Business owners often think that the most important aspect of their website is the content. They focus their efforts on the products, the descriptions of services, or the photographs. They hire professionals to write blogs and to post comments. But what many of these business owners fail to realize is that something much simpler might be turning away their visitors: typography.
Often overlooked as trivial or boring, fonts are actually very important for keeping visitors on your website. Whether or not a visitor reads or doesn’t read your content is largely based on the first impression your typography makes. So use the opportunity to your advantage!
Below are five reasons why your typography is turning away visitors. Avoid these pitfalls and you will be ahead of the pack.
1. It’s not readable
By far the biggest typography-related crime is using fonts or web design that makes the content hard to read. There are a number of different ways to make your content hard to read–using a bad font is just one of them. It’s important to use contrasting colors for your background and the words. Black letters on a white background might be boring, but it works!
2. You are using too many fonts
While you certainly want to mix up your fonts – in shape, size, color and kind – you need to be careful that you are not doing too much mixing and matching. If your fonts are so interesting they are detracting from content, then they are not doing the job they are supposed to do. Fonts should be a tool you use, not the finished product.
3. You are over-thinking it
There are so many different kinds of font options out there on the market; it can get overwhelming. It can also be exciting and inspiring. Some fonts are works of art in their own right, but be careful. These fonts are best when used very, very sparingly – in the website’s title perhaps. Stick to the basics for everything else: Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Arial are great ones.
4. You aren’t sizing your fonts correctly
The size of your font is very important in conveying to the reader what the words mean. A large size conveys the top of the hierarchy – a title or category. Smaller fonts should be used for subtitles or sub-categories, and even smaller fonts should be used for content or paragraphs. If you don’t follow these basic rules, your visitors will have trouble navigating your site.
5. Not enough white space
It is very important that on any given page, there is more white space than content. If you cram too many words onto the page, your visitor will be overwhelmed and might leave. Break up your content, even if it means adding more pages and sub-pages. It’s better to make your visitor click a few more times than to put too much information in one place.
These are just the most basic practices for good typography. Follow these basic principles and you will stop losing any visitors to bad typography mistakes.
About the author: Dirk Reagle has written for the tech industry for many years and has developed a wealth of knowledge over that time. When he’s not sharing his expertise, you can find Dirk reviewing web development companies such as Orbit Media.