How to Choose the Right Font for Your Small Business Website

By Mike McKearin

Every business has a certain personality to it. Many brands are a reflection of the business owner and their personality. Even for small business websites, the challenges can seem daunting. Many small business owners find themselves asking questions they didn’t realize carried so much weight, like how to choose the right font for their website.

As we grow businesses into brands, there can be a disconnect between the brand itself and how it’s represented online or through various online media. Sometimes this is due to a lack of understanding of the person designing the site. Sometimes it’s a lack of creative or technical skills from the business owner.

Specifically on the subject of how to choose the right font, it can be difficult knowing which ones will end up looking mismatched from the rest of your brand. A logo might include fonts that are fun and fresh, but website headings and body text could look stodgy and stale. Getting your fonts aligned can make for a much more buttoned-up brand image.

Here’s a small handful of tips and resources to keep your brand congruent when it comes to fonts.

1. Know your limit.

As a general rule, I’d try to limit your font choices to three, at most, for your entire site. Your logo font should be one, or sometimes two of the three. Having too many different fonts on a page can be distracting. It’ll look disjointed instead of consistent and congruent with your brand image.

2. Keep it simple.

The style of your fonts should reflect the overall flavor of your brand. If you have a gymnastics business for kids, then steer clear of serif fonts (with the little wings on the letters). Serif fonts come across as formal and serious. If you’re a financial consultant, on the other hand, a serif font fits better than sans-serif or handwriting fonts. The lesson here? Cater your font choices to your audience.

Use your fancier fonts for headings and stick to something safer for your body text. It can be difficult to read a large body of text using fancy fonts. Check out FontPair to see how different fonts pair well together. FontPair is a great place to find a few fonts to use on your site.

According to Neuro Marketing, when asking visitors to accomplish a task (like signing up for something), simpler fonts increase the probability of the task being completing. Fancy fonts can be hard to read; they require more effort from your visitor. In terms of how to choose the right font, the takeaway here is to keep it simple. Use simple fonts for your body text, instructions, and calls to action.

3. Be consistent.

Years ago, we would have to embed a fancy font in a graphic to use something other than the default web-safe fonts. Nowadays, there are hundreds of fonts to choose from thanks to sites like Google Fonts. Using fonts from Google allows you to choose and keep pairings consistent across your branding and marketing materials. Download the fonts to your computer to ensure that you can use them throughout your software tools.

4. Size matters.

In asking how to choose the right font, understand that part of making the right choice involves size. Fonts can be tricky when it comes to sizing. You may have to play with these a bit but don’t be afraid to use larger fonts. Larger fonts usually mean they are easier to read. You do want your visitors to read what you’re writing right?

An on-screen font of 16 pixels is roughly equivalent to 12 point text on paper. When it comes to your website body text, shoot for 16+ pixels in size. Or you could try 18+ for a more comfortable reading experience. Fine tuning font size might seem trivial, but optimizing for size could dramatically improve your page views. It could even improve the length of time visitors spend on your site.

If you find a site with fonts that you like, use Stylify Me to see which ones (including sizes and colors) the site uses. This will definitely help you in your quest to choose the right font for your site.

If you want to know how to choose the right font, take advantage of available resources.

Google Fonts
Stylify Me

Each font has a personality. Aligning your brand personality with each font you use helps further clarify what your brand is about and how your visitors perceive your business.

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