How to Use Colors to Increase Your Website’s Conversions

Color wheelNumerous scientific studies have proven that colors affect us in various ways. Merchandisers have been using colors cleverly since the 19th century, and in the 20th century artists such as Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí created window displays.

Today, for many businesses, their website is their window display. In high street retail, studies have shown that shoppers prefer to look from left to right, and enter the store by a door located at the right of the display.

However when it comes to websites, the decision to enter happens in the blink of an eye. A study carried out at the Carlton University, Ottawa, reveals that it takes visitors a 20th of a second to decide if they like a site or not.

How Important Is Color?

Of course there are many important elements involved in creating a great, trustworthy website, but colors play a huge role. In fact 85% of shoppers have revealed that color is their primary reason for choosing to buy a particular product. 52% of online shoppers have stated that they didn’t return to a website because of its overall aesthetics.

The top issues that prevent online shoppers from buying on websites are:

  1. Poor design
  2. Poor navigation
  3. Speed of website

Color also improves comprehension by 73%, learning by between 55-68% and reading by 40%.

Scientists have discovered that humans experience actual physiological changes when exposed to various colors. Very simply, color is light – light is a source of energy. Each color evokes its own set of reactions, which can also be influenced by cultural conditioning. This needs to be  considered when you evaluate your target audience.

How To Choose Color Combinations To Increase Your Website’s Conversions

The ideal time to choose color combinations is at the beginning of building your brand. However if you have an existing brand, that you realize is not in tune with your target audience then it could be better to re-brand.
The main ingredients that will influence your choice of colors are your product or service offerings and your target audience. You need to ask the following questions:

  • What subliminal messages do I wish to communicate about my offerings?
  • Who are my target audience?
  • How can my website gain their trust and positive attention?
  • How do I want my target audience to feel when they are visiting my website?
  • How can use of color encourage them to follow the necessary steps that result in conversions (leads/sales etc.)?

The Effects Of Different Colors

Find out about the different effects of various colors and how some also relate to chakras, which are wheels of energy, in the human body, according to some Eastern belief systems.

Red (Primary color)
Passionate and intense, red is sexy but also dangerous. It stimulates the appetite but can also be a warning. It is associated with the base chakra, which is located at the base of the spine. The base chakra relates to human survival, grounding, security and courage.

Red Works Well For…

  • Red works well in restaurants or food or drink related sales, to stimulate the appetite.
  • It can be used effectively to sell any product/service that aims to make the customer feel sexy or powerful.
  • If you want to evoke powerful emotions, red is the perfect color – however you may need to balance it well with other colors, depending on the target audience.
  • Red increases the heart rate and is frequently used to encourage impulse shopping
  • It creates a sense of urgency when there is a special offer or sale

Be Careful Of Red..

  • Don’t use red if your products/services relate to any aspect of death, as it could symbolize the negative aspects of blood, war and danger.
  • It’s better not to use red, or to use it sparingly, when you don’t want to evoke aggression in your potential customers.

SIA Aperitivos

siaThis website has the perfect amount of red to stimulate the appetite a little. It links to our survival instinct, triggering the imagination to consider having our own brand. The color red has been used very positively, without creating aggression or signalling danger.

Yellow (Primary color)
Yellow stimulates our mental processes, confidence, youthfulness and optimism. It is cheerful and warm. It is attention grabbing and stimulates the nervous system. Too much yellow, however, can be straining on the eyes. It is associated with the solar plexus chakra which is between the sternum and navel. This chakra is about self-esteem, will, confidence and personal power.

Yellow Works Well For…

  • Yellow is a great attention grabbing color.
  • It works well in childrens’ products, but is known to make babies cry.
  • It is effective in certain amounts on any website that wishes its potential customers to feel youthful.
  • Yellow helps with self-esteem, so consider using it with this in mind.
  • Use this color in any situation where a stimulated mind is a good thing.

Be Careful Of Yellow..
Yellow is a flexible attention grabber – be careful not to overdo the use of yellow, so as not to strain the eyes of your pòtential customers.

WakeSomebodyUp.com

wakeI love the use of yellow in Wake Somebody Up; both the shades of yellow and the clever design. It is youthful, cheerful and communicates the message of a brand new, positive day all at the same time. Notice also the designer’s strategic use of red.

