Many web designers and website owners have been asking a question of whether it is possible to incorporate fancy designer fonts into their websites and make these fonts SEO friendly. While it has been a common practice to embed fancy fonts into images and then publish these images on the web, the downside of the latter method lies in the inability of search engines to read the fonts embedded in the images. Being unable to feed search engines with enough text content normally results in lower search engine rankings and causes considerable profit losses to online businesses.
Typography is a very important design element in website development processes. Web fonts radically change the look and feel of online content, and until recently dynamic fonts (fonts not embedded into images) used on the web have been limited to a small subset of styles due to technical and licensing restrictions. Most website designers tend to stick to standard web fonts that are present on each computer (e.g. Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Times, Trebuchet) to make sure the content of the site looks exactly the way it is intended to. However, over the last year the landscape for web typography has improved dramatically and many more web font options became available to web developers.
We will touch on a couple of methods that can be used to diversify and take advantage of improvements in website typography:
- CSS3 allows to use @font-face selector ‚Ai which basically makes it possible to embed selected fonts into the website without images. The main barrier of this method is browser compatibility (not all web browsers support this CSS3 code).
- Use of third-party products like www.typekit.com or kernest.com. The downside is that most of these services are not free.
- Google recently introduced Google Font API (https://fonts.google.com/) that already has a number of nice looking web fonts available to web developers.
I normally recommend to stick to default, commonly used fonts while building your website. Any usage of non-standard fonts will still require additional scripting which will increase page loading time and can cause conflicts with other, more relevant scripts on the site as well as result in browser or mobile device incompatibility. If you absolutely have to use fancy fonts, check out and take advantage of https://fonts.google.com!
John oftentimes takes the lead as the Agile Project Manager and SEO expert on selected projects, which allows him to be hands-on with the latest trends.