Color psychology affects our lives in so many ways, yet we often don't realize the impact of our color choices on our website colors, on our stationery and packaging, in our retail store or office, in our marketing or our business clothing.
Color has a powerful subconscious effect on every part of our lives, without even saying a word; an understanding of color meanings in business gives us an invaluable tool to get the best response to our marketing and promotional efforts and ultimately to create a successful business.
In applying the information about color meanings in business to enhance your own business profile and marketing, don't use any color entirely on its own; it is always best to use a complementary color with your main choice as over-use of any one color can negate its effect and in fact have the opposite effect.
Many successful companies, it seems, can create anything – except an effective website. I am always amazed that so many top professional firms – in manufacturing, industry, engineering, sales, and many other areas – have websites that are poorly designed, hard to navigate, impractical, and impossible for search engines to find. The same managers, who demand high performance, efficient design, practicality, and minimal waste, don’t seem to demand the same things from their website. Here are a few tips:
1. Appearances matter
Brilliant, award-winning design is not the most important thing in a website, but if you fall below a certain standard of design quality, your potential customers won’t take you seriously. If your website looks like it was put together by someone’s nephew in his basement, people will assume you’re a small, unprofessional, fly-by-night operation – no matter how big and successful you really are.
2. Content, content, content
Give your potential customers the information they want and need. That requires knowing your customer. Talk to them. Talk to your sales people. Find out what are the essential things your customers need to know. Understand how purchasing decisions are made.
Your home page should establish, right away, who you are, what business you are in, what products or services you provide, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Anyone should be able to glance at your home page and understand all of these things right away. There should be no question as to what you do and the benefit you provide.
And keep the text customer oriented. Talk about their problems, their needs, their concerns, and how you solve them. Forget that company mission statement or the glowing letter from the president. They don’t care. They want to know what can you do for me?
Face it, your business is complex. You may have an extensive product line, many options, many different types of customers or industries that you serve. Effectively directing the customer and channeling them to the products and services they need is vital. Before you start or re-do your website, work out your navigation in advance. Customers should be able to glance at your home page and see exactly where they need to go.
Consider offering a download of your complete catalog, and making the download button visible on your home page – “above the fold.” Even better, consider making your catalog available as part of the website itself, so customers can search it online.
4. Make sure people can find you
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a big subject. Ideally, you should have an SEO specialist work over your site and make sure that search engines can find it. But even if you can’t afford that right now, there are some simple things you can do to make your site visible.
5. Keep it timely
There is nothing worse than an out-of-date website to communicate to your customers that you don’t care. Outdated offers, announcements for last year’s trade shows, out-of-date staff lists – it all detracts from your image as an efficient company that will provide great service. Make sure your website has a user-friendly content management system so you can update frequently and easily.
6. Capture and care for customer leads
Not everyone who visits your website is ready to buy. Provide reasons for them to contact you and give you their name and e-mail. Include contact forms and “get a free estimate” forms. Offer a newsletter with industry information, product announcements and tips.
Include “calls to action” such as “Call now to order,” “Click here for a free quote,” and “Download our product catalog.” A “live chat” or “live assistance” function can be a great lead generator
7. Use Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are not just for teenage girls any more. In fact, more and more businesses are using these to build an interested online community. Consider starting a blog where you post relevant articles about your industry, your products, new developments, and upcoming events. Providing a forum where your customers can interact with you and other customers and share knowledge helps to build your company’s brand and your positioning as an industry leader.
Post press releases on your website and/or blog, then link to them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Make sure your website includes “share” buttons so that visitors can easily share your content.
There are many other things you can do to make your website more effective, and truly reflect the quality and professionalism of your products and services. Take the time and care to make it bright, attractive, informative, easy to navigate, and easy to find.
Whether you’re wondering what color to paint the office, or you’re looking to redesign your retail space, the colors you choose can increase your chance of reaching your goals. Color greatly influences human emotion and behavior. If you’re hoping to make your workers more productive, or you want to encourage shoppers to spend money, understanding the basics of color psychology can help you design a space that will maximize your potential.
The color of a wall can actually change how a person perceives the temperature, according to Augustin. Warm colors, such as orange, red and yellow can cause people to think the temperature in the room is warmer than it actually is. Cool colors, such as blue, green and light purple cause people to estimate the temperature is colder.
Business owners can use this to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs. For example, if you live in a cold environment, painting an entryway a warm color may cause people to think your establishment is a few degrees warmer than actually is. This may allow you to keep the temperature at a slightly lower setting.