Blue (Primary color)
Blue instills trust and confidence. It is a calming color that encourages us to feel that this is a responsible entity. It encourage creativity and honest communication. Sky blue is the color of the throat chakra. This relates directly to communicating the truth, to finding your voice and self-expression.

Blue Works Well…

  • Blue works really well in the corporate world, as each company needs to be trusted before clients will do business with them.
  • It is relaxing and calming also, so it works effectively across all sorts of industries and offerings.
  • It should really be used in communications to some extent – just think of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

Be Careful Of Blue..

  • Blue runs the risk of being too cold, depending on the shade and how much it is used.
  • It is also considered to curb the appetite, so use sparingly in food or drink offerings – just enough to instill trust.

FeedStitch.com

feedstitchFeedstitch pulls data feeds from around the web to stitch them together into a single, powerful feed. The site is about communication and trust, so the use of blue is perfect. It is well-balanced with the use of many other colors also.

Green (Secondary color – a mix of blue and yellow)
We associate green with nature and fertility. It is a calming color which brings harmony. Green represents growth as well as peace. Green is associated with wealth, money and envy. It can help with depression. It is associated with the heart chakra which is located in the middle of the chest. This chakra is about unconditional love of self and others.
Green Works Well…

  • The color green is excellent for any websites that are connected with health, well-being, green living, fertility, relaxation and nature.
  • Green works well also in interior design, as it is soothing and harmonious.
  • Use green in varying amounts on any site where you want your potential customers to feel in a good space regarding love and self-love.

Be Careful Of Green…

  • There are some shades of green which can be a little sickly or offputting, if they have too much yellow.
  • Green is associated with envy in some cultures, so be careful of this – don’t over use it on sites which relate to romance or dating.

Mint.com

mintMint is a free tool to help people organize and categorize their spending. The site uses green in  a fresh, harmonious way. There is enough green to give a positive feeling about handling money. The logo is very simple, but really clever. The mint leaves and wording are in a classy shade of green, which gives the feeling that by using this tool, the visitor will have a fresh start, that may even lead to him being minted!

Orange (Secondary color – a mix of red and yellow)
Orange is enthusiastic and warm. It stimulates the appetite and our enthusiasm. It is about creativity, fun and enjoyment of our senses. It is a confident color. However it can lean towards danger and aggression when there is a lot of red in the shade of orange. It is the color of the sacral chakra, which is located in the area of the reproductive organs. This chakra is about creativity, sexuality, pleasure, sociability, movement and enjoyment.

Orange Works Well…

  • Use orange if you want your customers to feel sociable.
  • Orange is very effective for anything that relates to creativity.
  • Orange can be used to encourage impulse buying.
  • It works well on buttons or banners that are calls to action.
  • Use orange for sports and activity themed websites.

Be Careful Of Orange..

  • If the shade of orange is quite red, be aware that it can symbolize danger or trigger aggression.

JulianBicycles.com
JulianaJuliana Bicycles uses orange beautifully. Different hues sparkle with the feeling of fun movement, sensual enjoyment, confidence and pleasure.

Purple (Secondary color – a mix of red and blue)
Purple is the color of spirituality and royalty. It is associated with wealth and luxury. It is a color used to make brands appear to be wise, imaginative and intuitive. It can also enhance mental stability. Violet is associated with the crown chakra. Although similar to the color purple, violet can be found in the visible light spectrum, whereas purple is a combination of blue and red. This chakra is about connecting to higher aspects of consciousness, the higher self and spirituality.

Purple Works Well…

  • Use purple if you want your website to feel luxurious.
  • It works well for any offerings which have the potential to stimulate the imagination.
  • Use it to evoke feelings of wisdom.
  • Try the color purple to make your target audience feel that your product/service is intuitive.

Be Careful Of Purple…

  • Purple is a poweful color, so be aware of using it in a balanced way.

SWGraphic.com

swThe graphic designer, Sarah Wu, has blended some different shades of purple to get a luxurious, creative feel on her site.

Different Shades And Color Combinations Can Improve Or Dis-improve Your Conversion Rate

How you combine colors and what shades they are also plays a huge part in hitting the nail on the head. Once you feel you have thoroughly analyzed your offerings and audience, try A/B testing with different color combinations and shades to see which bring the best conversion rate.

