Colour is a powerful marketing tool to increase conversion. colour is the first thing that will draw the eye and visually guide your visitors, which is why it’s important that the colours in your design are purposeful and have meaning in their use.

According to a research, 85% of shoppers base their decision on colour alone. And according to the same infographic, proper use of colour leads to an 80% increase in brand recognition.

Various other studies and tests have proven that colour can increase memory, engage and increase participation, as well as inform. Colour theory can be broken down into three major parts as it refers to web design:

Contrast – is the difference between two colours. Contrast serves two functions in web design: it establishes readability as well as draws the viewer’s attention towards a specific element on the page. Whenever you are in doubt, the best practice is to choose a very light colour for the background and a very dark colour for the text itself.

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Complementary colours are found opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example, red’s complementary colour is green and blue’s complement is orange. When used properly complimentary colours can be very effective. Vibrancy is the general mood particular colour sets: the brighter, warmer colours like red, orange, yellow tend to energise. while, cooler shades like green, blue, purple tend to be relaxing.

Colour Meanings and Culture

Colours have different meanings across different cultures. The way we perceive a certain colour may not be the same as someone from another country or region.  When planning a Web Designer Depot has compiled a detailed report on cultural implications of culture on how colour is perceived. In Brief as below

Red

  • In western cultures, such as North America and Europe, red is the colour of passion and excitement. It symbolizes danger, love, excitement, and power but it can also carry a negative connotation when connected to the countries that used to belong to the Eastern communist block.
  • In Eastern and Asian cultures, red represents happiness, joy, and celebration; and as such it is often worn by brides on their wedding day because it is thought to bring good luck and happiness.
  • In the Middle East, red represents danger and caution. Some also consider it the colour of evil.

Orange

  • The West sees orange as the colour of harvest and autumn. Traditionally, in the United States orange signifies the fall season beginning in September through to Halloween and then Thanksgiving in late November.
  • Indian cultures consider orange a sacred colour while in Japan, orange symbolizes courage and love.

Yellow

  • In Western cultures, yellow is associated with warmth, summer, and hospitality. Oddly enough, in Germany, yellow is associated with envy whereas most of the rest of the world associates this feeling with the colour green.
  • In Eastern and Asian cultures, yellow is not only considered sacred but imperial as well. In India, it symbolizes commerce.
  • Contrary to that, in Latin America and Egypt, yellow is associated with death and mourning. The rest of the Middle Eastern cultures view yellow as the colour of happiness and prosperity.

Blue

  • Many Western cultures use blue for bank logos because it represents trust and authority. It’s also associated with the birth of baby boys and considered to be calming, soothing, and peaceful. In a negative context, it represents sadness and depression.
  • In Eastern and Asian cultures, blue is associated with immortality and strength. Contrary to the western world, blue is a feminine colour in China.
  • In Latin America, blue is often associated with religion due to the high presence of the Catholic church.
  • The Middle East sees blue as safe and protecting as it is the colour associated with Heaven, spirituality, and immortality.

Green

  • While Western cultures associate green predominantly as the colour of the Irish and luck, green also refers to nature, the environment, the protection of environmental causes, and progress. In a negative context green symbolizes envy or jealousy.
  • In Eastern and Asian cultures, green is the colour of nature, fertility, and youth. However, it’s also associated with infidelity and exorcism.
  • In Latin America green is the colour of death.
  • For the majority of the Middle East green represents strength, fertility, luck, and wealth and is most commonly associated with Islam.

Purple

  • In Western cultures, as well as most Eastern and Asian cultures, purple is the colour of royalty and is associated with wealth and fame.
  • On the other hand, Latin America and Thailand see purple as the colour of mourning and death.
  • The Middle East sees purple as symbolic for wealth.

Pink

  • In Western cultures, pink is the colour of femininity and signifies the birth of a daughter. It also represents sweetness, childhood, or fun.
  • In Eastern and Asian cultures, pink is also considered feminine where it also signifies marriage. The exception is China which, as stated above, sees blue as the feminine colour.
  • In Latin America, pink is often used as a colour for buildings, while the Middle East doesn’t tie pink with anything in particular.

Brown

Western cultures associate brown with the earth but also health or even barrenness. Brown is stable, dependable, and wholesome. In Eastern and Asian cultures brown is the colour of mourning while in Latin America brown discourages sales and is generally considered disapproving. Middle Eastern cultures associate brown with the earth and comfort.

Black

The Western world sees black as the colour of finality, death, formality, and mourning, as well as the colour of control and force. In eastern and Asian cultures, black represents masculinity and is the colour for boys in China. It also symbolises wealth, health, and prosperity, while in Thailand and Tibet, black is most closely associated with evil. Like in the East, Latin America associates this colour with masculinity and mourning. Interestingly enough, Middle East uses black to symbolise both rebirth and mourning.

White

In Western cultures, white is the colour of purity and peace. It is the colour associated with weddings, hospitals, and holiness. However, in Italy and Eastern and Asian cultures, white is used for funerals and represents sterility, mourning, unhappiness, and misfortune. In Latin America, white has many of the same associations as in North America and is connected to purity and peace. Similarly, to black, the Middle East associates both purity and mourning with white.

Colour and the Conversion in websites

Research shows that colour plays an important part in converting visitors to prospects and further down into customers. action. In its most basic form, the The visitor journey has four elements: awareness, interest, desire, and conversion.

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Awareness

Awareness is all about attracting potential customers or clients to your site. This is the part of the funnel where they get introduced to your brand. They get familiar with your business, your company culture, and your mission statement. This is where colours start to play a major role. By knowing who your target audience is and knowing the emotions you want to evoke, you can start planning your overall colour scheme.

Interest

At this stage, you are working to pique the interest of your website visitors. You want to guide them to explore further and dive deeper into your website. Your energy should be focused on polishing headlines, images, banners, and writing a compelling copy.

Desire

Now that you have their interest, you have to make them really want your product. Your website’s imagery, great product options, videos, and testimonials should provide all the necessary information that they need in order to take action.

During the website planning stage, you should choose 3 colours that will represent your brand’s website. The general rule of thumb is typically to use a neutral colour such as white the background and use your main brand colour to create a visually striking effect. Your primary brand colour could be used for links, navigation menus and headlines. The third colour should be an accent colour from your brand palette that will serve one specific purpose. That brings us to the fourth stage of the conversion funnel.

Conversion

At this point your want your visitor to take an action i.e. convert. What that action is, depends entirely on you but the main goal is that they take action. This is where you need to draw their attention to that one single action. The best way to do that? Use the accent colour from your colour scheme. This is where you want a colour that compliments your colour scheme but is contrasting enough to draw the eye to your main call-to-action.

For example, if your main colour throughout the website is blue the third colour – to draw attention and to have callout buttons and text – it makes sense to use orange which is a complimentary colour to blue.

Optimise your website for the right colour

Write down what the primary goal of your website is and who your target audience is before choosing your colour palette.

Your colour scheme will be based on the age, gender and country/culture of your audience.

When it comes to call-to-action buttons A/B testing will be a useful way to find out which colour converts more.  Hubspot did A/B testing on button colour and found out in that particular test that Red converted better than green.

Read the full report at Hubspot Study.