The ultimate goal for any website is to inspire conversions, e.g. sales, subscribers, or something else. No doubt you’ve invested time and money into creating a high-converting website, including finding a great cheap host, writing and rewriting content, and going back and forth on your page design. But how much thought have you given to color? Probably not much.
Color psychology describes the way hues affect human emotions and behavior. At its most basic, it reveals that red conjures feelings of energy, green promotes tranquillity, blue shows authority and trustworthiness, and yellow frequently appears alongside danger or warning signs.
In this article, we’re going to go deeper. We’ll discuss the theory behind color psychology and explain how you can apply the science to boost your website conversions.
1: Consider your demographic
Color preferences vary by a range of demographic markets but nothing splits a crowd quite like gender – and probably not how you might think.
Generally, women like blue, purple and green and don’t like grey or brown. Whereas men prefer blue, green and black, but steer clear of brown and purple.
So, if you’re launching a new product or brand, it pays to know your demographic market and match your image to their preferences. But, don’t go and do a Bic and release a range of totally regular pens in pink thinking that’s the best way to market them to women…
Because that isn’t going to cut it. There’s a fine line between color psychology and stereotyping and, you cross it the wrong way, you can really damage your business.
You should always consider how other factors intersect to affect your audience’s reaction to color. Let’s look at some of those now.
2: Use colors in context
Certain colors command more attention than others. We’ve all heard the theory that we’re drawn to red because it signifies danger, but how can you take advantage of this phenomenon?
Amazon is famous for its orange ‘Add to Cart’ button. Orange creates a sense of urgency, and within the context of their primarily white website, it pops, showing users the CTA in the clearest way possible.
Using attention-grabbing colors to highlight important information is a great practice that should increase your website conversions.
However, these ‘hacks’ aren’t off-the-shelf fixes. If your website already features a lot of orange, changing your CTA to that color won’t have much impact. You need to consider colors in the context of your existing website and create a contrast to attract attention.
The key to higher conversion rates rests with making your CTA clear and accessible to the user. So, use the Amazon model, but find a color that suits your existing palette makes the CTA ‘pop’.
3: Don’t forget about white
White probably isn’t the first color you think of, but it can be a useful accent and contrast color to your website when used effectively. It can help your users feel calm, focus on important information and follow your narrative down the page – and, since good UX increases conversions, you can bet that taking this approach will improve key numbers for your site.
Take a leaf out of the most successful search engine’s book. Google’s landing page is predominately white, which enhances feelings of spaciousness and peace.
Experimentation is the best way to get a handle of what your users like, so you should be running A/B tests on color combinations on your website.
In a HubSpot study that analyzed green vs red CTAs, Red achieved 21% more clicks than green. The theory? Red was a standout color on the page, which already had a lot of green and similar tones present. Red stuck out – the isolation effect was in full swing here, and it drew users to the button.
Anecdotally, they thought green would perform best, as green signifies ‘go’, but the results couldn’t have been more different. Which is exactly why experimentation is so important.
Experiment with your own site. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all, so what works well for one site might have the opposite effect for you. Experiment until you find the combination that performs well and increases your conversion rate.
Playing into subconscious cues of color psychology can help to enhance your conversion rate. By picking colors known to attract certain demographics, not neglecting white, and ensuring your CTA is as clear as possible, you will be rewarded with customers who buy into your brand and ultimately convert with you.
Author bio: “I’m Lucy Farrington-Smith, a 27-year-old freelance writer. I started out as an actor before I put the scripts down and chose to write my own words instead of saying someone else’s. One Master’s in Creative Writing and many coffee cups later; you can now find my bylines on HuffPost, Metro.co.uk and my own website www.lucywrites.co”