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What's the BEST color for high conversions?
Last Updated September 13th, 2012

Green? Red? Orange?

Just what is the BEST color for high conversions?

Surprisingly enough, there IS an answer to this question…

…and I share the details in the second episode of Social Triggers TV.

Which Color Converts The Best?

“What stands out gets remembered, what blends in gets ignored” – Click to Tweet

Then, when you’re done watching the video, post a quick comment letting me know what you have heard about colors and conversions.

Or better yet, when you’re done with this video, double check your site to make sure you have both “passive colors” and “action colors.” Then, leave a quick comment here saying “Whew!”

Oh, and just like the first video, there’s a silly blooper at the end. I think my video guy tries to find the most embarrassing shots of myself as payback for nit-picking every little detail.

If you liked this video, subscribe to the Social Triggers TV YouTube channel right here.

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191 comments Leave a comment
web design USA

I love that your videos are short, fun, and memorable, but the best part is they are always actionable.


I had to scroll past 6 CTAs just to get to the bottom of this article.
What happened to “A CTA in close proximity to another is a threat, and therefore must be tested”?

Kind of killed the credibility of your content, and made me not want to continue reading or view any of your videos. Sorry mate, your website is the equivalent of a TV ad that screams at you over and over to buy Persian rugs at a closing down sale.


i wish you’d just get right to the point instead of tryign to hype it up for 8 hours in the video

Michelle Farris

Great stuff Derek, I’m watching as many as I can!! Now I need to pic my color!!!

Michelle πŸ™‚

Shane Labs

I love how this applies to adsense colors to, since you can customize them in order to increase your CTR. I usually end up split testing a few different colors (with the AmpedSense plugin for WordPress). Thanks Derek!


I don’t use a lot of color on my website (aside from in photographs). My logo is also in black and white with a nice splash of red and a tiny bit of green.
Would using red be an okay choice for my action color? My thinking is that it would look nice and go with the overall look of my site, yet stand out because the rest of my text is mostly in B&W.


Thanks Derek! I’ll need to revisit the websites I’ve worked on to check the passive colors versus action colors and make sure there is a difference between the two! How obvious.

Laura Black

Hey Derek: I just discovered your website through an e-mail I received from Amy Lynn Andrews. Great video and great information. It’s amazing how something as simple as a color change can affect a person’s response. I’m updating my sales page this week and will use this little technique in my articles to see if I can increase my comments. Thanks.


omg, just had a look at my services page and I have 5 colours which includes black. So glad I found socialtriggers.

Barb Brady

Hi Derek,
One post and hours of my time πŸ™‚ Thank you for this post. I thought, oh my goodness, such a good point and I am not doing it.

I ended up going back and really reviewing my side bars. I had “pretty” boxes but the link was not my action color. I made changes.

Again, thank you Derek. Barb


What about TWO action colors?

I’m thinking about using blue for my links….

But red for my “add to cart” buttons….

Blue links to pages/post…. red is the button for buying something….

Am I over thinking thinking this?


Just shaking my head… I have much work to RE-do.


    Yeah me too. πŸ˜›


Uh oh – I’m totally guilty of this. On the other hand, it’ll be interesting to look at analytics to see how well this works once I switch them up.

Quick color theory question – Do you think a complementary color would work better for action than just any contrasting color?


Thanks for this Derek,
This colour theory is fascinating and it makes real sense. I’ve taken the plunge and put 2 new Optin Skins on my site, using totally contrasting colours that stand out.
It will be very interesting to see if my sign ups increase. I feel they will!


Kendra, based on my experience and documentation that I trust, you should
leave your link colors alone. Reason being everybody knows that is a link,
they recognize it and will use it.

Buttons that are labeled with an action can match your color scheme.


This makes a lot of sense and maybe someone already asked but I really don’t want to read through 170+ comments to see.
What about the color of the link after it’s been clicked? How should the be colored? Should it still be an action color, but more subdued–like a softer version of the unclicked link color?
This is great info because right now I think my already clicked color is more actionable and I need to switch it up.
Should the buttons also match that color?


Ditto to all you said. It confirmed what I was toying with and very convincingly delivered. However, interesting that the final request to subscribe to the updates was shown in black and white which are your passive colours (well they are not really colours at all, are they!)

Scott Buehler

Damnit Derek, this totally makes sense and I don’t know why I missed that on my site. I’ll be updating my soon VERY soon to fix this because my sites passive color is blue and my action color is a light blue. DUH. LOL. I’m thinking red or purple. Thanks dude.

Brett Beck

This video is one of the coolest I’ve seen in awhile. I dig it. Awesome job on the research as well as the video production.

Marc Antonius Dominick

Thanks Derek, good info and fun to watch!

Bob Sharpe

Outstanding video here. Stumbled across your site, and now bookmarked. I’m going to put your ideas into action (using red). Can’t wait to see! I have high traffic, low conversion, so thank you thank you!


