Have you ever noticed those tiny icons that appear in your browser tab when you visit a website? Those are called favicons, and while they may seem insignificant, they actually play a valuable role in a website’s SEO. In fact, having a well-designed favicon can have a significant impact on your website’s search engine rankings and overall user experience. In this article, we’ll dive into what favicons are, the importance of favicons in SEO, practical uses of favicons, and explore some best practices for designing and implementing them on your website.
What Are Favicons
Favicons are small icons or images that are associated with a website and appear in the browser tab or bookmark bar when a user visits that site. They typically measure 16×16 pixels, although larger sizes are also commonly used. Favicons serve as a visual representation of a website and can help users easily identify and remember a site, especially when they have multiple tabs open. They also serve as a branding tool, allowing websites to showcase their logos or other visual elements in a compact and recognizable format. Favicons are an essential part of a website’s user experience and can also have an impact on its SEO.
When users have many tabs open, only a website’s favicon will be visible. This can be a valuable tool for brand recognition and top-of-mind awareness.
Did you know that favicons have been around since 1999?
They were first introduced by Microsoft in Internet Explorer 5, with the goal of helping users identify their favorite websites in the browser’s bookmark menu. Since then, other popular browsers have also added support for favicons, and now they are a common sight across the web. Nowadays, they’re considered a crucial part of a website’s design and user experience, and you’ll find them on millions of websites.
Why Are Favicons Important For SEO?
Favicons are important for SEO for several reasons. First, they can improve a website’s user experience by making it easier for users to identify and remember a website. This can lead to increased brand awareness, higher levels of engagement, and more return visitors.
Second, favicons can also help with website accessibility, allowing users with visual impairments to navigate a website more easily. From an SEO standpoint, having a well-designed favicon can also signal to search engines like Google that a website is professional and credible.
Google search results will often show website favicons next to their URLs. Having a well-designed and eye-catching favicon can create a great first impression from searchers and increase the likelihood of them clicking on your website.
Favicons In Your Browser History
Favicons are especially important for increasing your number of returning visitors. Your browser saves each page you visit in its history and next to every page will be that website’s favicon. Having a unique favicon will make your website stand out in users’ browser history making it easier to find your website again in the future.
The more times a user sees your website’s favicon, the more likely they are to remember your website and your branding.
Favicons Appear in Bookmarks
Did you know that having a favicon can give your website an advantage when it comes to bookmarks? When users save a website to their browser’s bookmark list, having a favicon can make it easier for them to identify and remember the site. If your website doesn’t have a favicon, you could be missing out on the chance to be included on a bookmarked list in Chrome or other browsers.
What file Format Should Your Website Favicons Be?
The history of file formats for favicons goes back to the late 1990s when Microsoft introduced the first version of Internet Explorer that supported favicons. Initially, favicons could only be saved in the Windows ICO format, which allowed for multiple sizes and color depths to be included in a single file. But as other browsers started supporting favicons, alternative file formats such as GIF and PNG were introduced.
Despite the introduction of these alternative file formats, the ICO format remained the most widely used and recommended format for favicons. This is because of its flexibility and compatibility with all major browsers. However, some websites still use PNG and GIF formats for more complex or animated favicons. There are even plugins and tools that will convert your PNG files to ICO files when used as a favicon.
How Can I Make A Favicon
Creating a favicon for your website is easier than you might think. There are a few ways to make one: you can use a favicon generator, create a favicon manually using image editing software, or convert an existing image to the ICO format using an online converter. Here are some tools that might help you create a favicon for your website
Once you have your favicon, you’ll need to upload it to your website’s root directory and add a link to it in the head section of your HTML code. This will ensure that browsers can detect and display your favicon when users visit your website.
How To Add A Favicon To Your Website
Depending on how you build your website the process of adding a favicon can be different.
One of the most universal ways to upload a favicon to your website is to upload the favicon to your root directory and add the following code to the head of your website:
< link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”your-favicon-url.ico”>
Be sure to replace “your-favicon-url.ico” with the location of your favicon if you plan to use this method when uploading a favicon to your website.
Different website builders like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify also have their own methods of uploading favicons. To learn more about uploading favicons to websites build using those platforms check out the rest of our blog.
If you built your website using the Avada WordPress theme, uploading a favicon becomes a very simple and straightforward task.
In the wordpress dashboard visit the Avada Options page. Hovering over the logo section choose favicon in the dropdown menu. Here you can upload your website favicon and Avada will tell you the recommended image sizes for your favicons. If you are uploading your favicon through Avada it does not first have to be uploaded as an ICO file, you can directly upload a PNG or GIF.
To learn more about Favicons and how they can impact your website’s SEO check out the rest of our blog.