With so many sites flooding the Web, it’s easy to be overlooked by potential customers. It’s no secret that people click on and return to sites that appear polished and professional; even the smallest detail can have a huge impact on the number of times your site is viewed.
One of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd is to create a favicon to represent your Web site. A favicon (short for “favorites icon”) is a small iconic image representing your site that users see in the address bar next to your URL and next to your site’s name in their tabbed browsers, favorites lists, and bookmarks. It’s a simple yet effective way to increase your visibility, enforce your brand, and establish a professional presence.
Well-branded companies, such as Google, eBay, and Amazon, use favicons. In customers’ eyes, having a favicon may put you in the same league as these major hitters. It won’t be long before people are able to instantly recognize your site by your favicon, and since favicons are usually designed to match your company’s logo or theme, your brand is reinforced each time your favicon is viewed.
Recognizing a favicon is like seeing a familiar face in a crowd of strangers; they’ll want to visit with you first. Users are more likely to return to tabs with favicons because they’ll subconsciously feel that this small attention to detail equals a higher quality of products or services.
You can easily create a favicon image yourself in Photoshop (free tutorials are available online) or pay a professional designer a small fee to create one for you, then add it to your site. These icons are so tiny (16 pixels by 16 pixels), most are simply a shrunken brand logo, such as a single letter. Don’t bother trying to squeeze an entire word into the space because nobody will be able to read it.
Once people are familiar with your favicon, they can easily scan their lists and locate your site, increasing your repeat business. Your favicon will help customers remember who you are when they’re browsing their cluttered bookmarks and favorites lists.