Hey, Great Video with awesome tips and tricks
first time i’m commenting on your blog

Jan Dirk

They proved that yellow is the color that your eye first notice. Ever wondered why school buses are that yellow color? Know you know πŸ™‚

Maybe it could be helpful info someday



Hi Derek,

Great video. Really blew my mind and got me thinking. Should I use a couple of action colours on my blog or should I strictly keep it to one? I have hyperlinks within posts which are symbolised as hyperlinks as they are orange with an underline but I was considering using red buttons to highlight parts of my site such as my portfolio or that I’m available for work.

Thanks for the information and I’ve subscribed.

Wanda Lane

Just watched three of your videos and have a laundry list of “fixes” to do! You are amazingly helpful!


Great video, something I never thought of..now I have a few minor changes to make.. πŸ™‚


Love Love Love, Makes complete sense and so simply. Will implement this weekend!

Urban Roo

As someone who is launching a new site this makes perfect sense. Will be redoing some of my colors. Thanks for the video mate!


Thank you.

I went through and made the changes to my site yesterday. I took out all coloured headings to make the contrast as obvious as possible and made sure ALL links were the same colour across the whole site.

Only early days but yesterdays traffic stats showed that visitors viewed 30% more pages than the day before..maybe a coincidence.

We will see

Phyllis Zusman

wow – – This makes perfect sense. There are so many colors available it’s easy to forget that few make a bigger impact.

Elisha Batuncang

Thanks for sharing this. Regarding to the action colour, say, I would like the reader to do an action, which is to leave a comment in the blog post, should I use another colour for this “Action” because it’s not clickable like the links?


THANK YOU again Derek…awesome info and fun too πŸ™‚

Carolina Dlugosch

This is great Derek, thank you. I have implemented so many of your tips in the last weeks.

And today is the first time that I have the edge over others. I am german and for me “Über die Wirkung von Bereichsbildungen im Spurenfeld” is not a different language πŸ˜‰

Cindy Chua

Your points are clear and I want to comment you for wearing purple shirt to stand out to.

Great video!


GREAT post and good to know. The purple sure DOES pop on your site. By the way, if readers want to know more about the Von Restorff Effect in English, I suggest reading The Most Important Graph in the World by Tony Buzan (and awesome book, only part of which covers the Von Restorff effect.)


Awesome information Derek. I’ve been guilty of this: my links are the same colors as the rest of my site. I’m going to change some things around and see how it works!

Rachelle Norman

Great video! My one question is this: should you not have a different color for information links (like to the research articles you mentioned) than for action links (opt-in, contact us, etc.). My new site will be pointing to lots of external resources, and I wouldn’t want that action color to be drawing people away from the site (or opening a million other tabs.)

Lisa Cash Hanson

I’m going to make mine polkadot πŸ˜‰

Jeff Goins

Interesting. May need to make some adjustments. I may be blending in too much.

Adam (Freedom Sentinel)

Hi Derek,

Great video, I love the enthusiasm. You really are passionate about what you do. I just joined Social Triggers and signed up for your Blogs That Convert course. If this is the kind of info. you share to everyone I can’t wait to see whats in store in your course!

Its amazing how simple things can make the biggest difference.


Kym Robinson


makes so much sense!

My name is Kym and Im a colour mixer!!!

Im going to work on that as of today! Boy… does my site need a colour overhaul! Where’s Foose when ya need him?

lovin it Derek – thanks πŸ™‚

Andy Crestodina

Great info. I’ve seen how contrasting colors can help conversions. To get the strongest contrast, you can use “complimentary colors.” In other words, colors from opposite ends of the color wheel (blue/orange, red/green, yellow/purple) These look good together and create contrast that really stands out. Also, I’ve read that yellow and black create the most visually striking contrast (which is why street signs are those colors).

One last tip: someone told me about a study that showed how people actually eat less food if it’s served on a blue plate. Sound crazy? The reason is this: blue is the least common natural color for food and therefore, the least appetizing. If you’re a food brand, be careful with blues. (notice how rare it is in branding of fast food restaurants) I wish I could cite this one. Sorry!

Thanks again for the post/video. Great stuff, Derek!


Hey Derek, can your blog have to action colors? Just asking b/c I have two but knowing this has change my thinking.

Great post! Something I didn’t think to much about. I’m going to be doing a redesign and I’m collecting as much info on design now can you point me in the direction of any other post you’ve posted on this topic?




Good summary of the topic. So really, its not about a magical color, but action vs passive colors.

Fred Pandrok

Thanks for the reminder…Simple idea, but something you may overlook.


Gideon sent me here and I’m glad he did. Thank you for being so refreshing and exciting to watch. I love your topic.


Brian Watkins

Great stuff as always, Derek. I’ve made this mistake myself with heading colors and links, thinking that a consistent color theme would be less confusing. I see your point completely, though, and the value of the links jumping out at people.

Jay Walsh

It’s a good video however I might point out that some of us Old School Designers (the ones that got their start in print and migrated to the web) have known this trick for a while. But, maybe the kids don’t know it that well.

