You’ve chosen a great website builder or hired a talented designer and filled your site with impactful graphics and snappy, conversion-focused copy. You think you’re ready to make your landing page live… but wait! Do you know what your color palette is communicating to your audience?

Probably not! 

Color psychology is not the first thing that comes to mind when designing a high-converting landing page. But it should be… because colors communicate subconscious cues that will either boost or stall your sign-ups or sales.

Since it takes a user just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion on a website and 80% of that first impression is based on design alone, you need to make sure it counts. In this post, we’ll explore the impact of color psychology on your landing page design and uncover ways you can use it to better engage and convert.

The Power of Color

Color psychology is the study of how color affects human emotion and behavior. For example, you can thank color psychology for your aversion to blue foods and business’s reliance on red and yellow for attention-grabbing sales signs.

According to a recent Kissmetrics report, a huge 93% of consumers rank visual appearance above sound/smell and texture when considering a purchase. And, since sensual stimuli are reduced online, visual experience is even more important.

This is especially true when it comes to making a purchase. According to the same Kissmetrics report, 85% of us rank color as the primary reason for purchasing one product over another. Color preference can be a result of subconscious cues or our cultural environment. Which brings us to… 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for getting color ‘right’ on every landing page. The colors you choose should depend on your product, industry and target audience. 

For example, if you’re selling children’s toys online, you’re unlikely to go for dull shades, pastels and drab colors like black, grey, or brown. To create a sense of excitement and pull the intention of notoriously distractible kids, you’ll probably choose primary and secondary colors. 

According to Canva, primary and secondary colors promote happiness and many, like bright yellow and red, cause physiological responses that look a lot like excitement. Which is why brands like Smyths toys use them in their logo and website design.

Whereas something like Apple’s color scheme of grey, white and black projects something entirely different: sophistication. These colors are commonly used to accompany sleek products to the luxury market, words synonymous with all of Apple’s products. This is a neutral color tone, and it appeals to both men and women.

It’s easy to see when a site is aimed at females – the use of light tones and pale hues prevail, which evoke romantic and feminine feelings in the user, used by the likes of Covergirl Cosmetics:

Which Colors Match?

Color psychology isn’t all about choosing individual tones that are right for your brand. Your landing page will contain a mix of colors and it’s also important that they match or else create the kind of contrast you want.

Whether you want to create a beautifully color-matched page or a high-impact, high-contrast mash-up will depend on your product and target audience (see above). But it always pays to make use of online tools like color wheels or responsive color pickers.

With these free tools, you can create and test palettes for your landing page and ensure that the combination of tones you use aren’t jarring or distracting for the user. 

Use High-contrast Colors for Key Info Like CTAs

Pay special attention to how you use color to highlight important elements on your landing page. It’s good practice to use your most contrasting color for key information like pricing and call to actions (CTAs). 

We’re naturally drawn to and excited by contrasts – which is why they are used to increase alertness and memory in people with dementia.

In the example above, Transferwise uses a bright green to draw attention to their ‘Get started’ CTA and ‘new’ information in the header. They use a secondary high-contrast color (a bright blue) to draw attention to other information. 

But remember… it’s important to choose a color that is sympathetic to your brand identity and is contextually appropriate. Which means there’s no clear-cut answer to the color you should use for your CTA. The best performing CTAs have high contrast, so test different high-contrast hues in your color palette to see what fits. 

Color is an essential aspect of great design and something no designer should dismiss. Understanding the psychology behind color will help you create a landing page that is right for your audience, sends the right message and actually inspires people to convert.  

Author bio: “I’m Lucy Farrington-Smith, a 27-year-old freelance writer. I started out as an actor before I put the scripts down and chose to write my own words instead of saying someone else’s. One Master’s in Creative Writing and many coffee cups later; you can now find my bylines on HuffPost, and my own website