Take a look at the Bookmarks bar in your browser. Next to the each of the websites you’ve marked to return to later, there will be a small square image. In the case of the Image+ blog, it’s our logo; a lot of sites will be similar. That’s a favicon.

The favicon also appears in the tabs within your browser – when you have multiple sites open, each tab is marked with the title of the page … and that small square image again. It’s a great visual prompt to remind you of which sites you have open, right?

The power of the favicon is in this branding and this convenience. People often have huge numbers of bookmarks and numerous browser tabs open at any one time. Your favicon helps your site stand out from this herd.

From browser history to search results, the favicon has become a ubiquitous means of associating a website with its wider brand – and giving users a quick visual cue about the sites they’re visiting. Brands are powerful when they evoke responses in users; the favicon is a way to conjure the brand associations a business has earned in a quick, clear and convenient manner.

That’s why your business needs to use them. If your website doesn’t adopt a favicon, anyone who bookmarks it or opens it in another tab, searches for it or scans through their browsing history for it, will have a harder time finding it – and that’s bad news for any business. Consider these four factors:

  1. Brand awareness. The humble favicon is a stealthy and effective brand ambassador for any business. It is shown on Google Chrome search results page, shown in tabs, shown in favourites, and even appears as on icon on mobile phones when sites are bookmarked. It can embed your brand in your users’ online experience – that’s really valuable penetration.
  2. Brand transparency and trust. Associating your logo with any online content you produce is a way of signing it, a means of signalling that your business approves the message and stands by it. That goes a long way to establishing trust. And, once that trust has been achieved, you can leverage it: your icon against any content will attract loyal users to those pages. It’s a virtual circle.
  3. User experience. Users reward brands that help them live easier lives. We’ve all been guilty of opening lots of pages and suffering from the dreaded “tab bloat”; the favicon, as small as it is, becomes in this situation an invaluable friend, letting us quickly scan a list of pages for the brands we trust. Enhancing user experience in this way will ensure that your customer base rewards you in turn.
  4. File format. You want your brand to look professional – and that means your favicon needs to be crisp. The minimum size for a favicon is sixteen pixels square. Don’t fall for this – go for high-resolution imagery that will appear bright and vibrant in every context. Most designers now favour the PNG format for favicons, but it’s by no means the only option – be aware of the file format choices ahead of you.

All this simply means that favicons are important and you need to think about them. If you have more questions about the favicon after reading this blog, then great! You should do. Drop us a line or give us a call to discuss the importance of favicons – and how to get them right!

Contact Image Plus for Web Design & Development

If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire, and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or send us an email at info@image-plus.co.uk.

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