Favicons are mini icons that visually represent your brand or website on the browser tab, bookmark list, search history, search ads, and search results. These graphics are most likely 16×16 pixels in size. Ideally, your website’s favicon should be the same as your business logo.
Favicon file names are favicon.io and filed in the root directory of a website. The Internet Explorer 5 first supported this file in March 1999. By December 1999, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommended Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) standardised favicon.
Before Favicons only intend for bookmarked URLs; now, you can see the Favicon on each page. As the number of pages increases, you will not see the names or title pages on the opened browser tabs. The only way to identify which tab it belongs to is by looking through the website’s favicon.
A favicon provides the following:
- Professional look
Importance of Favicons
If you think favicon has no importance or benefits to your website’s SEO, you are right, but only in the strictest and direct sense. However, there are several indirect benefits favicon can provide for your webpage’s SEO.
Brand or Web Recognition
Favicons act as your website’s mini identification card. Users will easily identify and remember your website while they browse through multiple URLs. Whether they are browsing through their bookmarked websites or history, they can easily know your website and access it. It’s simply because graphics are highly recognisable and easy to remember than texts.
It’s important for both digital marketing and SEO to establish brand recognition. If you are focusing on SEO, a website’s favicon will help increase the web traffic because searchers can easily recognise the website in the SERP.
Credibility and User’s Trust
Websites without a favicon will display a blank document or default browser icon on the browser tab. If your website is next to a competitor’s website, you will surely lose the credibility and the trust of the web visitors.
Web visitors have the tendency to judge companies and online service providers base on how their websites are professionally built. Indeed, a website without favicon will easily lose its credibility. Take a look at these websites:
Which website do you think is credible? Now, you see the difference, don’t you?
That’s why have a favicon for your website.
When your web visitors bookmark your webpage for a revisit, they can easily identify your page whenever they go through their bookmarked list. It’s known for a fact that people respond more to visuals than text.
You’re lucky if you have a unique favicon, people will recognise it more easily. If you do not have a favicon, either your webpage won’t get into the bookmarked sites, or it may be removed.
Saves User’s Time
It allows users to easily identify your website from lists (history, bookmarks). Any user will appreciate it.
Increased Website Usability
Website usability has a direct correlation to the search engine ranking of your website. If you have a favicon beside your website title on the browser tab, bookmark list, and history archive will help users save time, easily identify, and revisit your website without any difficulties.
How to Generate Favicon?
Favicon designs have a simple design, and they are closely related to your brand or the colour of your website. It only takes a few minutes to generate and add a favicon to your website.
Typically, favicons are:
- Business logo or part of the logo.
- The first letter of the brand.
- An image that graphically represents the website.
- Combination of letter and image representation.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can generate a favicon and add it to your website:
1. Prepare a perfectly square image of your logo, your website’s first letter, or any custom image designed you have purposely prepared for your favicon.
3. The recommended file size for all types of browser images is 16×16 pixels.
4. Download the favicon file. The file will be in its standard file type of .ico. However, it can be in other file types such as .gif, .jpg, .png, but browsers such as IE do not accept .png files. Thus, to be safe, use the .ico file type.
5. You have to access your root directory to add the favicon file. Add the file by typing this in your browser:
6. When you press enter, a prompt will ask you for your username and password.
7. Upload the favicon.ico file in the root folder.
8. After you upload the favicon, you have to place a call for it in the <head> section of your website’s (X)HTML documents. Add the following code to your website HTML by opening the FTP window. Find and download the ‘index.html’ file from your server. After which, insert the following code in the <head> section of your index.html file:
<link rel=”SHORTCUT ICON” href=”http://www.example.com/favicon.ico”/>
9. Upload the file back to your server.
Now that you know how to add a favicon to your website, you do not have any reasons why you shouldn’t. You might think that favicon has no SEO benefits. However, if you add a favicon to your website, you will later experience its indirect benefits.
There might be some theories that support how favicon helps your website’s SEO. In the end, whether favicon does not provide a benefit to your website’s SEO, it will still influence your website’s branding and usability.