My mentor, Roger Black had his 10 Commandments of Design. Three of those commandments are burned into my brain:

Commandment 5: The first color is black.
Commandment 6: The second color is white.
Commandment 7: The third color is red.

Take a peek at my website if you’ve got a second. I created it about 18 months ago. I think it ticks most of the boxes (IMHO).


    I’m not sure it has to do with being ‘old school’ so much as just how observant you are and how much you think. I actually started wondering if a majority of these comments are fake. “I’m going to go change all 100 pages on my brand new website. THANKS DEREK!!!!” and “Now I know about color theory. Off to change my subscribe button! Oh, but do you think I should use pale yellow or fire engine red? Or would it be better to use green because that matches the color of my eyes?” I mean, seriously, wtf.

Milan Jara

Hi Derek,

How does this work for online stores?

Should all the add to cart links be actionable colors or will people click on the thumbnail?

What about product categories vs info pages? Should they both be in actionable color or just categories.

As always, when it comes to implementing acquired knowledge I get stock on details.


Christy Lee

Great video…however “What’s the BEST color for high conversions”? I clicked on your link and watched your video thinking you had a study of which color was best to use. Or is there no answer? just any color is fine as long as you go by your action color guidelines? Just thought color itself was the point of this video. Misleading headline?

PS if you click on my company’s website I don’t really have a choice in the matter as websites are done by corporate…but I can promise I will be sharing your information that’s for sure!

Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

So why do none of the Join / Signup buttons use your action color?

Lisa Pignetti

Hey Derek, thanks for all that you do to make the Web a more usable place. πŸ™‚ I’m a website interaction designer and see a lot of the same kinds of mistakes out there, all easily fixable. Explaining things in terms of “passive colors” and “action colors” is brilliant — really easy to understand.

I haven’t seen any recent usability studies on this, but i would think that blue links might be best of all, simply because blue was the default color for active links for years and years, before people started getting fancy and changing the colors up. But if the only colors you had on your site were black (or very dark gray or something like that) for the regular text and then a color that really popped out for the links, it should work just fine.

    Milan Jara

    I got the same feeling about blue and that is why I am going to do some changes. πŸ™‚


I am off to my website to change the color of my ‘Subscribe’ button.

I’ll do this for all 100+ stories … THANK YOU


great video n tips…it’s all make sense to me…i gonna redesign my new website….thanks for the tips…

adios…from Malaysia..


Passionate, fun and informative, love it!
So glad Gideon sent me to your site:)


So glad Gideon Shalwick referred me to your video

JJ Wong

Wow! I really do learn something important from this video!
Thanks Derek! Something I need to keep in mind, and change, update my website on, to increase the conversion.



Derek, you are absolutely right. It is so basic and yet people keep making this same mistake, including me. Time for me to redesign my website. cant wait for your next video


I really have to thank Gideon Shalwick for directing me to this page. I have several websites, and after watching your video, I’m off to redesign the color scheme on ALL of them! I can’t believe that such a simple fixed could be so overlooked. Thank you Derek for the great advice. I will be back for more!!

Susan Hand


I’ve heard you talk about this before, but after looking at your site, I still have a question because I use Thesis too. I notice on your main page, where you H2 headings are clickable you actually use black and the purple is only viewed if I hover over the heading. Based on what you said in this video I would have expected them to be purple too.

Is this unique to using Thesis? Or just a little break in the action colors since you have the “continue” in purple?

Just curious…. And really enjoy all of your content. You’ve really helped me solve a number of dilemas.



So glad Gideon Shalwick referred me to your video. Will check out your website.

Donna Merrill

Hi, I found you via a link on Facebook, went to your Youtube channel, subscribed, and now I am here.

The color concept is fascinating. I like the way you are using purple. Most links are blue. I think people use that same old color because we are conditioned that it is a link to something.

This all makes sense to me now and from now on I will be mindful of the colors I am using.

This information is priceless ….Thanks,


Gideon sent me. Like your stuff, thanks.
Question: if all links, internal and external, are all purple, what would you make your adsense link color purple too? (I think so, but wanted to double check)


Your video is simple yet it has a huge message in it,I got the recommendation from Gideon Shalwick;I think his videos are very direct and to the point also.I am going to start a new blog,can you give me any advice where I could go to start it.


Great article, as a web designer I am afraid to say I have messed this up A LOT. Thanks for the head slap.

Keep it up, I’m super excited about the YouTube channel.

Your shirt is an action color, is that so people will poke you?


Great tip, love your videos.


Hi , great video and great infos .
Definitly make sense and i guess many web designers ignore this …..
keep up the good job
Frank Moreno


Hi Derek, I’ve got your site through Gideon Shalwick. I’ve just subscribed to your news letter. Yes, great video about what colours to use for action links.
Keep in touch, Hans

Venkatesh Iyer

Let me get this straight: if you want your active color to stand out, that means it has to be rarely used. If is there all over your website, it is not really “standing out”, is it? Further: how do you know that what you may judge to be an active color will be judged accordingly by your readers also? And yes, Gideon Shalwick sent me over to this great video. Love the absolute bareness of your site – it has given me ideas. I am going to improve on it and use it.

