Conversions are key to your site’s success. The more people click on your “Buy Now” or “Subscribe” links, the more recognition and sales your business receives. It’s a simple enough concept.
However, behind the scenes, there’s a lot of intricate planning by smart businesses that recognize certain subconscious tendencies. One of the most effective methods for conversion optimization is using a precise color to elicit the proper mood and feeling among potential leads visiting the site.
In particular, the color blue has been shown to have a substantial impact on site conversions in six ways, including:
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed on the internet these days. Websites among websites of varying colors and messages can be difficult to sift through, especially if they’re using colors that simply aren’t mellow or inviting.
The color blue, though, can really step up to the plate, so-to-speak, when it comes to websites. It has a calming effect and has been shown to reduce blood pressure, while slowing your heart rate and respiration. The result is a calmer, more thoughtful site viewer. There’s a reason why blue is a common pick as the wall color in bedrooms and bathrooms.
For conversions, this comes in handy because it allows the lead to feel non-pressured and in control of the situation. Second-guessing or doubts are more unlikely when you’re calmer, and a greater focus contributes to a reduced heart rate. Generally, if someone is tranquil, cool and collected, they will be more receptive to a sales pitch, which is what most business websites are.
The relaxing presence of blue is a fantastic way to provide visitors with information about your product or business. As they read about your origin story or products, they will take in the information with the calming therapeutic effects that blue often brings.
An additional benefit of using the color blue predominantly is illustrated on the website for Nitterhouse Masonry. Visual demonstrations of their masonry work, along with information on their services, is complemented by a cool blue tone that’s primarily uniform throughout the site. However, notice the call-to-action button “Learn More” is the color red instead. It jumps out brightly, standing out among the blue-tinged information.
Blue enables colors like red, yellow and orange to pop particularly well, which comes in handy for a call-to-action button. Some websites with a fairly absent call-to-action button suffer from a lack of leads as a result. However, a very prominent and standout color like red against a blue background can provide the striking contrast that conversions relish.
Especially as the tech industry has emerged the past several decades, blue has become the color of trust and know-how. This is partly propelled by the relaxation-inducing tendencies that blue provides, putting customers at ease in a sense.
In another way, it’s the prominent use of blue by companies such as AIG and Microsoft that have ushered in a gradual identity, associating blue with the top of an industry.
Microsoft aims for a clean emphasis on blue, white and black on their site — clean and optimized like many of their products’ images. Microsoft has always embraced the color blue, especially in the logo color for their Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. With all of this, it’s not difficult to see why blue is the default color for most hyperlinks around the web.
AIG’s front page is busier than Microsoft’s, with more text, though it also emphasizes the color blue in its header navigation. Their text “You’ve worked hard to get where you are today / Let us help you protect your future” combines beautifully with blue’s tendency to reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Along with the message, the color helps put readers at ease while they learn about a business that earnestly wants to protect them. The combination is likely to make them inclined to explore further.
Simply put, blue is the preferred color of both men and women, by a large amount. The second favorite color of men is black at 9% polled, compared to 57% polled for blue. Meanwhile, 35% of women picked blue as their favorite color, with the second favorite being purple at 23%.
Although effective marketing should go beyond personal favorites and delve into effects and placement, the favoritism toward blue is worth noting. Essentially, it’s a very safe color that many are accustomed to. If you use blue on your page, chances are you’ll come across like the aforementioned AIG and Microsoft case studies: professional and trusted.
Beyond using the beloved color of blue, incorporating striking contrasts like the previous Nitterhouse Masonry case study demonstrates the strong potential of blue in this regard. An eye-catching call-to-action results in more conversions, with high contrast between the button color and background color doing the best. With blue, this is easy to accomplish while also using yellow, orange or red.
Pink is considered feminine, and red is considered masculine — but blue often sits safely in neutral territory. Since the majority of sites are looking to appeal to both males and females, it’s often a good choice in this regard.
The White House’s official website certainly wants to cater to everyone, so their choice to feature a confident blue as the navigation header color is a wise one, with the White House logo also being mostly blue. Even in a Republican administration, generally referred to as “Red” while the Democrats are “Blue,” the White House values the color blue as having enough universal appeal to feature predominantly.
The color blue can fit in a number of ways, making it a great and often safe choice for businesses. It’s often the color representing corporate America, with familiar companies that have created job growth in the country for years. It also calls to our inner peace and serenity, while simultaneously evoking feelings of order and loyalty.
Some of the biggest sites on the web, including Facebook, PayPal and most major banks, incorporate blue prominently on their websites. Aside from food websites, which would be better with a color evoking hunger (like red), blue fits everywhere regardless of niche. It’s a familiar, wonderfully adaptive color that coincides well with the feelings you want your leads to have: comfort, trust and serenity.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.