitively we know this in nature and we use it in our day to day lives - so why would it be any different online. This is an eye opening article and have learnt a lot. Thanks Sue.

  6. Hi
    Anthony,
    Right color combinations also matters a lot for our website. Our website's color is a psychological factor which helps in swinging mood of our customers and drive them to associate with our brand, thus it is very necessary to choose the right colors according to niche. Here, you have provided some effective tips on how to use of color in web design.

    Thanks for sharing this post with us.

    Have a great day.
    Praveen

  7. This is great! Thanks so much! I really enjoyed this read. Color is so incredible. It’s power is almost scary because it is so unexpected. I am inspired to change colors on my own website so that it is more professional and inviting. It’s good to know that certain colors send a certain message. I feel that the colors I have on my website now do not represent my company properly. Thanks so much for the read, I think you helped me out of my rut. It’s also crazy to think that even McDonald’s uses color to have almost a power over us. Insane.

  8. Hello Anthony,
    Thank you for sharing this nice information to us. I totally agree with you, because color combination using in our website is important factor for user engagement.

  9. Hello Anthony,
    colors play a persuasive physiological effect on our brains. Mostly the customer does not return visit to a website because they do not like the overall aesthetics of the website.
    Good one! Thank you for sharing this informative content. I found it helpful and interesting.

  10. I *really* make use of color in unique ways on my site. My rationale for having tweaked every little nook and cranny of the UX is to set it apart from every other site anyone has ever visited. Color choices, along with font weight / font size, and careful front-end engineering to tweak my theme jussst right to make everything look good while maintaining responsiveness, are all key. If I don't like looking at my end result, how can I expect my audience will like it? It was important that you covered this, thank you 🙂

  11. Hello Anthony,

    Very informative post. Colors definitely plays a great role in human physcology. I am using Blue color on my blog as I am basically working on a Tech niche and majority of Tech blogs are using Blue color. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips and insights.

    Warm Regards,
    Vishwajeet

  12. Good stuff, Anthony.
    This is something many bloggers take for granted (myself included) so im glad you brought it up.

    There's so much psychology when it comes to grabbing people's attention, aside from picking the right colors. From the wording to how long a paragraph is, to using (versus not using) a link or image in the content.

    Thanks for the nice read!
    Elvis

  13. There are many factors that help increase conversions, and the colors that you use in your web design are one of them, they can influence our attitudes and emotions the moment we lay our eyes on them. Nice post found valuable info. Thanks.

  14. One of my friend told me that Blue color helps to generate more sales in United States. US people like blue. is it true? By the way, thank you for your awesome post. Really we should consider color while designing our website.

  15. Thanks for this, some really useful tips much appreciated. It kind of cool to see our company colours here and those are the exact reason we chose them. We wanted to combine the charm of yellow with the class of black. Cheers for the post!

  16. Hi Anthony,
    I like the helpful info you provide in your Blog really explains everything in detail the Blog is very interesting and effective.I would love to read more content.This is an impressive Blog Thanks!

  17. Thanks for sharing this informative article. Yes. i Totally agree, First inmpression is the last impression and attractive colours makes the website beautiful, Thanks Anthony.

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