Web Design Basics Color Theory Blow Up Your Website Conversions Using Color

Blow Up Your Website Conversions Using Color

Larry Color Theory Apr 24, 2015

Human beings make decisions based on their senses all the time, especially when it comes to online purchases. Of those senses, sight is the biggest decision maker for most. For that reason, the colors you choose for your website design can have the most impact on turning your website visitors into customers.

Color Psychology

In order to gain an understanding of the colors you should use for your website, you need an understanding of how color affects human behavior. Though some are skeptic of the actual effects of colors on human behavior, study after study has shown that colors play a big part in daily decision making.

A study by Satyendra Singh (Department of Administrative Studies, University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada) published in the Journal of Management History revealed that it only takes 90 seconds for a customer to make a decision regarding a product, and, on average, 75 percent of the time, that decision is based on the color of the product alone. With this information in mind, it's clear that colors have a significant influence on customer's purchasing decisions.

A large part of understanding color psychology is knowing what colors mean. Listed below are some of the most common color associations.


Authority and Power. Popular in the fashion realm because it gives the illusion of thin.

black web template


Innocence, purity, and sterility. Light, neutral, and provides excellent contrast with darker colors.

white template


Love, passion, rage. Can induce a faster heart rate and breathing, and is a popular color for the food industry.

red template


Peace, trust. Puts people at ease and makes them more trusting of a company.

blue template


Nature, tranquility. Catches attention when used in the right shades and is perfect for environmentally friendly messages.

green template


Optimism, overstimulation. It catches attention, but can be unpleasantly overwhelming when used excessively.

yellow template


Confidence, impulsiveness. Gives the feeling of haste or impulse, which is perfect for retail websites.

orange template


Luxury, wealth, sophistication. Connotes femininity and romance, though it can appear artificial if paired with the wrong colors.

purple template


Solid, reliable, traditional. Creates an atmosphere of trust and genuineness.

brown template

Knowing the meaning of each of these colors and using them correctly in your website design can be the most important step you take to gain customers and retain their loyalty.

Using Colors Appropriately

Color helps catch a website visitor's attention, which is integral for driving conversions. In general, colors that stand out against a complementary background are more likely to be remembered than those that blend in. So if the purpose of your webpage is to entice users to try your product, the button proclaiming "Try it for free," should stand out against the other colors on your webpage.

Overall, remember that converting isn't always about what looks good. It's about keeping with the overall theme of your website while making important parts stand out. Keeping with the theme doesn't always mean that the colors will match. It often means that the background colors will be conducive to the purpose of your products, and the CTAs will be surrounded in bright, contrasting colors meant to stand out.

Just be cautious with your color use. Too many colors on one web page will only overwhelm the user, hurting your conversions. If you have too many colors on one page, no particular part will stand out, and the call to action won't be clear.

Tips for Selecting Colors for Your Site

When it comes to selecting the best colors to drive conversions on your site, consider what each of the colors will mean to your users. Use these extra tips to help you determine the most effective design.

Create Your Theme

Plan your color scheme around your purpose and your target audience. For example, if you're a high-end clothing website, you'll want to stick with colors that scream sophistication and beauty.

fashion store template

Since black and white are seen as sophisticated when paired together and also connote a general sense of slenderness, those would be great options for your base color. You will also want a primary accent color, such as red or green, to provide contrast and keep visual interest. Creating your color scheme around your audience is an excellent way to catch a customer's attention.

Colors for Genders

Different colors usually mean different things for each gender, so if your website is gender specific, this tip is for you. Women tend to gravitate towards blue, purple, and green and stray from gray, orange and brown. Men generally prefer blue, green, and black, but avoid purple, orange, and brown. With this information in mind, it's probably safe to assume that if your site is gender neutral, blues, greens, blacks, and whites will go over well with your customers.

CTA Primary Actions

When it comes to your calls to action, primary colors tend to go over best. Bright reds, yellows, and blues feel very familiar to customers and help to cultivate a relationship of trust between you and your company. They're also very effective at catching attention, and when paired against a neutral backdrop, it creates an extremely compelling call to action that most customers won't be able to resist.

Overall, when it comes to enticing website visitors to become customers, never underestimate the power of color. It's one of the biggest and most important secrets for efficient web design.


Larry Alton

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

subscribe to newsletter