Nicky Somers

Awesome and very engaging video, which Gideon Shalwick recommended watching and I’m so glad he did. Definitely have some work to do on my site.

Sheila Bergquist

So fascinating! I find so much on your site that I don’t see anywhere else. Thanks so much for the helpful tips you provide.

Greg and Fiona

Wow! You have got video marketing nailed! Gideon Shalwick wasn’t wrong when he said you’re an up and coming Youtube star.

Great content on your video as well, we’ve just gone and implemented some of your suggestions on one of our websites.

Carl Clay

I love Social Triggers, the podcast, and now the TV is just amazing.


Link color is something I have not paid much attention to earlier. Thanks for the info, and thanks to Gideon Shalwick who sent me here.

James Hayward

Gideon recommended we check this out! Why am i so passive! Damm I need to brighten some things up on my site. Great Video


G’day Derek,

A very neat piece of work toward the end …. eye (and mouse appealing) optin box magic!! Gideon Shalwick suggested I drop by …good move … & he says G’day too!!

Cheers fro Aus. … Doug …


Loved this video as always! Keep em coming please. And thanks for cracking me up. You are funny!


Hey i was sent to this post by Gideon Shalwick, great stuff i have to say.


Gideon Shalwick sent me πŸ™‚

Tahlia Meredith

Loving the new videos Derek, you’re a very compelling speaker!

I’ve just set up a blog and I’m going to run over there right now to make sure my links are different from my heading colours – when you said about the red subheads my brain shouted “uh oh!”

Great tip on the action colour – seems so obvious once you say it πŸ™‚

Serena Star Leonard

Hey Derek,

I have just recently started watching your videos and I have to say I am impressed! Professional, great content and you rock as a presenter.

Thanks, I will be sharing!
Serena πŸ™‚

Cheryl Cadzow

That totally makes sense. Glad Gideon passed the video onto me.

Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

Very interesting video, Derek. When you first described this, my interpretation of what you were saying was to use the passive colors on everything but the actions *that mattered the most*.

I see on your site though, that *every* link (or area with an action like the email signup) are purple. Do you really want to have commenter’s names given the same level of emphasis (from a color perspective) as things like a call to join the mailing list?

    Piers | Kickstarters'HQ

    …although I guess the counter argument would be that all possible actions being the same color is effective from a pure anchoring / Pavlovian angle. I wonder if it would be effective to do something like have the same hue and saturation everywhere, but adjust the value (lightness) to give more emphasis (via contrast) to the more important action items, and less to the lower priority items.

    For example, the email signup (against a white background) would use a fairly strong, dark purple, while commenter’s names would be a much lighter (but still readable) purple.


      Hey, Gideon sent me. I’m with Piers…wondering why commenters’ names are given purple status, Submit buttons are not, and the fun, attention-getting, pull-apart Click to Subscribe sign in the video is even black? And now I’m going to hit another black Submit button.

Tina Landa

Wow, Derek… Awesome video and you are full of engaging energy. Purple is one of my favorite colors but I seem to always see yellow or red buttons for ACTION. Now I have a good reason to use something else like maybe hot pink!

I will have to tell Gideon thanks for sending me this way! I immediately started watching other videos on your You Tube channel! Thanks for the content in a fun, informative way!

Sam Scherf

Your Friend Gideon Shalwick asked me to see your video and critique it! I’m just a beginner, trying to learn. Don’t go to my website (unless you need a bad example). I’ll work on Action Colors in a few weeks … OK? πŸ˜‰

Pam Brossman

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant video Derek. This just makes sense. I just went and picked my action colour based on your recommendation. What was really funny is my template made my heading 1 and heading 2 my brand colour and my hyperlinks black and they did not stand out at all. Now I have turned them into action link. Love it, thanks for sharing,


Hey Derek! Gideon sent me over and I’m happy he did. I have been thinking about researching colors knowing they set psychological triggers, but you have narrowed a lot of it down for me with the passive and action take. I also have learned that certain colors can have a physical trigger. Like orange and red or orangish red stimulates hunger. That’s why you see a lot of fast food places that have those colors on their sign and in their logo. That’s also why people tend to get real hungry on road trips.

Great tip. Thanks. You saved me some time for sure.


Great Video, Derek!

I love your stuff – but Gideon was the one who sent me here this time!
How do you do that??!!

Rochelle | The Single Status

I needed this. Just saying. Cause ya.. i just do.


Great video mate. I like the cut and zoom of your editing. Well done!

Ryan Cruz

Awesome Video Derek!

Any list of suggested Action Colors and Passive Colors?

Changing the colors of my headers now and tweeting. πŸ™‚

Stanley Lee

Action color: Is this why you were wearing a purple Lacoste T-shirt? Btw, nice freeze frame for your first image.

