Colors1 • 237 Marketing + Web

When it comes to website design, there are hundreds of little details that must be addressed in order to create an aesthetically pleasing, functional site. With all the big-picture decisions on the table, it is easy to overlook elements that seem inconsequential. But those tiny choices can ultimately have a major impact on the success of your site, especially when it comes to boosting conversions.

The Importance of Color

Take color, for instance. All companies should have their own color palettes so that every logo or marketing material is an opportunity to reinforce the brand. There is a wealth of research about the different feelings that certain colors evoke in viewers — blue is calming, red is active, green is natural – so most companies carefully consider the main color in their brand with an eye to expressing their company ethos. That color scheme also will be prominent in the website design.

Choosing a Call-to-Action Color

Now, let’s get back to conversions. One of the best ways to transform site visitors into paying customers is with helpful content, attractive design and multiple calls to action. These invitations to engage with a site may be presented in popup windows, buttons or forms, among other options. So then the question becomes: Which color is most effective in prompting action? The answer is not as straightforward as “Green means go” or “Yellow because it’s the brightest.”

In general, there are three basic rules to choosing a color for your calls to action:

  • Go for high contrast:

    If your site has muted colors, a brightly colored button is your best bet. The inverse also can be true. If the site is all blues and whites, you might want black or orange buttons. Look at a color wheel and find the shade on the opposite side of your main brand color. That hue is a good place to start when choosing button colors. Bright buttons are more obvious and get more notice, leading to increased conversions.

  • Be true to your brand:

    Although bright colors are good, you don’t want to go completely astray from your brand’s personality. For example, if your company logo is purple and white and your reputation is feminine and playful, you wouldn’t go with a black button. Yellow or orange buttons are a much better fit to convey the right feel and follow the color wheel.

  • Be consistent with color:

    Once you establish a standard color for all your calls to action, don’t use that shade for anything that is not an opportunity to act. In effect, you are subtly training users to look for a certain color when they want to interact with the site or the company. Also, don’t change button colors throughout the site. Every page should have clear calls to action in the same shade. Users will thank you for offering clear directions and helpful prompts.

Feel Free to Experiment

If you get to the point where you can’t decide between two button colors, consider running a short experiment to determine the efficacy of each. Leave the buttons one color for a week or a month, then switch them to the other option and check your analytics. Just be sure to keep the experiments brief and unobtrusive. Also, avoid changing anything else on the site during the tests so you can be sure that the difference in clicks can be directly attributed to color and not to other variables.

Ultimately, the bottom line is that there is no magical button color when it comes to conversions. But there is a golden rule: Make the button as visible as possible. If you are strategic about your call to action color choice, you should be able to expect increased conversion rates.