It’s amazing what a little bit of color can do.

Colors can make us feel warm and cozy or angry and hostile. This is why brands must pay close attention to the colors they use in their marketing materials. In fact, colors may influence what people do when they visit your website. Will they stick around and explore your product? Or will they run for the hills?

When I work with clients to build conversion-driven websites, the first question I ask is, “What do you want people to do when they visit your site?” If Client A tells me they want to support their mission for a cleaner, greener environment, I recommend earthy tones like blues, greens, and browns. If Client B tells me they want to be viewed as an authority, I might suggest red (for intensity and comfort) or blue (for trust and loyalty).

If you’re unsure about the colors on your site and whether they’re working for or against you, check out the information below. Color is an incredible asset, as long as you’re using it as such!

Gender-based color: Are you marketing to men or women?

Some products are designed for one gender over the other. If this is the case for your brand, pay attention to the colors you are using. Research shows that women are less attracted to orange, brown, or gray, though they do enjoy purple, green, and blue. Men, too, find blues and greens enticing, though they prefer black over purple.

If you have a gender neutral audience, you have more flexibility with color. Still, it’s important to choose colors that appeal to your target audience. This is when mood and personality come into the picture, which we will discuss below. However, if your items are designed primarily for one gender, don’t be afraid to experiment with specific color palettes.

Mood-based color: What mood do you want to evoke in customers?

There’s no question that color influences the way we feel. If you didn’t like the color blue, you wouldn’t paint your bedroom blue. So why choose colors that won’t have a positive impact on your customers’ moods? The key is identifying how you want people to feel when they visit your site.

Each color has its own effects. Here are a few examples:

  • Green: Growth and new beginnings

  • Blue: Trust, loyalty, and professionalism

  • Yellow: Warm, energetic, and lively

  • Orange: Stimulates hunger

  • Red: Passionate and powerful

Action-based color: What do you want visitors to do?

The right colors can attract visitors and encourage them to take a specific action, such as donating money or purchasing a product. The same colors are usually used for these actions. For example, call to action buttons are typically vibrant shades of green, yellow, or red. Orange is another color that stimulates impulsive behavior, so it’s worth giving it a try!

While there is no specific color to use on CTA buttons, sidebars, headers or footers, I do have a few tips. I always recommend selecting a color that catches the eyes and is contrasting to the rest of the site. You want people to be drawn to these areas, and color is the way to do this. Once you have the user’s attention, you can hold it with the right text.

Color has a profound effect on the way your website looks and functions. If people are clicking away, reassess your color scheme. It may be time for a web designer to create a new and cohesive color scheme that influences users to stick around for longer.