Michael Yardney

Great video thank you.
I really enjoy watching your passion. I’ll go back and look at my website carefully and make sure I have action links


Awesome stuff. I love that your articles and videos always are practical and never abstract. So many sites like this one just offer these really abstract tips that in the end if you were to compress their many thousands of words down to one sentence are basically just saying “The best way to improve your site is to improve your site…” without any actual real tips in the article that one can use.

Your stuff actually offers “actionable” tips that make sense and are easy to implement. Keep up the great work.

April Greer

Wow! So I created an action color for my links and they simply jump off the screen. It’s so obvious what I want my visitors to do! Thanks!

Thomas @ Mobile App Tycoon

Very interesting! I think I’m doing a somewhat good job with this however the thing I definitely think I could improve on is making my opt-in form color match my link color and combine them into a “take action” color.



Awesome awesome vid man. Makes SOO much sense to me now. Serious UhHuh moment!
Might want to take a look at this infographic labeled:What Your Brand Colors Say About Your Business [Infographic] http://heartofhart.com/2012/09/13/what-your-brand-colors-say-about-your-business-infographic/


I tend to show my prospective clients the use of the ‘Belcher Button” when it come time to designing a ‘buy now button.

Tie and time again it has been proven to outperform any other button.


Watching this video makes me want to get started on my blog today!

Alan | Life's Too Good

Hey Derek,

awesome as always. I’m glad you didn’t say an actual color was best!

Definitely dig the concept of active(/action) color vs passive color.

It relates quite strongly to the concept of contrast that I think Cialdini covers in his book ‘Influence…’ – i.e. we tend to respond to things that stand out.

great stuff,

Brian Bennis

What a great article. It’s simple when you know! Some of my buttons had a ‘stand-out’ colour from the rest of the brand, but I’ve just spent the last hour since viewing your video amending all the links and buttons across the whole site, for brand consistency. It looks so much better. Thanks Derek.

Kel Wilson

Hi Derek,
I met you breifly at World Domination inbetween classes. πŸ™‚
Love this video. I just launched a new website THIS WEEK! Trying to do it “right” this time. πŸ˜‰
I told my web master that I needed to have an “action” color. A color that told people this is where you’re supposed to do something!
I picked orange and all the click through buttons are orange. The other colors on the site are blue.
The other thing we added was a landing page.
Thanks for the great tips. They have been VERY helpful to me. And I’m proud of myself for figuring this one out on my own!!!

Erin Giles

Thank you for this Derek, I had it mostly right on my site but since watching this have had more clarity and instantly made some changes.

You rock!

Andrew Richardson

Great! I’ve been looking for something new to test on my landing pages! I’ll let you know what my results are.

Al Yarbrough

Hey Derek,
Great tip… I really like your stuff and, unless I’m working on an emergency situation, I’ll usually stop to watch/learn whatever you are teach.


Vicki Kron

Thanks Derek, this is perfect timing as I’m just in the process of getting a new theme for my blog and I didn’t know about the psychology of colors.
I now have some intelligent guidelines as I get the new theme set up.

Your video has been a real eye-opener. Great tips and thanks for including the references for further reading.


Derek! I want to hug you! I know I haven’t participated in comments, but I’ve been an avid reader of your blog. When you started video, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be able to learn more gems and started preparing to reach out…..but you have transcribed your videos!!

Thanks champ. You rock! I’m working on a blog to talk about benefits of transcribing your videos (inclusionary, SEO, etc) and you’re going to be a great example. I hope you keep it up. Out of curiosity, what do you use to transcribe?

(Yes, in case you didn’t catch this yet, I am Deaf *grins*)

Fancy meeting you!

April Greer


What I love about your advice is how simple it is. As with your pricing video, I can spend about 20-30 minutes implementing your advice and improve my ROI.


Adnan Akhtar

That was very informative…Sometime people forget about the basic things and loose the obvious advantages they should get.

This is Color patterns 101.

I am building a few webs and will now implement it…I have 5 businesses to run….I think I will stick with Blue for Click….Is there any prob with that…???


Thank you Derek, this came at the perfect time for me as I am redesigning my site over the next week. And it surely makes sense too. πŸ™‚

Namita Patel

Nice video! So we have a color theme on our client’s site — all our links will be teal in line with our choice of site colors. Is that something you think we need to change? I also heard you say consistency is a good thing and to use one color for links to train visitors.

Linda Hewett

Need to re-think my site action colour ASAP.
And…why didn’t I think of this?
because you’re the psychologist and I’m… not.
Thanks for the nudge!

Ella | The Office Escape

Derek, I am a first time visitor to your site. I found you through Pat Flynn’s podcast and I must say that this post has helped me so much esp now that are team is about to turn over a new site to a client. This means revisions for our team but I’m sure the client will be happy for the changes that we will make.

Thank you so much for sharing these information. I will definitely share this post to me fellow Filipino Web Designers and Virtual Assistants!

Charlie Pabst

Was just discussing this with Henri offline and wanted to mention something that might save you some time and confusion (and earn you some clicks).

