Favicons are the Google equivalent of being picked first for gym.
And everyone wanted to be picked first!
Do You Know These Businesses Just Based on Their Favicon?
If you can name more than three, then you already understand the importance of using an easily recognizable visual symbol to represent your brand. (See the bottom of this post for answers.)
Google search results include a small icon on the left hand side to help searchers distinguish between businesses they know and those they don’t. When your favicon, or image, is recognizable by potential customers, they are more likely to pick you first for gym, er, I mean pick your business’ website over your competitors.
This change of heart on Google’s part is largely related to paid advertisers. Google wants advertisers to succeed and one of the easiest ways to do this is to make it more difficult to separate paid ads from organic results. The favicon becomes one more opportunity for your business to stand out from the crowd.
Curious If Your Website has a Favicon, or Which Image Google is Using?
Check out this favicon test tool (Don’t mind the poor English, the tool was built in Amsterdam.) If the image that appears after the test is not your favicon, or is the default favicon for your website management tool (CMS), then the favicon has not been updated. See below for details on updating your favicon.
Search Results are Not the Only Reason to Use a Favicon.
Has your browser ever looked like this?!
If this makes your heart beat faster, this is why a favicon might be your new BFF. How can anyone possibly figure out what tab they were on, EXCEPT based on the favicon! That little picture that says so much to the potential customer. It says, “hey pick me, I’m the business you were looking for!”
A Favicon Can be Optimized (ie made Google Friendly):
- Create an authentic 16×16 image. Try to select something other than your logo.
- Simple is more effective for customer recall.
- Minimize the background colours.
Currently Google has limited guidelines for favicons except the dimensions however, the SEO community agrees guidelines are needed. Misuse is already commonplace. Impostor businesses are using similar images to large brands in an attempt to grab their click-thru traffic. How long will it be til someone grabs the Google “G” logo and uses it as a favicon?!
Keep the Following in Mind as You Select Your Favicon:
- The favicon and homepage must be crawlable by Googlebots (no nofollows).
- Your favicon needs to be square.
- Keep your favicon on brand.
- Google will not display an image deemed inappropriate.
Ready to Get Picked First?
Favicon settings are inside your website management tool. You will need 3 sizes prepared at a minimum; 14×14, 114×114 and 144×144 preferably in .png or .ico format. If reading that last sentence feels like a new language, chat us up here and we’ll help you out!
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