Color has a powerful impact on us, and rarely do we understand why. Every brand we see has put time, energy and resources into finding the color scheme that visually appeals to consumers.
On my desk right now there’s an unopened bottle of beer left over from Friday afternoon. The beer’s red and black label has an image of mountains, the Vancouver skyline and water beneath it.
Was this visually appealing label the reason I bought this beer? To be completely honest with you, I’m not sure. Yes, I bought this beer because I enjoy it. But why did I start buying this brand a few years ago? Why did I choose it over the beer next to it or the other hundred choices just like it that were available to me?
Color and design are a likely cause, and now this beer has a lifelong customer (also because it’s delicious and if it wasn’t 11:15 in the morning on a Tuesday…)
This article will dive into finding the right colors for your landing pages. Just like choosing a delicious beer or book, your landing page visitor does judge by the cover. This article will help you make that cover as appealing as possible to maximize your conversions.
Finding the Right Color Scheme
If your customer is comparing your business to every one of your competitors (which, let’s face it, the internet makes very easy), they need a reason to choose you. True, it’s essential that you need a unique selling proposition, short benefit list and other essential parts of the anatomy of a landing page.
But as important as these variables are, your competitors have something similar. Your page needs something more intangible to stand out from the crowd. An appealing color scheme can be that thing: the design that makes your landing page traffic say “yes” without knowing exactly why.
Choosing the right color scheme for your website or landing page requires you to know your business’ target market inside and out. Use the wrong color (especially when targeting millennials, or a specific gender) and your page engagement will take a huge hit.
Here’s what I recommend:
The Professional Look: Shades of grey, black and white.
- Grey and black connote sincerity and sophistication when used in conjunction with a clean white (avoid brown, tan or beige as they’ll wash out the effect).
The Startup Look: Light blue, dark blue, grey and white
- Blue creates the sensation of trust and security. Light blue is calming while darker blues (like blacks) denote professionalism. Blue is also the favorite color across both genders and all age groups.
- Blue is your best bet if you have a young business and are focused on increasing brand awareness.
The Environmentally-friendly Look: White, brown and (primary color) green
- Green communicates health and wellbeing. This is because when people see green they (evolutionarily) associate it with water and safety.
- More recently green has come to signify the entire green movement. When used in conjunction with brown and beige you’ll communicate a comfortable and earthy tone.
The Female-Focused Look: Purple, white and beige
- Purple is the favorite color of 23% of women, and 0% of men. It communicates womanhood, maternity and comfort. Interestingly, it increases in popularity as women get older.
The Male-Focused Look: Black, red and gold – red for CTA
- Solid black landing pages with vibrant reds communicate strength and permanence – appealing to masculine sensibilities.
The Teen Look: Every color under the sun
- You can’t really be sure what teens will respond to. Some of them will respond to black and white exclusively, and some to pinks, yellows and reds (together).
- If your target market is teens you’ll have to A/B test often to find success.
Optimizing your Call-to-Action Button
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when optimizing your website or landing page color scheme is to contrast too intensely (and I’m speaking from experience here).
This is particularly true when optimizing CTA buttons. The right amount of contrast can focus your visitor’s attention while too much will increase bounce rates and straight up frighten your landing page traffic.
Here’s what I recommend for your CTAs:
- For the professional look (IBM above) I recommend blue or green for CTA
- For the startup look (Wishpond above) I recommend orange for CTA
- For the environmental look (Greens above) I recommend orange or yellow for CTA
- For the female look (IWD above) I recommend orange or teal/turqoise for CTA
- For the male look (Bodog above) I recommend red on white for CTA (encapsulate your CTA button with a white rectangle)
- For the teen look (Hollister above) I recommend any color that stands out vividly from your color scheme. You can actually go a bit more wild with your teen-optimized CTA buttons as it’s entirely possible it’d work for that market.
Hopefully that’s given you a better idea of how color can impact conversions, and why it’s something in which you should invest time and energy.
That certain “je ne sais quois” – that indefinable characteristic of a website – is often the reason your business will be chosen over a competitor. It might be a certain level of trustworthiness your page is exuding, the look of a model or the awesome unique selling point that really resonates with your landing page traffic.
Or, it might be the fact that that blue on white just looks damn clean, modern and professional.
Alright, time for that beer I think.