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Charlotte MacInnes
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Loves to talk conversions over a cup of Green Tea.
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How Colour Theory Affects Your Website’s Conversion Rate

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Colour holds a huge presence over our daily attitudes and buying behaviour. Colour psychology is used extensively in our everyday lives, from the supermarket to magazines and, of course, website design. It helps to promote your brand message that can target users and persuade them to engage or buy from you.

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How to use colour to boost conversions

It is unlikely when creating a website that you will use just one colour, as it’s important to consider the overall colour scheme and how they can complement and highlight areas on the page.  Generally speaking, colours are much more readable when they are on a contrasting background (for example black and white).

In order to succeed in implementing colour psychology on a page, ensure you have used colour in:

  • the right way;
  • at the right time;
  • to the right audience;
  • for the right purpose.

You may be surprised to know that 85% of shoppers say that colour is the primary reason for buying a product. Therefore, ensure the colours on your website are not random but chosen carefully, with both readability and psychological association in mind. Changes in colour could be a catalyst in increasing your conversions and decreasing the bounce rate.

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Photo credit: UXPin

Colour preferences can be affected by individual perceptions of that colour. For example men and women perceive particular colours differently. It is not always about the colour itself but more about how appropriate the individual feels the colour chosen is representing the brand. Research has shown that women seem to like blue, purple and green and dislike orange, brown and grey. Men have been seen to prefer blue, green and black and dislike brown, orange and purple. From our testing experience on websites, we have found call to actions are best in bright tones such as orange, blue or green.

Blue is one of the most used colours as it can be associated with trust, security and loyalty. It’s not surprising the world’s largest social network, Facebook, is a blue brand.

Red is a very loud colour and promotes urgency and excitement. Be careful when using this as people quickly associate it with warning and harshness. However, it can also be associated with warmth and strength.

Yellow is not a popular choice for websites as it generally relates to warning. Researchers have linked it to playfulness although everyone’s experience of this colour can change. Use this colour carefully and in small doses.

Green is a winner for environmentally friendly websites that want to cultivate earthy, eco-friendly messaging. It’s also a great call to action colour as it stands out well as a button or step (for example, on a checkout process where there are multiple clicks and steps).

Orange is a fun impulse colour that associates positivity and confidence without danger. It’s an active colour as well as being warm, which makes it a perfect colour for offers, advertisements or bringing attention to an area on a page. Orange can be viewed as cheap colour, however this may also be a positive element you may want to promote (for example, a 20% offer). Females seem to dislike this colour so be careful if designing a female-centric page.

Pink is seen as a very feminine colour and can be a great tool to promote beauty products. It stands for love, nurture and tranquility.

Black is a luxurious colour and adds a high level of sophistication and professionalism. If you are selling high value products black is a good option.

White should definitely not be avoided. Clean looking sites convert the best, so use this colour to your advantage. Be careful to break up large white areas with colourful and carefully constructed call to actions. Well deigned sites should give a sense of freedom and breathability and white creates this feeling very well.

Brown generally conveys a sense of nature and is most disliked by males. However, in some senses, brown can work well.

It’s vital when using particular colours to target males or females to ensure there are not too many contrasting colours on the page. For example, small splashes of colour on top of a clean white background will portray professionalism and elegance, whereas pink tones will be perceived as feminine, fresh and tranquil.

Of course, these are just basic guidelines. Your overall aim is simply to select colours that complement each other and highlights the main messaging of a page in an attractive way. Ensure you test different colours to know exactly what works for your target market and service/product. Also make sure you are selective; choosing too many colours can be detrimental.

Conclusion

Colour may not seem like a huge determining factor but in fact, it can be fundamental in affecting conversion rates. Just remember, there is no universal best colour as what works on some sites may not work on another. This is why it’s so important to be continuously testing on your site to understand your target market and how to use colour to maximise conversions.

Call us on 1300 663 995 to speak to our team about conversion rate optimisation and leave the painting and decorating to us!

Written by Charlotte MacInnes — Conversion Manager at WME.

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By Charlotte MacInnes


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