Use Color to Improve Your Website Conversion

How to use color to improve your website conversion

During the last few decades psychology and neuroscience have repeatedly shown us that colors affect human emotions, attitudes and even actions! Web designers and UX experts decided to channel specific user behaviors, bringing focus to particular sections of the website or driving traffic to call-to-action buttons and messages. Using the right colors, you can significantly improve the conversion rate of your website. Here are some tips on how to use color psychology to your advantage.

Understanding color psychology

Research studies exploring the influence of color on our decision-making, clearly demonstrate that visuals are a top factor when making a purchase decision. One recent study pointed out that it takes about 90 seconds for a customer to form an opinion about a product and 62-90% of this decision is based solely on its color.

Color and target audience

Before you decide which colors to use for your background, text and call-to-action buttons, make sure to have a firm grasp on your target demographic. One of the most important factors that influence color choice is age.

If your audience is young, using saturated and lively colors is a very good idea. But watch out – if your website should attract adult and mature consumers, those colors might ruin your conversion rate. This group will find them distracting or even offensive, quickly abandoning your website.


Another significant target audience metric is gender. This insightful color study showed that while women adore blue, green and purple, men like blue, green and black, purple being one of their least favorite colors. See the pattern? This essentially means that if you’re planning to launch a website directed at both genders or just men, you might find purple a tricky choice.

Color-specific messages

Blue is considered the color of trust and works great for services that require a fair amount of interaction from their users. Think social media platforms like Facebook or online payment solutions, such as PayPal.

Ecommerce websites should consider blue as their dominant hue because it reduces the risk of purchase postponement, and boasts a high aesthetic appreciation score that in fact correlates with a stronger intent of purchase.

Red will work great in environments that require some risky or aggressive moves. In 2013, researchers from the University of Virginia conducted a study, which showed that when product scarcity was significant (for instance, in an auction), consumers were more willing to pay when confronted with a red background rather than blue.

Some color meanings are quite simple – while green works great for environmentally-conscious or outdoor companies, black is the color of sophistication and elegance, perfect for fashion or luxury products for mature consumers.

Call-to-action buttons

Primary or secondary colors are a must for call-to-action buttons, which should catch the viewer’s eye by visibly standing out from the website’s color scheme. Consider this: Performable increased its conversions by 21% when they changed their call-to-action button from green to red (link).

Orange and yellow are great as well – they’re those ‘ugly’ colors that go against our aesthetic sense, capturing more attention than elements based on colors that fit a website’s palette.

The above is by no means a set of strict rules that guarantee a higher conversion rate. The potential of color depends on your product, audience and branding strategies – that’s why testing various color solutions is crucial for gaining this knowledge. Test your website through A/B testing and choose colors that will truly benefit your conversion rate.

Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily.


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Posted: February 6, 2015