Since the beginning of website design, there has been a well-known debate about how colors affect a website. When it comes down to it, there is proof that colors affect a website in many ways. Many factors are influences by color including conversion rates, branding, usability, and even search engine ranking.

Once you examine all of the different elements of your website that color plays a factor in, you will pay closer attention in choosing the colors you use in your design.

Color and Website Conversions

When you create a website with the purpose of selling your products and services being the main goal, it is important to consider the color scheme and each individual color because studies have shown that they have a huge impact on conversions. Kissmetrics analytics detail how colors affect purchases in a study on the psychology of colors:

  • 93% of shoppers put visual appearance and color over all other factors when buying.
  • 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product.

Color can also help you target certain types of customers. Are you looking for impulse shoppers? Try using red-orange, black, or royal blue. If your website targets shoppers on a budget, you should employ navy blue or teal colors. Finally, if you want to increase your conversion rate of traditional shoppers, use pink, sky blue, and rose shades.

Website Colors and Your Brand

Color Combinations

Colors should coincide with your brand message and not be in conflict. It is important to know what colors mean in different regions of the world and how the colors you choose can represent your brand. Blues and greens represent calm colors that instill a sense of trust. Doctors, banks, and lawyers brands usually match well with green and blue colors. Bold red and purple shades can get consumers excited or show passion. Reds, pinks, and purples can really get the heart pumping and make consumers excited about your brand. Yellow and orange can represent brightness, playfulness, and optimism. If you want to portray an upscale or exclusive brand, black can achieve this when designed properly.

Color and Website Usability

Color Scheming Tips

Website usability may not be something often considered when talking about how color affects website visitors; however, it is important to realize that colors may play the largest factor in website usability. Are all elements on your website easily visible to your visitors? In some cases, trying to keep up branding colors may hurt the usability. Bright colors like yellow and orange can attract attention, but they can also cause eye fatigue and result in visitors leaving your site. Too many colors or a bright background can interfere with pictures of products. An important factor in usability is the color of links. Make sure that clickable objects look clickable and other objects that are not linked do not look clickable. Usability is something that can easily be tested, so be sure to test how customers navigate through your site.

Color and Website Ranking

There are many, many factors that are considered and factored into the ranking algorithms of the search engines. Many of these factors are influenced by website visitors, how long they stay on your website, and where they click. An engaging website will be more successful with your visitors, and in turn, your website will fare better in the rankings based on the behavior of your visitors. Then there are specific color tactics that could be viewed as SPAM techniques to search engines. If the text color is the same or very similar to the background color that is a red flag for the search engines. Your website will be penalized if it appears that you were trying to hide text on a webpage. Another thing to be careful about is to make sure that links look like links. They should be formatted the same way across your entire site.

Takeaways on Color and Website Design

It is important to note that color affects are not universal. Consumers in different parts of the world look at colors differently, so be sure to research where your target customers are. You might consider designing regional or country specific websites in order to maximize conversions, branding, usability, and search engine rankings. The most important thing to remember with your website design and colors is to continually test for different factors to see how your website visitors react. Your visitors are unique to your website, so you should adjust your design and colors according to their reactions.

About the Author:
Richard Larson is blogger and Brand Manager for GoPromotional. He enjoys sharing marketing and business tips for online companies.

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