In an SEO world dominated by keywords use and site content, does font really matter? The short answer: Yes.
The font and design you decide to use for your web page reflect your brand or company message, affects user experience, and can ultimately make or break lead completions. The typeface is the first thing a user sees when hitting your landing page, and it’s essential to make this first encounter impactful for the right reasons. There are several factors that go into finding that perfect balance of classy and creative typography- and getting them right can lead to big pay-offs for your company.
What message is your brand trying to reflect? The font that you select should complement your brand’s character. Most athletic companies aren’t seen using cursive or script font: why? Because it softens the image they’re trying to portray. Make sure the design you go with sends a message to the visitor about what kind of brand you are.
It’s important to establish your target audience and consider the demographic characteristics of your visitors. A site promoting retirement fund management would most likely not be using Comic Sans MS, just as a site promoting a large music festival would not be using Times New Roman.
The color you decide to tie to your company psychologically impacts the emotions consumers associate with your brand. For example, the color blue is commonly associated with feelings of trust and dependability (see companies like Dell, Lowe’s, HP, Twitter, Facebook) and red is connected to feelings of boldness and excitement (companies like Coca-Cola, Target, YouTube, Netflix).
Similarly, your font throughout your site should do the same. If you’re promoting environmentally friendly content, you wouldn’t want your font to be orange.
Equally important is making sure your text color does not clash with your background color. When a visitor lands on your site, jarring color combinations can cause them to immediately click off to find a more user-friendly display, no matter how great your content is.
Consistency & legibility
Possibly more important than color is your actual font design. Not only does this reflect the image you’re trying to portray, but it’s also what gives visitors the ability to actually view your content. Using a crazy variety of styles, sizes and colors give your site a spammy appearance, turning away visitors and Search Engine Crawl Spiders.
In keeping color and size looking uniforms, it can be tempting to choose a unique font to try to distinguish yourself from the competition. However, remember that users are more likely to trust a brand they are familiar with. Even if a visitor has never visited your site before, using a font they are used to seeing helps them feel right at home upon arrival.
For examples of standard fonts, consider serif or sans variation. Generally, users find serif typefaces easy to ready for longer segments of content; whereas sans is preferred by younger audiences or readers with certain visual impairments. Either style paints a picture of your company, so consider what characteristics you deem most integral to your brand.
Common associations with the two major parent fonts include;
- Serif – Tradition, Safety Authority, History Integrity
- Sans-Serif – Modern, Clean, Elegant, Chic, Contemporary
Constantly switching up the font type, size, color, etc. immediately negatively impacts the reading experience, and visitors are more likely to click off and find a friendlier site. You should try to avoid too much variation to ensure you’re maintaining that consistent appearance and tone. When readers enjoy what they’re seeing, they’re more likely to explore your site rather than immediately clicking off.
Consider your audience
While considering the intent of your audience, it’s also important to consider the demographics. Are your visitors primarily age 50 and old? You might want to consider increasing your font size and staying away from bright, radical colors. Are your demographic more families or young children? Consider implementing more playful color schemes.
You should also think about where your viewers are coming from. Do you generate more traffic from desktop or mobile? Ensure that your design is compatible with all devices and that your readability doesn’t decline as the screen size varies.
Balancing doing too much vs. too little
While going overboard with font color and diversity can be negative, doing too little can have a negative effect as well. Filling your page with undistinguished content, such as blacks of black text printed uniformly on a white screen, can drive visitors away just as quickly.
One way to reach a middle ground is by using header tags. These tags help segment your text in an easily digestible way for the reader and enhance their overall experience. Bonus: if they can skim the headings and quickly find what they’re looking for, they’re more likely to stay!
Improve not only your readability but also your SEO by taking advantage of <h1> and <strong> tags. Where Google largely ignores fonts and sizes, it parses heading tags. For you, this means that using these tags in your HTML configuration tells Google that your content has optimum readability, increasing its chances of ranking.
Try using CSS to apply your color variations and formatting. Using CSS attributes makes it easy to add color to any header tag you use, ensuring consistency, and a clean look. CSS allows you to differentiate your content without taking it too far.
Another solution is using color to your advantage. Adding pops of color throughout your text helps add emphasis to your important content. Likewise, diverging from a simple black-and-white color scheme can make it easier for the reader to view the page.
Trust yourself – at the end of the day, you’re a consumer too! Try to view your content from a third-party perspective. Critically think about what you would want to see on a site. What elements make your experience better? Which makes your visit worse?
Why does font matter?
What’s the point? Your typography matters for a few reasons:
- It enhances the user experience on your site: A clean, consistent font and complementary color scheme is a perfect recipe for a pleasant experience
- It establishes credibility: Polished typography shows users you know what you’re doing, whereas a multitude of colors and styles can make your site seem like spam
- It can drive conversions: Visitors won’t convert if they can’t really see what you’re selling. And presenting your content positively encourages users to stay and see what you’re offering
- It’s more likely to keep users coming back: While one negative experience can drive visitors away for good, one positive experience can keep them coming back for more.