Encouraging Users to Push Your (Website) Buttons

The inspiration for this blog post was, I admit, a disastrous landing page. Last fall we launched a new PPC campaign, set-up a landing page, and optimistically waited for an overflow of conversions. It did not quite work out that way. One month, then two passed with dismal results. It was time to re-evaluate.
 
After reading several articles on effective landing pages, I began to suspect the page design was the source of the problem. I minimized, slashed text, reverted to a single strong image, and re-worked the layout to highlight the all-important “LEARN MORE” button.
 
This is where it struck me, what does the “LEARN MORE” button really say? Our school colors are maroon and navy, so a red button made sense, but Uh-Oh. After a quick moment of free association, it struck me. What does red say? Red means _________.  That is right - STOP. It is probably not a great choice when we are hoping for our users to click through.
 
Does the color of a website button affect a user’s actions? Most large companies pay attention to the psychological impact of color. Check out the following sites. Geico.com displays “GET A QUOTE” in orange. Hupspot.com sports “LEARN MORE” in blue. Keep searching. You will probably find similar hues, because orange generates positive feelings, while blue is calming.
 
There are no absolute rules, but it might be prudent to avoid website buttons that are red, which can signify “danger” in addition to “stop”, and black, which implies “serious” and “heavy”. What was our solution? I switched from maroon buttons to one of our complementary style guide colors - orange. In addition, I experiment with navy, as well as another complementary green. After all, green means GO.