The use of white brings a sense of freshness and new promise. White reflects all other colors. Black is stylish, sophisticated and mysterious. Both can be very powerful when they are blended well with other colors.

There is a useful tool which has a color matching algorithm with some different matching options. Try the Color Explorer Color Match tool.

Psychology of Color Infographic
Infographic by WebpageFX

Written By Jackie De Burca

The author, Jacqueline de Burca, owns a search marketing and web design agency. She has studied color therapy and has had a special connection with colors for as long as she can remember. She has investigated this subject in further detail, so if you wish to see more case studies and ideas, then click on color psychology in website design. Learn more about choosing the right colors to optimize your website’s conversions.

Image Credits:

About Jackie De Burca

This post was written by Jackie De Burca
Jacqueline de Burca owns a search marketing and web design agency. She has studied color therapy and has had a special connection with colors for as long as she can remember. She has investigated this subject in further detail, so if you wish to see more case studies and ideas, then click on color psychology in website design. Learn more about choosing the right colors to optimize your website's conversions.

Comments

  1. Brilliant to know what colours effect people in which way. I will definitely be using this when I do future designs.

  2. Wow! I always knew that a color says many things, but not so many things about a brand, product, website and so on.

    I guess the package sells the product after all.

  3. hii Jackie,
    i think ts fabulous. The way how you explain the necessity of respective colors is awesome. Even , i also don’t know about all this. But it provide me the best knowledge of colors in social marketing and i’ll also try it. I am sure that it will definitely increase my website level.
    Above all thanks for sharing this.

  4. nice !!! surely colors plays a very important role in website popularity and its visibility because it is the first time attraction of the user who can see.any color says many things about site.just like we can say stock based firms generally preferred green color because it is a sign of money.blue color use for national sites basically.nice info you contain in your blog.thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you so much, Nitin, for your kind comments. I am delighted to know that this article will help you to make your website more effective. Best of luck with implementing some powerful changes.

  6. Yes using colors can always result in increase of conversions. As the user really gets more of the attention to the things we want. Also responsiveness helps in increasing the conversion to some extent.

  7. Nearly 85% of people citing color as a basis for trying out a product..! That’s interesting. Also, I feel most brands commonly tend to use either blue or red be it their website or the logo. Yellow is rarely seen, at least not many brands in India use it.

  8. Jackie De Burca you covered wide range of concept which is rarely seen on the web.This is the main aspect for every website but most of the people ignore this one.Recently i started using of some attractive colors on my blog posts with bold content and that is in success track with few more readers.Nice topic.

    • Lots of people choose colors subjectively without analyzing the brand in great detail. They also hand it over to the creatives who may not know their brand as well as they do. I hope you found the info useful and you can implement it to benefit your blog.

  9. Brilliant and revealing post , Jackie . Colors tell so much about the products and the brand itself . However, overuse or poor blending can adversely affect a website as well . Optimal usage is the key.

  10. I totally agree colors make a BIG difference. I’m very much considering changing our theme/colors of our site. We offer DPF Removals and we have 1000′s of visitors DAILY but the conversion is very small, if only we did 1000 DPF Removals daily ;) lol.

    • Hi Ajaz

      Thanks for your comment. I hope your theme change goes well and increases conversion. I took a quick look at the site and the main call to action to call by phone is in blue, it would do much better in orange or red even. You could also do with a strong message as to why customers should call and use your company.

      All the best
      Jacqueline

  11. A bog/website’s design and colors should be beautiful and eye catchy .You explained the information on colors quite well , this post would certainly help a lot of designers .Thanks for sharing the information

  12. Awesome post, I always prefer to use the color blue on my Club Penguin site. It really fits the theme/category of my site.

  13. The main requirement of a famous or attractive website is its proper design. i would be following the same, the next time m gonna design a website

  14. I had absolutely no idea how important colours actually were to a blog. But, now that you’ve mentioned it I really need to reconsider my design.

    One question though: I vaguely remember from my teacher training how dyslexia can be helped through using particular background colours (e.g. printing black text on yellow paper). Does anyone know if these same principles apply to websites too?

  15. I always knew that colours play an important part in enhancing the layout of our website but this is some serious stuff right here. Never imagined choosing colours was so technical.
    Thanks for the post, though.

