Psych 101 for Your Website: The Color Factor

By on July 13, 2011

Website ColorYou’ve probably put a lot of thought and effort into your website – at least we’d hope so. You’ve worked on making it user friendly, ensuring it flows well and is easy to navigate, and you’ve thought long and hard about the content you put on your site. But what about the colors you use? Most entrepreneurs think about the color of their site in terms of how colors look together and whether they’re generally appealing, but color actually has a lot more to do with what your visitors think about your site – and the actions they take – than you might realize.

There have been entire books written about the psychology of color in buying habits. It’s a topic that has been well studied, and most marketing degrees include at least some study of this topic. We don’t want to bore you with psychology talk though. So here are the basics of what various colors mean, who they appeal to, and who should use them.

First, a Few Stats

Some of these statistics have to do with the color of individual products, but they demonstrate very clearly the power color has in the minds of consumers. According to a recent KISSMetrics report:

  • 93% of consumers place color and appearance above other factors when making a buying decision.
  • 85% of shoppers state color as the primary factor in their decision to buy a product.
  • Brand recognition, which links directly to consumer confidence, is increased by 80% when the right colors are used.

What Does it Mean?

It’s important to know what specific colors mean to people. It’s been shown that certain colors invoke specific feelings in most people, so let’s see what colors really mean.

 Yellow:  Youthful and optimistic. Use it to grab attention. Usually not good as a background or primary site color.

 Red:  Energy. Creates urgency and increases heart rate. Good for appealing to impulse shoppers.

 Blue:  Creates feelings of trust and security. This is why many banks use it in their logos or marketing.  Navy or dark blue  is used to market to the budget-conscious.

 Green:  Gives the impression of wealth. Relaxing and easy-going. Teal can be used to appeal to people on a budget.

 Orange:  Aggressive and excitement. Good for calls to action and impulse buying.

 Pink:  Feminine and romantic. Used to market to women and girls and traditional buyers.

 Black:  Powerful and sleek. Use it to market luxury products and appeal to impulse buyers.

 Purple:  Soothing and calming. Often used to market anti-aging products.

Part of the study mentioned above found that what your site visitors see when they come to your site, from overall design to the colors used, really does make an impact on whether they buy from you. In fact, 52% of people surveyed who said they would not return to a site stated the reason as ‘aesthetics.’ If there was ever any question, that should confirm that the look of your site is one of the most important parts of your business.

How did you choose the colors for your website? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.