I remember when favicons first started to appear, it was like, hey, how cool is that. But now they are so common that I hardly notice them anymore. Well, no, that's not exactly true. I do notice them, and like them, it's just that I'm not surprised to see them anymore. But I AM surprised when I don't see them.
Ok, let's back up. What is a favicon?
If you're reading this post on Search Engine Guide, rather than a feed reader, then you need to do no more than look up to the address bar. Here is an example of the favicon used on my company blog:
See that little icon of EMP with the orange line above it? Yep, that's the favicon. It's such a little thing, but it can make a pretty big impact. Site's that don't have a favicon show a generic icon like this:
That's in FireFox. In Internet Explorer, if you don't brand yourself with a custom favicon, Microsoft with brand themselves in your place. Here's what it looks like:
Now I won't go so far as to suggest the favicon will increase sales, but it does provide a nice visual cue for your site, especially once it gets added into a visitor's bookmarks folder. Take a look at this snapshot of Netflix open up in my browser, along site my open bookmarks:
Look down at the very bottom, see the icon circled in red? That little guy there is a bookmark from a site that has no favicon. So you can see that not having a favicon prevents you from standing out among the others. This can be important when you're bookmarked a list of your competitors!
Favicons are not that difficult to create. I found this great Photoshop Tutorial on How to Create a Favicon.
In a matter of minutes I created an entirely new favicon:
Granted, this new one took me all of 5 minutes to create from the site logo, but what do you think? I could definitely clean it up a bit, for sure. But not bad for a few minutes of work.
To add your new favicon so it appears in the location bar and bookmarks, in the
<head> tags of each page's code add this:
<LINK REL="SHORTCUT ICON" HREF="favicon.ico">
That's it. You're all set with your new favicon.
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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