Color is a powerful element in the website conversion process. Although longtime, loyal fans might already be inclined to linger because they enjoy the product, newcomers to the brand might be more apt to read through fresh content, digest images and view videos, all in the hopes that they develop an urge to buy if they’re hooked. When you look back on your favorite sites, however, you probably aren’t seeing just the text and products – there are colors there, embedded in the design, that have a very real function that go beyond aesthetics and pizzazz.
When you imagine McDonald’s, for example, you might picture a number of things, but the yellow double arches are unmistakable. That symbol is forever linked to the food franchise, and the color pattern is part of what makes it so iconic. While several different elements are at play with this brand image, the use of yellow, a color that is understood to evoke sensations – such as hunger – in the human mind, wasn’t a mistake.
If you’re trying to grow your small business online, make sure you’re paying particular attention to the colors you’re using. Here’s a shortlist of popular website color psychology tips that you should consider as you enter the early design stages:
Avoid a wash of color
Imagine a maelstrom of primary colors swirling together on a screen. Even if you manage to sift through the chaos to understand the designer’s intent, it probably isn’t an easy task. Your goal should be to provide a simple Web-perusing experience, and this includes the color scheme. Start with shades that relate to your brand logo and then go from there.
Gender marketing matters
Social expectations aside, the broad scope of the marketing industry still targets men and women separately. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, Entrepreneur magazine pointed out that color psychology wants websites selling goods and services to women to be highlighted in blues, purples and greens, whereas men prefer seeing blues, greens and blacks. It seems like everyone holds an aversion to oranges and browns in Web design, so if nothing else, steer clear of those unless your brand insists otherwise.
Black for luxury, blue for trust
Although this color combination is typically used to refer to bruises, black and blue have very specific uses in marketing. Just as you would expect to see a lot of people in dark colors at a fancy party, for instance, so too do consumers expect to see black attached to luxury products. Blue, on the other hand, is typically reserved for trust. Calm, serene and peaceful ideas are associated with blue, so if that’s your goal, then consider adding this color to your palette.
Calls to action are your call
The call(s) to action on your website are entirely up to you, but aim for bright, primary colors that "pop". You want your visitors to see CTA buttons immediately, so rather than letting them fade to the background, make them stand out. Bear in mind what industry experts are saying about the psychology of individual colors, of course, but the goal should still be to draw the eye of the visitor directly to your primary call to action as soon as they hit your website.