Think back to the most helpful sales person that you ever bought anything off. Chances are they were confident without being loud, understanding without being submissive, and warm without being irritating. The most pleasant customer service experiences you have had were probably different based on the context you were in – the friendly electronics salesperson would be very different from the basrista at the funky local corner cafe where you get your 10am caffeine fix.
Your webpage IS your online salesperson. It has to be confident, warm and understanding. What’s more, it has to be tailored to your audience. And believe it or not, your website has a personality whether you know it or not. The most obvious way that the personality of your website is conveyed is with COLOUR.
As a conversion rate optimisation rule of thumb, your site should contain 2 or 3 main colours. The colours you choose will vary depending on your own personal style and what your business represents. Many studies and Sex and the City episodes have been devoted to the psychological representations of different colours, so I’ll provide a nice simple breakdown.
White is a clean, simple colour. Studies have proven that a white background is the most likely colour to get visitors to use a site for longer and enquire or buy goods. Have you noticed that Google, Facebook and Wikipedia are all on white backgrounds?
Black is like Mike Tyson – dark, serious, mysterious and adult themed. It is not a very user-friendly background colour, unless you are running an adult-themed or scary website. However, it is extremely readable against a white background and should not be understimated as the colour of choice for fonts.
Grey is just there – it’s neutral and complements many other colours. It is hugely versatile and can be used in just about any site that is serious or elegant.
Red is a carnal colour that says love, passion, danger and other creature comforts. It is good for food-related websites as it is strongly associated with food. Why else would McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jacks and Pizza Hut all feature red so heavily? Maroon is a more comforting colour and is good for any site that emphasizes relaxing. be careful with your use of red, as it can be a strain on readers’ eyes. Use it sparingly, unless your site is a quick-stop shop.
Blue is a very professional, trustworthy colour. It is best used by companies in the professional services industries and anything pitched at a corporate audience.
Yellow represents fun, playfulness and amusement. This is a great colour for children’s websites and party related sites. A word of warning about using yellow: it is an extremely harsh colour on the eyes. Use it sparingly or use a mustard shade.
Purple shouts out fanstasy, luxury and royalty. Use purple if you have a decadent product or service to sell, but make sure it’s a nice neutral shade.
Green reflects nature, harmony and health. Green is best used on outdoor related sites and anything to do with New Age spirituality or health.
Orange is all about creativity, celebration and affordability. It can convey party-related themes as well as cheap goods. If you are a kindergarten or discount hardware vendor, look no further.
Pink is every girl’s favourite colour. If you do ANYTHING wedding or maternity related and you use pink, then you run the risk of attracting Chuck Norris to your site.
Knowing this, have another look at your website. What does the colour scheme of your website tell your customers about your business?