When completing the web design or development process, what do you consider important for search engine optimization and conversion rates? According to Shari Thurow, the one thing you’re probably forgetting, overlooking, or taking for granted is color and how the color of your web content affects its visibility to search engine spiders and the way in which it can convince web users to take specific action.
Thurow says that clickability is one of the primary concerns for web design – so in your color scheme, clickable items should look clickable from the searcher’s point of view. Your users shouldn’t have to mouseover all the text to figure out where to click. And making your links hidden in your color scheme, by not differentiating links from regular text, might be considered blackhat SEO and could be penalized.
Thurow focuses mostly on conversions in color schemes. She explains, white text on a black background is not a good color optimization because it’s hard to visually scan, leading to lower conversions. Also, she mentions the problem of text size since responsive layouts or mobile optimized sites often use a smaller text – which can be interpreted as spam by search engines.
In her article, Thurow also stresses the importance of cultural color associations, saying: “the color red communicates happiness in China; anger and danger in Japan; and life and creativity in India.” Designing websites for maximum conversions means knowing who your audience is and designing for that audience. For example, a website for a naturopath and massage therapist likely won’t want to use reds, but will opt for blue instead because of it’s calm, relaxation-based connotations.
A color scheme that works for one website may not work for another, and deciding on a color scheme can be one of the toughest decisions for a designer to make. So how does a good web designer determine the color scheme for a website? Complementation, Contrast, and Vibrancy should be some of the deciding factors in your color scheme.
The vibrancy of the color on your website has a direct affect on the “emotion” behind your design. Brighter colors seem more energetic, which will help invoke an emotional response, whereas darker shades are relaxing, letting the user focus on the content.
Contrast between elements in your web design help drive the focus of your site – drawing attention to certain page elements. You can clearly divide elements on the page to direct the viewer’s eye to certain text, links, or content by just using contrast.
Complementation is a way of building relationships between colors. Considering complementation in your web design, you may want to use split complementary colors (colors across from each other on the color wheel), analagous or monochromatic colors (colors next to each other, or shades of a base color), or a triadic color scheme (using 3 colors on separate ends of the color spectrum – like red, yellow, and blue).
With all this information in mind, how do YOU design web color schemes for SEO and maximum conversion rates?