What colour palettes are the most successful?

To improve your revenue potential with only minimal effort, try optimising your colour palettes. Choosing the right palettes can mean the difference between ads your users will notice and ads they'll skip over. The strategies below are designed to decrease ad blindness (the tendency for users to ignore anything that's separate from the main content of your site) and make your ads more visible to users. The goal isn't to make users think ads are content, but to get users to see the ads that interest them.

The colour strategy you choose for your site depends on the ad placement and background colour behind the ads:

  Ads within content Ads adjacent to content
Light background behind ads Blend Blend or complement
Dark background behind ads Blend, complement or contrast Contrast or complement

Definitions:

  • Blend: Make the ad background and borders the same colour as your page background. If your site background is white and you don't want to spend a lot of time choosing ad colours, consider using our pre-designed Open Air palette.

  • Complement: Use colours that already exist on your site, but don't match the background and borders exactly where the ads are placed.

  • Contrast: Choose colours that stand out against the background of your site. Contrasting is recommended only for sites with dark background; consider using a palette with a white background, white borders and blue titles.

Blend
Complement
Contrast
Blend
Complement
Contrast

For most techniques, we recommend using colours for your ad text and links that already exist on your site. For example, if the links on your site are all green and your text is black, use green links and black text in your ads as well. Because most users are accustomed to seeing blue links, you might also try using blue.

In general, use common sense when choosing your colour palettes. If your site's main colours are pastels, don't design ads that are all primary colours. Users won't click on ads that are visually offensive.

Troubleshooting

If these techniques don't prove effective, consider the following:

  • Does your site mostly attract repeat visitors? Repeat visitors can become blinded to the position of the ads over time, regardless of ad colours. Try rotating colours or occasionally switching the location of your ads on the page.

  • Does your site have a lot of ads and content? If your site is filled with ads or competing content, you may need to use more visually arresting colours or more prominent palettes.

Making your ads visible

Put yourself in the mindset of a regular user. Do the ads draw your attention, without being garish? Would you be more likely to notice or ignore them? Find a balance between overwhelming and inconspicuous ads.

Would you notice these ads?

Muted
Standout