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 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.


  1. Tom

    July 14, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Thanks for the clarification of the use of cool colors:)

  2. Andrew @ Blogging Guide

    July 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

    An excellent share, Adam. I am a perfectionist when it comes to my work so definitely your article thought me ideas to make my sites even better.

  3. Phil Entrepreneur

    July 14, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I choose blue and green mainly, I do have a red on black site but I did not think about why I just choose that because it just looked cool. I am going to look at maybe making that site more sales focused after reading this post.

  4. Miriam - Christian Stress Management

    July 15, 2011 at 2:39 am

    I chose blue and white because my site deals with stress management and blue is said to be a soothing color. Thanks for the info on all the other colors.

  5. SEO Blogging | Kira

    July 16, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Great to know these facts. Thanks for sharing! I loved black. It’s cool!

  6. Babu Puthethu

    July 18, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Thanks Adam,

    The psychology of colors is crucial when designing the sites. And, your statistical analysis of decision making gives lots of insights into it.

    At the same time, one has to be careful about the audience while selecting colors…!!

  7. Oscar Barona Hechizos para el Amor

    July 19, 2011 at 7:26 am

    interesting had never had this in mind I will implement the pink to my page to see if more conversion factors.

    What a great contribution!

  8. Andy King

    July 21, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Very interesting… Very useful information… Will keep in mind the colors while designing next web site… Thanks

  9. Lynn

    July 21, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Now I know why I spend so much money at Target 😛 haha thanks for the information! I will keep this in mind when I’m working on marketing campaigns!

  10. cheap designer handbags

    July 23, 2011 at 2:47 am

    very useful sharing Adam as usual. you make my mind clear about how to use the color and their effects. this post really gives me a lot. hoping that you will surely shares some more posts like that

  11. Ahsima

    September 15, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Surely the color of the site will make the visitor to stay in the site or just go back by closing it. Some mild and related color to business will be more impressive.