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While color isn’t the only factor influencing user experience (UX) on your business website, it’s definitely an important one. Colors greatly impact your audience’s emotions and therefore influence their perception of your brand.

As a digital marketer or content creator, choosing the right color palette is crucial for conversions. But before making any changes to your website, there are a few things you should know about color contrast and accessibility.

Color psychology explained

Color psychology is the study of how colors influence human behavior. It explores how colors impact emotions and choices.

The benefits of leveraging color psychology for your business

Understanding the proper use of colors enables you to:

  • Evoke strong emotions from your audience.
  • Build a recognizable brand.
  • Draw attention to key elements of your web page.
  • Positively influence your audience’s perception of your brand.
  • Nudge website visitors toward a desired action (e.g., making a purchase, signing up for a service or creating an account).
  • Improve UX for accessibility.

Color plays a vital role in a consumer’s decision-making process. So, leveraging color psychology is a great way to influence decisions and increase conversions.

Color contrast for accessibility

Color contrast is a ratio representing the difference in “luminance” — or brightness — between foreground colors and background colors.

A low-contrast ratio produces dull visual elements, while a high-contrast ratio produces bold visuals that stand out.

This ratio is relevant for text and images, as well as other page elements like icons, links and CTA buttons. To make your website more user-friendly and accessible, it’s vital to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The recommended color contrast ratio for small text is 4:5:1, while a good contrast ratio for large text is 3:1.

The international accessibility standards — via the WAI accessibility fundamentals — state that default foreground and background combos on websites must provide enough contrast. Violating these standards can attract lawsuits and monetary penalties.

Why is color contrast important for accessibility?

Color contrast examples.

Good color contrast ensures adherence to digital accessibility legal standards and enables you to provide a positive user experience on your website.

If color contrast is too low, it’s hard for users to engage with digital media. Also, people with visual disabilities such as low-contrast sensitivity and color blindness will have even more difficulty seeing your content.

Approximately 20 million Americans have vision impairments. So, neglecting color contrast renders your content inaccessible to 8% of the U.S. population, significantly reducing conversions.

How color increases conversion rate

Different colors trigger different emotions. For example, red is associated with passion, yellow triggers optimism, while green is typically associated with nature. So, selecting the right colors for each visual element can positively influence user behavior.

Color contrast optimization is a powerful way to increase conversions. For example, high-contrast visuals with white backgrounds and bold CTA buttons nudge users toward a desired action.

Using the right color palette also improves your website’s UX, ultimately increasing conversions and engagement. Websites with low-contrast visuals are difficult to navigate, leading to high bounce rates. On the other hand, websites with high-contrast visuals are easy to navigate, boosting conversions.

Best practices for increasing conversion rate with color psychology

Here are some actionable tips to help you increase CTR and conversion rate with color psychology:

  • Consider cultural significance: Color contrast ratios can have different success criteria in different regions. Each region has its interpretation of colors, so it’s important to consider the cultural significance of the colors you choose. This ensures your website is appropriate for all users and conveys the right message.
  • Use bold colors for CTAs and navigation menus: Highlighting specific website components is crucial for UX optimization. Bold colors direct users towards interactive website elements such as CTAs and navigation menus, significantly increasing CTRs.
  • Conduct A/B testing: If you think a certain color scheme might be effective for your brand, make sure to give it a trial run through A/B testing.
  • Use high-contrast color combinations: Select a mix of high-contrast colors that align well with your brand identity and evoke your desired emotions.
  • Use a color contrast checker: A free color contrast checker like WebAIM provides detailed reports to help you stay compliant with WCAG, ensuring accessibility.

Need help choosing the right color contrast for accessibility? Check out our reference guide.

Color associations reference guide

Color associations reference guide.

Final thoughts: Color contrast for accessibility — a color psychology guide

Leveraging color psychology is an incredible way to increase CTRs and conversions. By using color schemes strategically while meeting minimum contrast requirements, you can increase conversions, readability and engagement with ease.

Ready to increase conversions? Try Bluehost’s professional website design services. We’re here to help you boost sales, build your brand and make your website stand out.

  • Minal Agarwal

    Minal is the Director of Brand Marketing at Bluehost. With over 15 years of business experience in the technology industry, she strives to create solutions and content that fulfill a customer's needs. She is a dog mom and a stickler for calendaring.

    Education
    Masters in Marketing Management
    Previous Experience
    Strategic Partnerships, Customer Success, Events and Community
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