Design & Branding 101: Choosing the Right Colors for your Website
In today’s highly competitive landscape, business owners need to create a website, write high-quality content, and post content regularly. These elements are essential to building your brand’s foundation and setting up a strong marketing strategy… But to what end?
You want to keep your brand on your target market’s radar so you can grow your website’s traffic and foster a loyal and engaged audience. However, if that’s the only thing you are doing, you’ll be out of business before you even begin.
A couple of years ago, having a successful website simply required choosing a professional looking template and posting high-quality content. Now, with it being so easy to start a business online, there are likely hundreds of other competitors gunning for the same audience as you. That means you have to use every tool at your disposal to outdo your competitors—even ones you may never have heard of before.
It’s all about the details, and one detail you may never have thought twice about is the specific colors you have incorporated into your website’s design. Now I know what you’re thinking: what does color have to do with my brand?
Well, the answer is: A LOT.
Studies have shown that color has a huge impact on the opinions consumers form about products—in fact, it can determine approximately 62-90% of a customer’s interaction with your product. This influence certainly extends to your business’s website.
The truth is, colors wield enormous sway over our behavioral patterns. So, if you want to market your products, you need to capitalize on the kind of colors you use in your web design. However, choosing the right color combination presents a challenge. And since it takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your site, you can’t afford much trial and error.
You have to choose color combinations that will entice your audience and lure them to your website, so let’s dive in and discuss how colors impact the perception of your website! [REPOST]
Color and Psychology
Colors have an impact on human behavior, and the science that studies these connections is called color psychology, a branch within the larger field of behavioral psychology. All good business owners and marketers need to have an understanding of behavioral psychology. Especially if they want to have a successful marketing campaign.
In other words, you have to have an understanding of how your customer’s mind works so you can decide what works for your audience and what doesn’t, and that includes understand how certain colors affect behavior.
Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about color that seem to persist. For example, even in marketing, there is an idea that blue is the most appropriate color for male consumers, while pink is the ideal color to market products for female consumers. This is simply not the case, as we’ll expand on later. There are plenty of other misconceptions that we are going to discuss as we break down the various colors you can use on your website and the psychology behind them.
According to recent studies, individuals seem to be more inclined to pick the color blue as their favorite over any other color. This color is often associated with a certain level of trust, security, and dependability, which are all strong emotions that corporations and businesses want their customers to associate with their brand. The sense of stability and trustworthiness that the color blue invokes is largely why is has come to be known as the color of corporate America. Businesses like social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter), financial institutions (American Express, PayPal), and other types of corporations that deal with customer’s sensitive information tend to have blue logos.
However, this doesn’t mean that blue is the right color for all businesses. If you want to encourage impulse buys, the calming effect of blue colors is the opposite of what you need. Additionally, studies suggest that the color blue suppresses appetites, so steer clear of it if your business has anything to do with food and eating.
Purple is royal in every sense. It exudes a sense of nobility and signifies luxury and glamour, which is something that most high-end audiences gravitate towards. Purple also typically ranks high amongst feminine products when it comes to color preferences. Purple can also invoke a sense of creativity, imagination, and wisdom.
Shade plays an important role in how consumers respond to purple, especially in website design. Tests have shown that dark colors like black, brown, and darker shades of gray and purple have low conversion rates. If you want to include purple in your brand and web design, opt for brighter tones of purple.
Pink has always been a traditional color used for products and services for women, however in 2022 that’s really no longer the case. As we begin to progress past gendered stereotypes, pink has become a trending color for website design for products appealing to both men and women.
If pink feels like the right color for your brand, don’t be afraid that you will alienate half of your audience—just take a look at the website for the ice cream company Baskin Robbins.
At the same time, it still mainly represents sweetness, love, femininity, warmth, and a nurturing quality for many people. In short, it’s a color that resonates with many of us, so if you want to deliver these feelings, pink is the choice for you.
For the most part, the color red invokes an instinctual feeling. Consider the universal stop sign, colored in a bright red. So naturally, when you see a red color, it provokes an urgent sense of danger, or instinct to stop. But there’s much more to the color than instinct.
In marketing, red creates a sense of urgency or excitement, which is why most shops use it when giving out a discount. Additionally, it fuels your shopping appetite. From an emotional viewpoint, red means many things to different people. It could be passion, intensity, or a symbol of love.
However, due to its bold tint, red can be a challenge to incorporate into web design, as it can often come across as overpowering. If using red, try to combine it with other colors in muted tones.
The color yellow is mostly a warm color that arouses happiness, cheer, and joy. However, while it creates a primarily positive vibe, it could also be perceived as a warning or caution against something. So you have to ensure that the message is clear. Regardless of emotion, yellow is almost always an attention grabber.
More importantly, you need to ensure that you use a shade that best compliments your website’s agenda. For example, if your site deals with a much younger audience, you should use a brighter shade of yellow. If you are dealing with a more mature audience, a darker shade of yellow would be more appropriate. Make sure you find the right balance between exciting your audience instead of irritating them.
Orange is not exactly a the most popular color, as it often ranks among the least favorite across many demographs. Accordingly, it is not commonly used for product branding. However, it might be a color that you want to consider if you’re looking to stand out. Some new modern banks (like Tangerine) and other upcoming startups in the financial/tech space have been opting for orange in their branding. It is also known to portray a sense of competition or physical activity, which is why you can find it in many sports logos.
On the other hand, orange can be very helpful in web design, as it does stand out. Plus, it is a sociable and friendly color. This is what makes it a great color for your CTA (Call-To-Action) buttons.
If you want to portray a sense of harmony, life, wealth, and nature, green would be the best color to use on your website. However, the color green means different things to different cultures. So it helps to be well informed about your audience and their culture. For example, in the USA, green represents inexperience.
Like orange and other bright primary and secondary colors, green is a good choice for CTAs. (And any other design features that you want to draw attention to on your website).
White is often left out of many discussions about color theory. However, it is a fact that it is associated with many luxury brands and high-end products. It also adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to your website. That’s why most high-end brands add a hint of white to their products.
Using white space can help create a sense of breathability. Therefore, this can be very impactful to incorporate as a background color. If you need any convincing, just look at one of the most influential websites in the world: Google.
Oftentimes throughout history, black has been associated in a elusive context, with terms like black magic or the mystery of the night sky. However, it also signifies elegance and luxury. And, ranks highly amongst preferred colors for masculine products and services. On the other hand, tests show that black does not inspire conversions, so stay away from it for features like CTAs.
Black can be powerful and sophisticated when used correctly. But you need to be careful about using it on your website, as it could be detrimental to your efforts to attract your audience. Opt for black as a background color or incorporate it into your color scheme as opposed to small features.
Brown has an obvious earthy tone that comes across as natural, ‘dirt’-y or organic. It’s also ranked as one of the least preferred colors among most individuals. That being said, it can communicate dependability and reliability when used on a website.
And because of its earthy associations, it can be the best color to use if you are dealing with plants/agricultural products.
Wrapping It Up
We do know that color plays an integral part in how consumers form perceptions. However marketers also have to keep in mind that people have very personal experiences with certain colors. Color preferences vary by individuals and by cultures, so the most important thing to consider when choosing your brand colors is whether it is the right fit for your company, your product, your brand personality, and your website.