The point isn’t necessarily to make every single clickable link on your site purple (or green, or whatever). Obviously that would just create a monotone of importance and say, “All these links are roughly the same value.”

Imagine for example if your sidebar were full of orange links to past posts. And then you’ve got one exactly the same size and color that says, “Oh by the way, I cured cancer.” That’s a bit of a demotion for that particular link.

If you have something extra HOT on your site – like a sign-up button, an absolute must-have or just something particularly awesome – the point is to give it more emphasis. Otherwise you risk camouflaging it with every minor “continue reading” link.

Also make sure to read the Chopra multivariate testing post. There are some very fine details covered there. For example, the color red wasn’t just about the color red. It was about the emphasized color in combination with a meaningful call-to-action. Check it, yo.

Hash Abu-Own

Thanks for this insightful video.

It’s always the most obvious things that are the most important. And it’s the obvious stuff that I tend to neglect the most! Time to go back to the drawing board with my website’s design!

Thanks for sharing.



As a web designer I usually make an action color that stands out for buttons but only used for buttons. I didn’t think about applying it for ‘action’ across the board including links.

I’ll be implementing this minor change. Thanks Derek. Keep kicking ass.

Dan@Social Marketing

Makes a whole lotta since but is something that very few people ever think about. Great vid and wonderful presentation!

Matthew Insardi

Nice purple shirt… i tried clicking… but nothing

Matthew Insardi

Guilty on some of those…

There was a study done that proved that yellow paper and blue ink allowed for the highest memory retention.

Michael Stetina

Hi Derek – This is the first content I’ve seen that talks about color theory. It couldn’t come at a better time because I am updating my website color pallet.

I instinctively chose a button color that has great contrast compared to the rest of the site. But I was stressing that the color wasn’t one of the biggest converting colors out there.

Thank you!

Ian Belanger

Hey Derek,

Great video! As a web designer myself, I have many customers who want their links and buttons to match, usually, one of the passive colors on their site. Some of them take my advice and change their link colors and some don’t.

I can now share this video with them and hopefully it will change their minds about link colors.

Many people and web designers don’t understand how to use color on a website, hopefully this video will get people on the right track. If not, well it’s more business for us.

Thanks for sharing Derek and have a good one!

Ian from im Graphic Designs


Darek Halpern… king of the unfortunate still frame. Another great video with some great tips. Thanks.

Clare J Fitzgerald

Hey Derek

Another great and entertaining video.

I’m actually in the middle of designing my site right now and have just realised that I have pretty much ended up using a single action colour right across my site without really doing it completely consciously πŸ™‚

I’ll have to go back now and check I haven’t broken this rule anywhere on my site so thanks for the great tip.

Frances Palaschuk

Hey Derek! This is a really practical tip, thanks so much for sharing.

I have to ask though – what if you have done it right, your action color screams out click be but you place images in your posts that contain the same color as your action color?

Thanks a mill!

Georgina @MicroBizHub

Hi! I’m a first time visitor and loved the video. I love the idea about training your audience to respond to your action colour and I noticed that you were wearing a purple t-shirt – great subtle reinforcement πŸ™‚

Great presentation style too. So engaging and passionate. Looking forward to see what else you’ve got for us.


Hey, good stuff here! I’m building a blog and will be using your tips…am already using them. And just so you know, whenever your updates land in my inbox, they always get read. Always.

Cathy Presland

Love the video (again!). And of course purple is a good feminist colour πŸ˜‰

Thanks Derek



Derek, fantastic job on this video. Really, really well done.


Glen Craig

Oh crap! I need to go re-think my header colors. Thanks for the heads up on purposeful color use.

Jessica Suranyi

As usual- awesome video, and as always- loving the energy.

I am going back through my company website and all my client websites right now to check I have one passive colour and one action colour!

Keep it coming!

Sasha Kovaliov

Derek, thanks for making a video I can point anyone to who is obsessed with FREAKING BIG RED LINKS πŸ˜€

Nica Mandigma | Virtual Assistant

OMG! I am doing it wrong!

The color of my H tags are the same as my links. Definitely need to fix this one soon!


Exactly Derek,
I heard that advice recently on a Podcast from you.
An I implemented it on my Site.

Passice Color is Blue, Action color is green.

I works great.

As I use Adsense (I know you hate it πŸ˜‰ ), Action,, resp. Clicks, brings direct money.

Through the consistence use of Passive colors for headlines, and Action Colors for Subscription and Adsense my Subsciption rate and CTR increased a lot.

Thank you,

BTW: Great Video effects πŸ˜‰


    And now I understand another aspect of “internal linking”.

    Not only it is good for SEO. It also TRAINS the visitors to click onto the action-colored links.
    First the internal links and then the “Money making links”.
    My greets to Pawlow.


Hey Derek, very interesting video as always (I always learn something new), but I do question the purple recommendation when it comes to links. I thought purple was commonly accepted as being the default color to use to show a link has already been clicked. When I notice the occassional link in content on your page, my inclination is to not click it because purple makes me to think that I already visited the page. Thoughts?

