I’ve heard the phrase “sticky website” creeping back into the oral arsenal of search marketing practitioners and webmasters lately (if it ever left). If you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, it more or less refers to a website that entices visitors to stick around awhile and choose to come back again. There are multiple facets to creating a “sticky website” but I am going to expound upon one way to make it easy for customers to return for more of whatever you’re offering.
Sure, it’s easy enough for a returning customer to type your company name into Google and click on the link to your website. But what if the customer can’t remember your company name or they’re feeling frisky and decide to check out your competitor, who’s paying for the top Adword on your name. In short, there are infinite avenues a customer can disappear down while trying to return to your website.
Since most everyone needs a web browser to visit your website, wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could place a visual link to your site right in the browser’s toolbar? Well guess what? You can.
It’s called a Favicon. Think of it as a visual bookmark, which of course links directly to your website. And today’s web browsers love favicons so much that they’re displaying them everywhere, and allowing users to create their own favicon link list.
In Mozilla’s Firefox browser, favicons are displayed in the address bar, all active tabs, and the user-generated Bookmarks toolbar (text is optional).
Essentially, if a Firefox user bookmarks your site and keeps their Bookmarks toolbar displayed at all times, there will always be a graphical link to your website, clickable at any moment. Now that’s what I call product placement.
In Internet Explorer 7, favicons are displayed in the address bar, all active tabs, and the user-generated Favorites toolbar.
Apple’s Safari web browser also displays favicons in the address bar and Bookmarks menu.
So what exactly is a favicon? It’s only a 16X16 pixel image of your choosing, but I recommend using an image similar to your logo, minus any text, that can be easily associated with your website. Also, a favicon is easy to implement. Here are 2 methods for doing so:
1. Place a call to your favicon in the HEAD tags of all site pages:
<head> <link rel="Favicon" href="http://www.yoursite.com/favicon.ico"> </head>
2. Place your favicon image in the root directory – But you have to name it “favicon.ico”
For more information, Wikipedia offers some excellent favicon guidelines.
Keep in mind, your website needs to be deemed worthy enough to warrant a bookmark or favorites link, but that’s another issue.