Guide: Choosing The Right Colours For Your Website
Guide: Choosing The Right Colours For Your Website
When it comes to website design, one of the most important decisions that you’ll make is choosing the right colour scheme. It’s one of the choices that can make or break your online campaign.
Nowadays, if you own a brick-and-mortar business, you probably own a website as well. And the most important thing for a website is to have a good conversion rate. If your website isn’t converting, then your company might as well just hang up a “Closed for Business” banner.
That’s why you should make your website colour scheme a priority, plan it well – and most importantly – optimize it for conversion.
In this blog, we are going to take a look at how colors influence our business and how can they be used to improve your customer’s impression of your website and your business.
So, Why is colour such a big deal?
Colour plays a very important role in our daily lives. It connects our feelings in a unique way, making it one of the most impactful marketing tools, to think of when making web design decisions. The colour choices you make should reflect the message that you’re business is trying to convey about your product or your business. In addition, colour is the first thing that will draw the eye of your visitors.
According to a recent study done by Kissmetrics, 85% of shoppers online base their buying decisions on colours alone. The same study also tells us that proper use of colours will lead to an 80% of brand recognition. Other studies and tests have also proved that colour can increase memory, as well as, engage and increase participation.
Looking deeper into the study that Kissmetrics did, it suggests that you should use colours depending on the nature of your business. With that, it would be easy to assume that if you own a clothing shop for women, you should pick a pink color scheme. Now, this kind of analogy isn’t clear-cut and we cannot have definite answers. So let us try to check how the colour theory works to get a more info on how you can pick the right colour scheme for your website.
What is Colour Theory?
Colour theory is a topic that is so broad and diverse that a lot of books have been written about it. So in this article, we’ll stick to its basics. In essence, the color theory can be broken down into three major parts as it refers to web design.
In layman’s terms, contrast is the difference between two colors. In website design, contrast serves two functions: first, it establishes readability; and second, it draws the attention of the viewer to a specific element on a page.
We can find complementary colours by checking the opposite of a color on the color wheel. For example, red’s complementary color is green and blue’s complementary color is orange. If used correctly, these colours can accent each other and make a very effective colour scheme.
Vibrancy refers to the general mood of particular colour sets: the brighter and warmer colours tend to energize us while darker and cooler shades tend to make us more relaxed.
Colour and Culture
Colours have different meaning across different cultures. The way we perceive a specific colour may not be the same as someone from a different country. When planning your web design, it is important to understand your target audience and know how they perceive certain colour associations. In this blog I will summarize a great breakdown of frequently used colours and their meanings across different cultures – this study was done by Web Designer Depot.
– In the western culture, such as America and Northern Europe, Red is a colour of passion and excitement. It is a symbol of danger, love, and power but it can also have a negative connotation when connected to the countries that once belonged to the Eastern communist bloc.
– In the eastern culture, red is the color of happiness and celebration.- In the Middle East, red represents danger and caution. Some even consider it as the colour of evil.
– In the Middle East, red represents danger and caution. Some even consider it as the colour of evil.
– The western culture sees orange as the color of harvest and autumn. In the USA, Orange signifies the fall season beginning September through to Halloween and then Thanksgiving during December.
– The Indian Culture consider orange as a sacred colour while in Japan, orange is a symbol of love and courage.
– Finally, the Middle East associates the colour orange with mourning and loss
– In the western culture, yellow is associated with warmth and hospitality. In Germany, yellow is associated with envy.
– In the Eastern and Asian culture, yellow is not only considered sacred but also imperial. In India, yellow symbolizes commerce.
– Contrary to that, In Latin America and Egypt, yellow is associated with death and mourning. The rest of Middle Eastern cultures view yellow as the colour of happiness and prosperity.
– Many western cultures use blue for bank logs as it represents trust and authority. It’s also considered to be calm, soothing, and peaceful. In a negative context, it represents sadness and depression.
– In the Eastern and Asian cultures, blue is associated with immortality and strength. In China, blue is a feminine color.
– In Latin America, blue is associated with religion due to the high presence of the Catholic Church.
– While western cultures are associating green as the color of luck, it also represents nature, the environment, the protection of environmental causes, and progress. In a negative context, green represents envy or jealousy.
– In the Eastern and Asian cultures, green is the colour of fertility and youth. However, it is also associated with infidelity and exorcism
– In Latin America, it is the colour of death.
– The western world sees black as the colour of death, formality, and mourning, as well as the color of control and force.
– In the Eastern and Asian cultures, black represents masculinity and is the colour of boys in China. It also represents wealth, health, and prosperity. In Thailand and Tibet, black is associated with evil.
– In the Middle East, black symbolizes mourning and rebirth.
– In the western cultures, white is the colour of purity and happiness.
– In Italy, and Eastern cultures, white represents sterility, mourning, and misfortune
– Similar to black, Middle Eastern cultures associates white with both purity and mourning.
Conversion Funnel and Colour
A conversion funnel helps you visualize and understand the flow that your potential customers go through after they land on your website. In this article, I will explain to you the conversion funnel in its most basic form. The conversion funnel has four main elements: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Conversion. Let’s break them down:
Awareness is all about attracting your target audience to the website. This is the part of the funnel where they are introduced to your brand. They get familiar with your business, your company culture, and your mission statement. This is where the colours are starting to play a major role. By knowing who your target audience is and knowing the emotions you want them to evoke, you can start planning the overall colour scheme of your website.
This is the stage where you work to excite the interest of your website visitors. You want to guide them to further explore and check your website thoroughly. This is where your efforts should focus on polishing headlines, images, banners, and written content.
Now that you have their interest, you have to make them really want your product or service. Your website’s imagery, great product options, videos, and testimonials should provide all the information that they need in order for them to take action.
During the early stages of planning your website, you should choose 3 colours that will represent your brand’s website. The rule of the thumb is to typically use neutral colors for the background and use your main brand colour to create an eye captivating effect. Your brand’s colour should be used for links, navigation menu, and headlines.
This is the part where your website visitors take your desired action – which is to convert. This is where you need to draw their attention and take that action. The best way to do it? Use the accent colour from your colour scheme. Why? Because it compliments your colour scheme but it is also contrasting enough to draw the eye to your main call-to-action.
In other words, if your website uses the colour blue as its main colour then it wouldn’t make sense if you make your call-to-action button a darker shade of blue. Using a colour like range or a shade of yellow or red would be beneficial.
Lastly, make sure that your call-to-action contrasts with your brand’s colour to make it stand out, but not clash. You want it to draw people’s eye, pushing them towards conversion, not scaring them off with an unappealing colour scheme.
How To Determine The Best Colour For Your CTA
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to this question. Call-to-action buttons on the web are mostly red, orange, and green. And if you consider the fact that green usually signifies GO, it’s no wonder that many have tried to translate that to the web. However, a number of studies have shown that green is not the optimal choice for a CTA.
A study from HubSpot shows that their red button outperformed the green one with a 21% increase in conversion rates. And a similar study done by Dmix shows that when they replaced their green button with a red one, their conversion rate has increased by 34%.
On the other hand, Amazon shows that orange can be used effectively as a CTA button colour. If you check their website, it is noticeable that their most important call-to-actions are orange, which is a great color for a company that wants to come off as approachable as possible.
We’ve covered a lot for today. The main takeaway about colour optimization is to know that there is no clear-cut answer to it. Each website is unique and as such, each and every website will have a unique conversion rate optimization process.
As a starting point, you can narrow the potential colours of your CTA buttons to a few options that are in line with your theme or if it presents a significant contrast. Also, avoid using colours that may have a negative connotation with your target audience.
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