Favicons, the small image icons to the left of the webpage name in your browser tabs, are an unsung hero of online branding. They help your visitors remember your logo and can serve to reinforce your brand in spaces where text is not possible. Set your favicon once and you’ll see your logo appear in these four places.
If you’re in a competitive industry, brand recognition is crucial. If you’ve put in the work to create a company that your customers recognize, it’s important to maintain that awareness.
Take a look at the browser tabs for three different real estate companies.
The example in the middle shows what appears when a favicon is not set. The page on the right chose to purposely omit a favicon.
The winner, though, is the tab on the left for Sotheby’s. They set an appropriate on-brand favicon that helps visitors easily identify their site when viewing multiple pages.
Sotheby’s follows favicon best practices by setting the favicon as a small alternative to the full logo next to the text.
In addition to showing up in the browser tab when someone is on your website, the favicon — favorites icon —appears in the bookmarks bar or folder of a user’s browser.
Setting your favicon to something that is unique and identifies your website or company helps customers to find your website faster and easier. This can be especially useful to your customers if your site is often used alongside another or when customers are comparison shopping.
Setting a favicon sends a message about your products or services so it’s important to select something that enhances the image you’re going for, especially for consumer luxury goods and services.
This group of wedding dress websites shows the wide variety of different favicon choices companies can make.
While some of these convey a romantic or natural feel, others seem as though they’d be better suited for an industrial or manufacturing website. This discrepancy between expectation and reality can hurt brand recognition.
Google Mobile Search Results
A newer way that favicons have been used is in mobile search results. This can be especially useful for companies that have very similar names or website URLs. For example, check out this search result for Chicago pizza:
The top and bottom results are both for company’s called Chicago’s Pizza and the URLs are just one “-” away from each other, but the top result is actually for a pizza chain in Indiana.
A favicon, in addition to strong SEO-optimized OG metadata, can be a great way to make it a little easier for returning customers to find you.
Your favicon will also be used as the icon that is displayed when your website becomes a favorite for someone. Most browsers display favicons as shortcut logos when a new tab is opened. This is another great way to have your customers repeatedly exposed to your logo and increase your brand awareness.
The steps for setting a favicon will vary depending on what kind of website you have. WordPress users can use the built-in Admin panel section to set up their favicon.
If you need help adding a favicon image to your website, contact us for affordable hourly website development and we can get your site set up with a perfectly on-brand image.