Chris Lysy


If I decide to make videos, should I also wear a shirt that matches my action color?

I really thought you were going to say purple, nice video.



I have been on your list for some time now but i think this is the first time i clicked a link in your e-mail. Something went good πŸ˜‰ think it was that you told that what you would say on the half of the video and the blooper.

Normally i prefer text over video’s, but this video with practical examples and your way of telling is very good to watch and is then better than text.

Blase DesMarais

Well the cats out of the bag now.

Designing your site with correct colors is actually
very easy, there are many free online resources
that will help you out.

To go along with what Derek just said think of it like
this. The term passive color is used in graphic design
for Derek’s example it equals analogous colors. These
are colors you find next to each other on a color wheel.

Action colors would be complementary colors. These are the colors
that are across from your analogous colors on the wheel.

So pick out analogous colors for your design and make your
action color complementary.

By looking these terms up in search your will find all the color
design help you need.


Loz James

Love this video Derek – you’re turning into a bit of an online celebrity. You are the brand!

Matt Walker

Awesome stuff, as always, bro. My biggest goal for this year is capturing a certain amount of emails, so as soon as I saw this video I changed my button color to an action color. Thanks for all you do!


One of the few speakers who can speak for almost 6 minutes and make it feel like 6 seconds! Your videos are always educational and fun.
Thanks Derek
PS Don’t check my website until I get a chance to action your recommendations here πŸ˜‰

Rajeev Edmonds

Hi Derek,

Before watching this video, I had the perception that ORANGE color converts the best, no matter what’s your web design.

Now I know what to change on my blog πŸ™‚

And the last 10 seconds – was like icing on the cake πŸ˜€

Racheal Cook

Thanks for the great tip Derek! I remember you wrote about this for DIY themes and it was hugely helpful when I streamlined my site from 4 colors to 2! Now I’ve got a great reminder to go in and make sure that all my links and “clickable” things are consistent – I just realized that I’ve been using my passive color on some of the links AND on headlines and bolding. Whoops! Going to fix now!

Freetail Therapy

I had my site analysed once, and the person told me to change my action color to blue, because blue is what people are trained to click. I had them as green. I liked green…..but I changed them on his advice….I am kinda upset now, because I never really did notice a difference either way. Should I go back to green?

John Lee Dumas

Loved this content. I immediately raced back to my site and breathed a huge sigh of relief that I don’t have blue subtitles, as my action color is blue. Phew! Can’t wait for the next installment of Derek TV!

Peter Murray


I like how your shirt matches your action color, but Your “Sign Up!” button is grey instead of purple.



Great info!

Jamie Alexander

Nice one.

I was going to play about with making my website one color. I’ll do that tonight and choose a specific color as my action color. Great video.

Kimberly Houston

You asked, so ok, here’s what I heard about colors and conversions: There are passive colors and action colors, and you need to have a mix of both on your site. Your action color trains readers and customers to click when they see that color, so the action color needs to pop. You gave us an example by pointing out that your action color is purple, so purple on your site means “click.” : )

Whew! I double-checked my site and I have both, but, and this is a big but, both my passive and action colors are both pretty subdued, plus, I could stand to be more consistent about using them throughout my site, not just the two or three places where I do now.

Thanks very much for this awesome, easy-to-implement tip.

Julie Cottin

Great tip and video! I love the quick tips, action items, and charisma! You keep it real!

Lauren Fritsch

yep– i use a lot of pink for both brand and action color on my lifeshifted site… time for a change!


Been meaning to rethink this for a while! As always, awesome & straightforward resource Derek, seriously.



Killed it again! “I actually hate colors,” haha, that’s hilarious but I totally agree. People get carried away trying to use color to stand out when nothing is more effective than a white background, black text, and an accent color. Do what works, skip what doesn’t.

It’s interesting you mention red links. Besides the confusion they caused with clickable vs. not clickable, people associate red with Stop, Blood, and Danger, and Hot. There’s a Psychologist who has published a bunch of incredible studies on how when people see red, it slows them down and prevents action, and it decreases their performance on any task they are asked to do after seeing the color. He also had an interesting study suggesting that the color red increases the likelihood of infidelity. In any event, I do not use red jn my web design.



    Last year, a BBC program featured a study in which they created large red objects, with red lighting, in which people could sit. They expected people to spend least time in the red objects because of the association with danger.

    Instead, they found that people stayed longest in the red objects. I wonder if you can use red to create a bond. Slowing people down may be helpful on some types of web site.


Damn great video!

Tara - Such Different Skies

You’re awesome Derek. Thank you!

Ian Brodie

Hey Derek – quick thought

Since the generally accepted colour for links is blue (and underlined) then if you make sure that colour isn’t used elsewhere on your site and it stands out – wouldn’t that make “the best” action colour as it means loads of other sites are also training your readers that this is the action colour?


Rebekka Deforce

Great tip!

Damn, I wish I had thought of this before..
I am definitely mixing it up on my site. Time for some changes I guess…

Thanks for the video!

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome Rebekka!


