Does Button Color Really Increase Conversions? You Might Be Surprised

This post originally appeared on Gazellish.com

Have you heard that red buttons convert better than other color buttons?

But wait, what about yellow? Amazon uses yellow and orange, so those must be good too.

But green means “go”, so doesn’t that mean anything?

Trying to chase the latest trend in button color advise can be beyond frustrating. Just as soon as you think you know something, someone else cites a study that completely refutes what you just heard.

So how do you know which colors work better than others?

Let me help you out by giving you a tip to keep in mind when picking button colors.

Start thinking more about “contrast” than “color”.

If you look closely at almost every study done on button color, one thing you’ll notice is that the winning color stood out more than the alternative.

Regardless of button color, font color, or any other individual factor for that matter. All that truly matters is how much a button stands out on a particular page.

That means there is no “best color” for conversions. It all depends on the environment the button will be in.

Red is a great color for conversions, until it’s on a page sprinkled with yellows and oranges and other reds. Then it blends in. Which means something like a green or blue might be a better fit because it would stand out more.

Take a look at this picture to see what I mean.

red_green_button

Photo: HubSpot

Guess which one won in that split test?

Of course the red one won, because there are much more green tones on the page, so the red stands out more.

Over and over again, you can see that most of the A/B tests around button color simply speak to the fact that the button that won simply had more contrast or was brighter than the other. Regardless of color.

I believe orange and red tend to get more cool points than they deserve simply because they are more vibrant colors, and therefore tend to “pop” a bit more on a page.

Is it blue’s fault that it isn’t as warm and vibrant as red? Absolutely not. But put that same blue on a page of all pale yellows and beiges and watch that sucker do work.

The thing to worry about instead when it comes to buttons is:

  • Making sure your button copy is as short and pithy as possible
  • Start your button copy with a verb to incite action
  • Make sure your buttons are sized appropriately — not too big or too small
  • Put your buttons in places that are convenient and natural — where action would naturally be taken
  • And definitely make sure your button looks like a button (that means no cute arrows or circles; CTAs aren’t good places to get artsy).

The bottom line is this:

It’s like Seth Godin pointed out in The Big Red Fez. We’re all monkeys looking for a banana. And when people come to your site, you have to make it painfully obvious where the “banana” is.

So if you truly want to improve your conversion rate, start looking for more contrast in your design, and stop split testing button colors.


Originally published at Mike Taylor.