Over 92 percent of consumers rate appearance as the top factor in their purchasing decision. With such a huge emphasis on looks, the colors used on your website could be the difference between digital failure and success for your brand. Yes, it’s that important.

Using Colors for Primary, Complementary and Action Roles

Primary colors are the basis of your website. They are the colors featured prominently throughout the design, and they define what direction your website is going in.

Complementary colors do just that, complement the design. They serve as accents, lightly (or boldly) emphasizing the design and style of the website.

Action colors force a response from users and are primarily used for the call-to-action. They alert visitors to a sale, sign-up or info block that is of immediate importance. These colors may blend with the design, but should always stand out enough — whether through color, shape and/or size — that they command attention.


Feeling Cool: Blue, Green and Purple Professionals

Cool colors are blue, green, purple and combinations of the three. These colors are the most popular in business because they have a worldwide appeal. Cool colors are more conservative than their warm counterparts and have a professional aesthetic and calming affect.

The Blues

Blue is the most popular color worldwide. Depending on the shade — from light to dark — blue can represent calm, intelligence, peace, reliability, responsibility and trust. It’s even known to increase productivity, which is why some office spaces are painted blue. Every website should project trust and expertise, but these ideals are especially important for financial, healthcare and legal industries.


On the Healthcare.gov site, blue is the primary color and orange is the action color. Even if the picture were blurred, you would still be able to distinguish the action color from other elements on the page.

Going Green

Green is a down-to-earth color, representing balance and reassurance. It is the center of the color spectrum, so it takes some of the calming features of blue and the zest of yellow. Darker greens represent wealth, while lighter greens speak to new beginnings.


Green is used as both the complementary and action color on the Zen Payroll site. Though the call-to-action is the same color, the way the elements are designed ensures that it still stands out on the page.

Purple is the Wildcard

Purple is luxury, royalty and sophistication. It’s considered a mysterious color and is most popular in the beauty, finance, healthcare and technology industries.


We’ll focus on warm colors in the next “Color for the Web” installment: what they are, what industries love them and how to best use them for conversion. Generalities aside, the only way to truly know if a color works for your business is to test it with your audience, so ask for feedback. Tools like Qualaroo Insights allow you to find out what users think about your website in real time!

What colors are popular in your industry? Are you (or maybe a competitor) bucking the trend or sticking with what’s standard? What results have you noticed from that?