  16. I don’t know about all this. But it provide me the best knowledge of colors in social marketing and i’ll try it. Thanks for sharing this..

  17. Hi Jackie,

    I knew that all colors have different physiological effects on human. Though I wasn’t sure which color has which impact.. you really wrote an useful posts. Great work.

  18. Color is an important aspect when we consider to ads in any blog. For instance consider an ad with black color theme in a black theme mess up with the theme. It helps us in cost per click ads. But coming to the case of affiliate banner ads, it pays you nothing. So, we must choose appropriate color depending on the niche and the topic we focus on.

  19. Indeed, color plays an important role in increasing the conversion on websites, and forcing people to stay on the website. Just a weekend ago, I was reading an awesome piece of content that how some colors input made one of the internet marketers life.

    The more elegant page we use, the more conversions we have. The more info-graphics type media we use, the more users eager to stay on our website.

  20. Hello Jackie

    Superb Post, you have good searched your Experienced and i do agree that Colors is also apart of our life which give the signals about anything and its gives the indicate according to colors. even colors is make effective and interesting of your website. so i must follow of your points and thanks to you for sharing this post.

  21. this post for the color to the website is really interesting to make the website more attractive. As color of the website is also the main concern of the website for its great popularity. This post helped really nice in making the website more attractive to make the website more popular and looking awesome.

  22. Color is extremely important when designing a website, blog, or even an email template. How a user feels about your site will ultimately affect the bounce rate, page views, time on site, etc.

  23. Hi, I am glad to found such an informative post. it increased my knowledge after read your post which will be beneficial all the readers. Color is very important factor of any website. Anyways, thanks for sharing the information….!

  24. Hi Jackie ,

    Mind blowing article, as you have explained in your post, i do agree with you that Colors is most important part of your website and colors present of your self and provide the all information. even colors do the indicate about all the information. yes i can say that there is important role in website. and it makes more attractive of your website. Well thanks a lot for sharing with us.

  25. Hi Jackie,

    Interesting, useful and beautiful post. Excellent design with a large variety of colors. I like the tips and I bookmarked the post to return later for more study.

    Color is the primary reason to like a site or buy a product. WOW! Pay attention to the subliminal message you want to transmit. Excellent tip.

    My site is red. Red is the dominant color but the thought was always there: what is the real message I transmit by this color? What do my visitors feel in that split second when they come to my site? This guide is a good place to start. The shades of red are rather dark, with white and grey backgrounds. The header is also red with golden letters and golden image. In every post the text is black and the titles are red.

    Thank you for the post

    Have a nice day

  26. Strange man! I never thought this could also effect conversions. But i can say surely i am gonna try this and track which color works best for me.Thanks :)

  27. The infographics on the effect of colors described it all very well!!

  28. Wow, this is what I call an awesome post. This should be a lesson to all those using red color in a personal finance website, lol
    This is a must read for all designers out there!

    This reminds of something I read somewhere, “There are no bad colors. Just bad color combinations.”

  29. Hi Jackie, thanks for sharing this great research and information. I am right now in the the process of creating a new business card, which I want to tie into my existing website logo, so this colour information is really helpful to me.

  30. Jackie,
    I’m so glad I found your post here on Kiesha’s blog. I’ve read many posts on this subject before and I have to say your article may be the best of them all. I especially appreciate the screenshots that you’ve used to illustrate your points.

    BTW – I like your article so much that I included it in my #FridayFinds post today.

  31. Hi Sherryl,

    I am truly honoured by your comment. I knew when I started to write this piece that of course it has been done many times before. Since I was very young I have had a very strong connection with colours. So I hoped that my own feeling about the energy of colours, combined with the examples, would make the article useful to readers.

    I am very glad that you liked it enough to feature it on your #FridayFinds. I found myself in very good company there, and I would like to thank you very much for featuring me.

    Your comment has made my day!

    Thank you so much,
    Jacqueline

  32. Great post, i never though that colours could be so important to a website.
    What is your opinion about a black, grey, white website?

    I just starded up a website and i wanted to keep my webshop as clean as possible, thats why i used those three colours?

    Thanks for spreading this information, learned a lot from it!

    Bram

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