Sure bro! Awesome!!!

I sometimes get crazy about some articles with lots of purple links (yours) or green links (Ramit links) – I just remembered Ramit’s link color… how powerfull is that?!?

And I love your use of these Alert Boxes with Click to Tweet links!


    Derek Halpern

    Funny how that works right? One of the main reasons I chose purple, even though people said it’s a “visited link text,” I chose it simply because no one else used it.


That TOTALLY makes sense. Why didn’t I think of it before?

Now what colors you want to associate with your brand or put on your website considering their psychological effects is a WHOLE other story.

But I do think the most important thing is to get action links stand out as you demonstrated!

Thanks for the video!

    Derek Halpern

    You’re welcome Joe


Oops, guilty! I run few sites and on some I completely mess this up, on some I kinda nail it.

This makes perfect sense though. I guess it’s time to touch the sites a bit (not in a perverted way :D).

Nina Vucetic

Great stuff as always Derek. I am just doing my sales pages and will definitely implement this & then use the same principle for my website – loving the new YT channel.
Question – my site is very pink/purple based – what color would you suggest??
Question 2: BIG ONE – im launching a product about how to create and launch your info products – would love a video interview or just a video from you on any topic of your choice that you are passionate about – let me know!


    I suggest you look into complimentary colour theory.

    On a basic level if you take a colour wheel (you know, with the three primary & three tertiary colours) ‘complimentary’ colours are the ones opposite each other on the colour wheel – they pop against each other which is why they are considered complimentary.

    What this means for your site is that using a complimentary colour means it will stand out against the rest of the site. Sometimes this can look silly (red and green are complimentary, but they just make everyone think of christmas)

    I would play with the yellow-green range (don’t forget all the fun shades of blue in there) if you want them to stand out but still look good.

    It’s something to play with, though not the only way to go – obviously social triggers is mostly white so picking ANY colour works here – it’s just about sticking to it once you decide.

    Derek Halpern

    Hey, right now I don’t do interviews for other peoples products. But if you were running it on your main blog, we can talk.

    Regarding the colors, it all depends. It’s not about any one color. It’s about finding the right color that stands out from the rest of your design.


Action Color! It’s great and yes of course it will work. Thanks for sharing. I’m off to review my website and pick an ACTION Color.


    Derek Halpern

    How did your review go down?

Ameena Falchetto

WHAT? Yellow and Red flashing arrows aren’t the best way to get readers to take action? *faints*

Colour theory is so often ignored – even the basics such as complementary colours, primary vs secondary etc … Sharing especially as you were so bossy about it. πŸ™‚

    Rochelle | The Single Status

    Ameena! You are EVERYWHERE!!! Hia πŸ™‚


    Derek Halpern

    Hey, you have to ask for the action you want, right?

Mr. G

Love your new videos man! Very professional, as one can expect from Social Triggers!

I’ll go check my action color and come back. Thanks…

PS: Pls people… Do not use purple “because it works for Derek”, ok? Be original! πŸ˜‰

    Derek Halpern

    I hope it doesn’t come across as I was recommending everyone use purple…


      I thought purple used to be the default in WordPress until they changed to blue? Now my links are turning RED when clicked….don’t think I care for that!


I’m always checking email when you email me. Do you have some kind of Jedi powers?

This is fascinating though. I’ve never even thought about action colors. And I’m in the process of doing a redesign, so I’m going to have a think about this.

And send the link to my designer.

    Derek Halpern

    Awesome Henri.

    And funny how that works, right?

    Maybe you’re just waiting around for my emails though… I know I would. Ha ha πŸ˜€

Nick Reese

I love that your videos are short, fun, and memorable, but the best part is they are always actionable. πŸ˜‰

“Make sure that your videos always have an actionable take away.”

Someone should coin this the Derek Halpern effect.

Keep crushing it homeh. Only bigger things on the horizon.

    Derek Halpern

    Thanks man. This video thing is a ton of fun, and I know it’s going to get better.

      Annie Sisk

      ‘Fess up now, Derek – that “red” site – that was mine, wasn’t it? πŸ˜€ Well, even if it wasn’t, I took the advice and changed some things around to make the red just for links. Will let you know what effect Google Analytics thinks it has! Very interesting stuff.

Ramsay from Blog Tyrant

As always. Love it bro.

The Government here has just used a particular color to prevent people from buying cigarettes. Interesting stuff.

    Derek Halpern

    What color was it?


      In Australia it’s a solid, dirty olive green, and plain packaging (no brand distinctive type face or images), and Under The Counter.

      They did research and found that this color really made smokers think twice! I’m not surprised. I managed to give up smoking when all the ads and promos were still promoting smoking as ‘Cool and Sophisticated’ – but at that stage, that wasn’t why I was smoking.

      I think that color might dissuade new smokers (mostly young people probably), but not have much effect on the established puffers.


        Sorry, missed the reply.

        Yeah, it was a dirty olive green. Tested as the least appealing color for print media.


      Invisible. It’s pretty effective.

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