So, what is a conversion? The answer can vary from website to website depending on your end goal. Getting visitors to sign up for an email newsletter, create an account, download an app/ebook or make a purchase, these are all examples of conversions. Whatever it is that you want your visitors to do once they get to your website is the action that you need to enhance in order to achieve Conversion Rate Optimisation.
There are so many actions that you could take when it comes to optimising your converstion rate that it can be overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. This post focuses on the first step you should take in you Conversion Rate Optimisation journey. Though it may be a small step, it can produce massive results. So what is this super simple hack to Conversion Rate Optimisation?!
Drum roll please… COLOUR!
I can almost hear you rolling your eyes, but whether you believe the psychologist or not, colour theory and persuasion are observable phenomenons in the world of marketing.
Colour psychology tends to rouse a lot of discussion, but often appears to have very little data to back it up. Don’t fret though, I’m not going to waste the next 5 minutes of your life telling you that if you use the colour yellow your visitors will be happy and if you use the colour blue you will make them calm. I’m sure you’ve already viewed countless infographics aiming to two-dimensionalise consumer responses to different individual colours. Although well meaning, these are not reliable insights, as responses to these sorts of visual stimuli are too dependent on personal experiences to be universally translated. When discussing the effects of colour on the consumer buying process we have to go broader.
So before you dive into various optimisation strategies, you should start with your webpage. If you point your sales funnel towards an unoptimised landing page the only rate that will increase is your bounce rate. Make sure that this final step of the conversion process is visually optimised and appealing for visitors and the chance for Conversions leaps forwards.
Debunking the “best” colours for Conversion Rate Optimisation on Websites:
Today’s digital landscape is a constant stream of information. The overpopulated online community is so accustomed to being constantly marketed to by brands that if you don’t stand out like a sore thumb you will not be seen. This strategy of trying to stand out is referred to as The Isolation Effect. But of course you already know you want to be different to your competitors, so you’ve already gone out and established a great company with a great offering and you’re getting regular traffic to your website so you’re scratching your head as to why these visitors aren’t converting. This is where colour use comes into play.
Marketers tend to get so caught up in the idea of capturing attention and getting people to their site that they forget that the same logic that applied to get your visitor there, i.e. standing out in isolation of you competition, applies once visitors actually get to your website too. It’s not enough to just get visitors to your site, you must ensure that you apply the Isolation Effect internally to your call to action buttons so they stand out. Research clearly shows that participants are able to recognize and recall an item far better (be it text or image) when it blatantly sticks out from its surroundings. [Help Scout, 2013]
For instance, the sign-up button in the above stands out because it is like a red “island” in a sea of blue.
It has been found that consumers favour colour palettes with a highly contrasting accent colour [Society for Consumer Psychology, 2010]. For marketers, in terms of colour coordination, this would mean creating a visual structure consisting of base analogous colours (colours which as similar) and contrasting them with accent complementary colours (colours positioned on opposite sides of the colour wheel).
In layman’s terms, your landing pages should follow a theme of similar colours, while your call to action button or anywhere that leads to Conversion should be from the opposite side of the colour wheel (complementary).
This may all seem like a middle school art class but don’t underestimate the importance of colour optimising your conversion pages. Proof of the potency of this method can be seen in this often-cited example from Performable of a conversion rate boost due to a change in button colour.
By changing the call to action button from green to red, conversion rate was boosted by 21%. That’s not to say that the colour red holds some sort of magic action taking power. Take a closer look. The rest of the page is geared toward a green colour palette, meaning that when a green call to action button was used it simply blended in with the surrounds. Meanwhile, red is a stark visual contrast, positioned on the opposite side of the colour wheel.
There you go, in a matter of minutes you can apply this simple colour hack to your landing pages and you’re well on your way to Conversion Rate Optimisation. Be sure to test different colour contrasting pairs to find what works best on your audience. Don’t take my word for it, go forth and test The Isolation Effect with your colour palettes to create contrast in your web design and guide people to important action areas.