Improve Your Conversion Rate With Favicons

January 20, 2006

Since your best customer is the one you already have – and the customer who takes the trouble to bookmark you is an excellent customer — make sure that your web designer creates a favicon for your website.

What’s a favicon? It’s a tiny little picture, usually 16×16 pixels — probably smaller than the nail on your little finger. If you put code like this on your webpage…

link rel=”icon” href=”” type=”image/gif”/

… your website will know to do two things.

1) Your visitors who are using Mozilla will see your favicon in the address bar with every page of your site — a nice form of branding
2) More importantly, if your customers bookmark your website, they will see your favicon next to your company name in their bookmarks. This is supposed to be true in Internet Explorer (although it seems rather flaky) and is definitely true in Mozilla. So just play customer for a moment and imagine looking at a long list of shopping booksmarks. You are most likely to choose the one that suits your needs the best, but if two are equivalent, your eye will be drawn to the one with the little “billboard” — the favicon. You increase your conversion rate by drawing back your best customers, i.e. the ones who have bookmarked your site.

(We never claim to be a techie blog, but you should know that if you put your favicon in a different directory, you need another line of code to point your website to it.)

Now, the interesting question is, can you measure bookmarking by measuring requests for your favicons file? Nothing that I have read makes me feel very confident about this ability, because browsers like Mozilla request your favicon for every page. Even when I read, “It’s the direction of requests that counts,” I just think that is mostly a function of page views and visitors, not necessarily bookmarks.

Well, even if you can’t measure with favicons, get out there and create some so that I can understand all these bookmarks in my browser. Please.