How’s your typography today?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Do you ever give thought to your typography? Do you even know what that means? I'll Do you know what this means?admit that this is a word I have never really thought about.

However - An email from Yoast yesterday emphasized the importance of typography in our on-line offerings, so I thought I'd better see what it was all about.

As I began to read, I first thought it was the same thing as readability, and in some ways it is.

The Yoast plug-in on my Wordpress blog alerts me (no, nags me) if a paragraph is too long or if I have too many paragraphs/words between headers.

As it turns out, typography is something more. It has to do with font size and style, color, and white space.

And it is important. The quality of your words won't matter at all if no one reads them.

So get with the typography. For starters...

The author recommended using a 14-point font. I kind of agree, but… it all depends upon the font style. Some are naturally larger than others. I use a handwriting font to say “Thank You” at the top of pages included with my prospecting letter sets. The font is small, so it  would show up as tiny in 14-point.

online marketing requires good typographyI think the best idea is to use your own eyes. Look to see how easy it is to read the words.

He also recommended using black type on a white background. If you really want to use something else, then use a “contrast tester” program to see if your choice will be easy to read.

I once had a client who insisted on using gray type on a black background – and I couldn’t talk him out of it. It was horrible to try to read. I think gray on white is pretty difficult as well. And as for yellow on white… I wouldn’t even try.

The font style is important too. Tests have shown that sans-serif is easier to read on a computer screen than serif, while the opposite is true in print materials. Fonts that are anything but plain, ordinary print might look nice, and they might serve as a good contrast for a header, but used extensively they can be difficult to read.

Again, instead of trying to memorize advice, use your eyes. Use your friends’ eyes. Use your family members’ eyes.

White space is a benefit, not an expense.

Once upon a time, marketers tried to cram every possible word into ad space, because the jumping through marketing copyspace was sold by the inch. They used small fonts and left no lines between paragraphs. It was hard to read, but perhaps not quite as critical in those days because everyone was doing the same thing.

Some people still try to do that with letters, postcards, flyers, and brochures. It’s a terrible mistake.

White space allows your message – and your reader - to breathe. It’s especially important when writing for the web, because it also allows our eyes to keep track of where we are on a page.

White space is vital in Internet marketing because (face it) many people prefer to skim rather than read every word. Breaks give their eyes a place to land, and hopefully pause, as they jump down the page.

One more thing… links

The article from Yoast stressed the importance of making your links easy to see. When I read that I thought “Doesn’t everyone?” After all, we include links in the hope that people will click on them. But then within a few hours I came across an article where the links weren’t evident. I only saw them by accident.

I guess the answer to “Doesn’t everyone?” is “No.”

Yoast said to make the links a different color and underline them. Then make them change colors when scrolled over.

Yes. Good idea.

Jumping businessman courtesy of Sira Anamwong
Online marketing key courtesy of Stuart Miles



Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Marte, fonts really do matter. If it isn't easy to read, people are just going to move on to the next website or piece!

May 19, 2019 10:58 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Marney Kirk - Exactly. If it's information we must have, we'll read text that isn't easy. If it's marketing - or even just a story - we'll move on if it's difficult.

May 19, 2019 11:19 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Thanks for the tips, Marte. I haven't checked in with Yoast lately. I think I may be falling behind. 

May 19, 2019 04:57 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Marte- and very well done!!!! Many moons ago I can remember in Bob Stewart webinars about making sure that our posts had enough white space. And I must admit that with a few exceptions when I'm trying to discover posts for my weekly series if it's too hard to read as in small font or cramped or fonts of so many colors my head is spinning, I move on. 

May 19, 2019 06:23 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mike Cooper, GRI Yoast is pretty demanding. Sometimes I'd rather just write and not worry about SEO.

Kathy Streib Of course you do - if you find it difficult to read, your followers will too.


May 19, 2019 08:02 PM
Jana Schmidt
John L. Scott Renton - Renton, WA
Jana L. Schmidt

Sometimes I try to explain the complexities of running a small real estate business. Gone are the days of simply selling a home, we are truly small business owners who must wear so many hats. Page layout professional and copy editor are now skills we must learn, this is a great post. 

Regarding font size, for years I loved small font, now that I'm a bit older, I am so grateful for size 14 font. Thank you for sharing this. 

May 20, 2019 08:42 AM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Very interesting Marte Cliff , two weeks ago I was in a continuing education class on advertising and promotion and part of the class was that the instructor talked about the changes over history in the public's view of fonts, colors etc!

May 20, 2019 09:18 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jana Schmidt The older we get, the more our eyes appreciate a larger font - but NOT so loud that it shouts!

Bruce Hicks I think I would have enjoyed hearing that lecture.

May 20, 2019 04:21 PM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta, GA 404-617-6375
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Love our Great City - Love our Clients! Buckhead - Midtown - Westside - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Marte Cliff Absolutely a target of mine when I write:
"White space is a benefit, not an expense." All the best, Lynn

May 20, 2019 08:42 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

Your artticle was very interesting and informative.  I did check out the Yoast site and am very interested in some of their products.  Do you purchase it once and have it permanently?

May 20, 2019 10:59 PM
Janelle Ancillotti
Seneca Home Staging - Syracuse, NY
HSR Certified Home Stager, Syracuse, NY

There are a lot of funny examples of typography gone wrong

May 21, 2019 04:53 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By Real - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Marte, I laughed when you said no, nags me in regard to Yoast. I'll have written what I think is the perfect post and then I look over at the status in WordPress and Yoast is telling me it's "ok." Drives me crazy but, boy is it helpful! Small font doesn't keep my attention and I've found long paragraphs don't either anymore. Great post!

May 21, 2019 05:16 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lynn B. Friedman Yes - white space allows people to actually see the words.

Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent I'm just using the free version on Wordpress.

Janelle Ancillotti Yes - sometimes we get some comic relief.

May 21, 2019 06:36 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Amanda S. Davidson I know just what you mean, because I experience the same thing.

May 21, 2019 06:37 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Marte Cliff - This is a very helpful post.  I look back at the first post I did and I cringe!  I didn't have wise words like this to guide me almost a decade ago.  Over the years, I absorbed different styles from popular bloggers and said to myself, I like the way this looks.  The blogger is popular so others must enjoy reading this blog. 

May 21, 2019 03:57 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® We keep learning, growing, and evolving - and that is as it should be.

May 21, 2019 04:05 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Great post & so very true. People here that write in Comic Sans should really rethink that idea. It is proven that people will take them less seriously. 

I think one of the format bungles is the fact that 'grey' of some sort is the font color on WP. I always change it to black so it can be read easier. Nothing worse than seeing a light grey on a white background & you can't keep reading it - it's too hard.

May 22, 2019 10:16 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lyn Sims I agree - why does WP use gray when black is so much easier to read? It goes against common sense.

May 22, 2019 12:01 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

For emails I use Arial 10 font, for letters and communications, I use Arial 12 font and Arial 14 font as headlines and when communicating to older seniors. I believe it's easier to read Arial fonts regardless of font size than any other font, yet, I could be wrong but wouldn't change regardless. 

I try to limit my paragraphs to no more than 3 to 4 sentences. I believe people will continue to read short paragraphs and if the information is useful and especially beneficial, they will continue reading until your CTA or closing.


May 25, 2019 03:42 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kimo Jarrett Short paragraphs are SO important. Even when the information is something I want, I have a hard time forcing myself to tackle a "wall of words."

May 25, 2019 03:56 PM