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Colour Psychology: How Your Palette Impacts Your Conversion Rate

Website Design May 30th, 2013

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How much attention did you pay to the colours you chose for your website, and your landing/sales page in particular?  For most businesses, the colour scheme is an afterthought.  Most of the time during the web development process is spent on things like language and functionality.  Companies will spend countless hours tweaking the words on the pages and investing in expensive web developers to make sure their site has the latest features.  But what if there was an easier way to improve its performance?

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The site’s copy and functionality are certainly important, and you should spend the time to get them right, however if the goal of your page is to convert visitors to take action ­— whether it’s capturing email addresses for leads or selling a product — simply choosing the right colour scheme can result in double-digit increases in your conversion rate.  For example, HubSpot ran a test between two nearly identical landing pages where the only difference was the colour of the button at the end of the page.  The only thing different between the two pages was the colour of the button, but the page with the red button converted 21% more visitors than the green button!

Now that you’ve seen how important colour can be to the performance of your site, you need to understand the emotional impact different colours have.  Then you can make sure the palette you select fits the message you’re trying to communicate and your audience’s tastes.  These emotional connections aren’t some made-up pseudoscience, they’re backed by numerous studies on behavior and psychology.

Black

The colour of authority.  If your brand needs to project an air of power and trust, like for a government website, black would be a good colour to use regularly.  Black is also commonly used in the colour schemes for luxury products.  This makes sense, because a customer who is about to spend a significant amount of money on a luxury purchase wants to feel confident that they’re getting their money’s worth.  By using a black to project an image of authority, these brands show their customers they can buy with confidence.

White

White inspires feelings of freshness and purity.  By keeping your page design minimalist and having a lot of open white space it will help your visitors focus on the limited amount of content on the page.  Allowing your page to “breathe” by opening it up and using extra white space provides a feeling of relief, because instead of being assaulted with a mass of information to process the visitor knows exactly where his eyes should fall.

Blue

The colour of trust, order, peace and safety.  This is why the navy suit has been a staple for salesmen for so many years.  Blue inspires trust, so by wearing blue it allows the salesmen to form a bond more easily with their customers and helps them increase their sales.  If you have to compete in a market where a lot of your competitors seem shady and your potential customers will have their guard up, try incorporating some blue into your colour scheme in order to gain their trust.

Pink

Evokes a sense of gentleness and empathy, romance and femininity.  Websites targeting women in particular would probably be wise to include some pink in their color scheme.  However any site where creating a sense of softness is important can use it effectively.

Purple

The colour of creativity and mysticism.  Purple is also soothing and calming.  It’s meditative.  If you need to project an air of imagination, creativity, or spirituality, try using more of the colour purple on your site.

Red

Red is youthful, bold and confident.  Using red suggests to others that you are powerful, in control, and have high expectations.  Red is a high-energy colour that inspires excitement and action.  If you have a page that is not converting well, using a red button could help add some energy to the page and drive more clicks, like the HubSpot test mentioned above illustrated.

Green

Green suggests to visitors that your website is healthy, environmental and safe.  Green implies growth and success, and is also connected to finance because of the colour of our bills.  Green is also the easiest colour for our eyes to process, so it can make it easier to read.

Yellow

The colour of optimism, it’s also often used to grab visitors’ attention.  Yellow attracts a high amount of light, and therefore is bright and easily catches our eye, however this means it can also be fatiguing if used too much.

Contrast

The last important part of choosing your colour palette is to consider what parts of the page need to have the most contrast.  The more two colours contrast, the more they stand out from each other, like black on white.  The most important elements of your page should be set in high contrast with the background, while secondary messages should be set in a colour that doesn’t jump out as much.  This will draw your viewer’s eye to the items you want to make sure they see, like your conversion button, and ultimately help you close more sales.

If you’re still having difficulties in deciding which colours work best in achieving your desired effect, then make a few different landing pages so that you can do some split testing and compare results.

Post By Alon Popilskis (1 Posts)

Alon Popilskis is a reputation management consultant with Smart SEO Designs, a NYC based firm that works with customers to deliver custom-tailored, strategic and goal-driven programs to help them establish and maintain a trustworthy online presence. You can follow Alon on Twitter and Google+.

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Alon Popilskis is a reputation management consultant with Smart SEO Designs, a NYC based firm that works with customers to deliver custom-tailored, strategic and goal-driven programs to help them establish and maintain a trustworthy online presence. You can follow Alon on Twitter and Google+.

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Colour Psychology: How Your Palette Impacts Your Conversion Rate

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