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How Color Affects Your Website

How Color Affects Your Website

A great website design is so much more than just delivering content and making it look good. When visitors come to your site, they immediately produce a set of feelings about your website and your business. The type of feelings they produce, positive or negative, are entirely in your hands and should be taken into consideration when designing content.

You might think about the color of your website in terms of how they look together and whether they’re generally appealing, but color actually has a lot more to do with what your visitors think about your site and the actions they take, than you might realize. For instance, take a look at these statistics:

  • 93% of consumers place color and appearance above other factors when making a buying decision.
  • 85% of shoppers state color as the primary factor in their decision to buy a product.
  • Brand recognition, which links directly to consumer confidence, is increased by 80% when the right colors are used.

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In order to create A visually effective website that plays into the psychology of your visitors, you need to understand how different design elements and how we use them affect the mood, attitude and experience the visitor will have while browsing your website. These are the issues you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to create a visually engaging site that encourages visitors to return.

Choosing the right color palette for your site is essential to communicate your message, brand your product or service, and, if you are an online business, sell your products. Everyone has favorite colors, but how those colors are interpreted may vary from culture to culture. Color communicates far more than most people realize. Choosing wrong colors can be a disaster for your website.

Before selecting colors for your website, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are your site’s potential visitors?
  • What are your products or services?
  • What are your site’s key objectives?

marketing-strategyYour visitor demographics can also make a difference in how colors are perceived. Young people are drawn more to saturated colors than adults, who may find them garish or offensive. Strong color contrasts can also drive older visitors away. While young people may respond positively to new color trends, these fashionable colors can be overused and go out of style as quickly as they appear. Text and background color choices also affect readability, which can be an issue for older visitors and those with visual impairments.



neuronsIt’s important to know what specific colors mean to people. It’s been shown that certain colors invoke specific feelings in most people, here’s a general of list what colors can mean and convey to your visitors:

Yellow: Youthful and optimistic. Use it to grab attention. Usually not good as a background or primary site color.

Red: Energy. Creates urgency and increases heart rate. Good for appealing to impulse shoppers.

Blue: Creates feelings of trust and security. This is why many banks use it in their logos or marketing. Navy or dark blue is used to market to the budget-conscious.

Green: Gives the impression of wealth. Relaxing and easy-going. Teal can be used to appeal to people on a budget.

Orange: Aggressive and excitement. Good for calls to action and impulse buying.

Pink: Feminine and romantic. Used to market to women and girls and traditional buyers.

Black: Powerful and sleek. Use it to market luxury products and appeal to impulse buyers.

Purple: Soothing and calming. Often used to market anti-aging products.


Many studies have found that what your website visitors see when they come to your site, from overall design to the colors used, really does make an impact on whether they buy from you.  It’s a common mistake to use a color because you happen to like it or to “dress-up” your site without any thought to your site’s objectives. Here are several mistakes commonly made in selecting website colors:

Mistake #1: Colors that are selected conflict with your brand, service or products.

If you have a well-known brand like Coke, you can use bold colors like ‘Coca-Cola red’ as much as you want without concern. However, very few companies are in the unique position where the brand name is more powerful than their brand color. Less well-known businesses should carefully consider the colors they choose for their logos and website.

warm-coolCertain colors work well with specific types of businesses. For example, warm colors, such as reds, yellows, and oranges, can work well for food sites and restaurants that offer spicy fare.

Colors in the warm range can also be effective in selling products associated with sun, passion or sensuality.

Creams, whites and dark brown colors can be used successfully on websites that sell chocolate products.

Cool colors, such as blues and greens, complement outdoor products, airlines, medical services, law firms and intellectual content. These colors can reflect trust or a relaxed attitude. As one study has noted, “… the color blue has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, and has shown to increase productivity when used as a background color. However, don’t use blue in your color scheme if your product is food-related, as blue is a natural appetite suppressant.”

Mistake #2: Your web site uses saturated background colors that fight with your site’s content and make it difficult to read and navigate.

backgroundcolorIf your site uses product pictures or headlines with important messages, you should always chose a desaturated background so the images will ‘pop’ or ‘stand out’ on the page.

A saturated background will dominate your page, causing both the content and images to be lost. Not only will your content be hard to read, your pictures will lose their effectiveness and your site will be difficult to navigate.

The colors of your product pictures and key messages should always be more highly saturated than your background colors. Keep in mind that graphics and areas on your site with the most saturated colors will attract the visitor’s eye first.

For example, black and white text appears differently on saturated versus desaturated color backgrounds. White text has more ‘pop’ on a saturated background while black text is more readable on a desaturated background. White text on a desaturated background ‘shouts’ less, as well.

Mistake #3: Your website uses too many colors.

Color harmony is the most important criteria when selecting colors. We recommend selecting a moderate number of colors. Four or five colors at most (plus black and white). Too many colors create disorder and can distract the user. You should also take into consideration the shade of the colors you choose. They should complement each other or even be from the same family to have the smoothest viewing experience.


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The internet is a colorful place, and there is a lot that can be accomplished by using color in the right way, at the right time, with the right audience, and for the right purpose. So, now that you’re aware of how color can affect the success of your website, what do you do about it? Here’s some tips on how should you go about implementing these ideas:

  • Test several colors. Despite what some may say, there is no right color for conversion text or a button. Try a green, purple, or yellow button. Explore the advantages of a black background scheme vs. a white background. Find out which works best for your audience and with your product.
  • Don’t just leave color choice up to your designer. Color is a conversion issue, not just an “Oh, it looks good” issue. Color aesthetics is not everything. Color conversion effects are important! You should be heavily involved in the color selection of your landing pages in order to improve your conversions.
  • Avoid color overload. We’ve just finished telling you how important and awesome color is. Now, you’re going to go out and color something. But don’t go overboard. Reign in your color enthusiasm with a whole lot of white. Too many colors can create a sense of confusion.

Using the right color in your website design is crucial and using the right color based on what your specific audience will respond to increases the likelihood of them doing what you want them to do. If you understand how color psychology works and which color fits your audience you’ll be one step closer to having a successful website that operates at an optimal level.

Contact the Art of Online Marketing today at 800-764-8528 for a consultation on your website and ways to improve your visitor’s experience and conversion rates!

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