Welcome to day 20 of the 31 days to a better Pinterest page. For day 20, I’m going to be discussing about changing your favicon to help your rich pins stand out even more. It’s one of those small delicate changes that when compounded with other changes can help you stand above the competition. I also want to give a big thank you to everyone who participated in the survey I sent by e-mail. The insights were amazing and will help me design a better Pinterest course for the Pintalysis Online Academy that’s launching August 31st.
What is a Favicon And Why Is it Important?
First off, let’s talk about what a favicon is. A favicon is that picture that you see next to a tab when you’re surfing the internet. Whether you visit Pinterest.com, or check out Huffingtonpost.com, you’ll see a cute tiny picture next to their website name.
These favicons help with your business’ or blog’s branding. The favicon took a bit of a back seat for most websites, after all, it didn’t seem all that important to have a good one.
Well, anybody that’s serious about their Pinterest marketing can’t say that any more. Your favicon will be plastered across thousands of pin if you have rich pins enabled. And the last thing you need is to lose this type of opportunity to help your brand and your pins stand out.
There’s just too many rich pins that have a generic favicon on Pinterest. And the reason for this is because many website templates, and WordPress themes (such as Genesis) will assign you a favicon if you decide not to change it.
How this is all related to Pinterest is that if you have rich pins, then they will take the favicon from your website and put it into the rich pin preview on the Pinterest newsfeed, as well as the actually clicked pin itself. Here’s what a rich pin looks like from Mathfour.com, along with it’s distinct favicon. On the Android smartphone app of Pinterest, the favicon is the only element that will help differentiate a rich pin from a non rich pin in the Pinterest feed. For myself, my favicon wasn’t the greatest, so I changed it to something that was nice and visible. Before the words MCNG were too jumbled and barely visible, so I changed it to a nice clear blue M. (It’s a bit ironic, but I do actually participate in my own challenge)
Do You Have the Dreaded GreyPin Favicon on Your Pinterest Account?
Many favicons on Pinterest have the grey pin. This is an indication that there is no assigned favicon for the website, if you notice that for your rich pins, I strongly suggest that this gets changed so that you’re able to have your rich pins stand out even more.
As millions of users continue to grow, and more blogs and product sites join, your brand differentiation will become more and more important. Don’t be lost in the hundreds of other grey pin favicons.
How To Change Your Favicon For Pinterest
This type of activity can’t be changed from within Pinterest, it requires a little bit of technical know how but it’s quite easy once you get the hang of it. The important aspect to remember is to create an image that is 16 pixels by 16 pixels and to convert the image to favicon.ico file. There are a lot of different ways to change your favicon.
If you happen to be using a hosting service that uses cPanel, such as HostGator, Bluehost, or HostMonster, then you can follow these instructions that were given, that I took from Host Monster.
Host Monster’s Instructions:
How to edit my address bar icon or favicon.ico?
Problem: Can I change the “favicon.ico” file for my website(s)? Solution: Yes! It’s quite easy to do. The favicon.ico file is typically a simple 16×16 image, visible in the browser status bar, tabs and/or title bar. To change this to your own, simply do the following:
- Create a “favicon.ico” file from your preferred image. You can either use an image editing tool—such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, MS Paint, etc., or you can use this website: http://www.favicon.cc/.
- Upload the image to your “web root” for your website. If this is your primary domain, the directory is “/public_html/”. If it is for a subdomain or addon domain, please refer to your cPanel → Domains → Subdomains or cPanel → Domain Manager section to see what directory the domain is assigned to.
- Clear your browser cache, then visit your website again.
Assuming you’ve uploaded to the right place and your browser’s cache is clear, it should update with your image. In some cases, you may need to visit the favicon.ico file directly; simply go to http://example.com/favicon.ico. (Replace “example.com” with your own domain.)
How to Change Your WordPress Favicon for Pinterest
If you are using self hosted WordPress, but don’t want to use a plugin for your favicon, then check out this video. I know quite a few bloggers use Genesis, and the favicon for Genesis shows up for their rich pins by default. To change it, you can follow this detailed video that will explain step by step what needs to be done with WordPress themes, and any associated child themes. Once you’ve uploaded your new favicon, you can get a sense of what it would look like on Pinterest, you can go and validate your pins, and it will show you what your favicon will look like.
Why I don’t Suggest a Favicon Plugin for WordPress
Okay, maybe it’s just me, but I ended up trying to use a favicon plugin for WordPress and unfortunately it didn’t change the original favicon image from my WordPress theme. It did change the favicon for my web browsers, but just not for Pinterest.
I waited a few days and nothing changed. However, when I did change to a new favicon using the video instructions I was able to see my new favicon image within 10 minutes after validating it through Pinterest.
However, if you do have a different experience please let me know in the comments. And that’s it! Death to boring favicons!
Day 20: Actionable Step
Take time to create a favicon for your website if you don’t have one. And just to make sure that Pinterest recognizes it, go and re validate your pins, to ensure that the new favicon is recognized.
This is a great case study that shows the power of Pinterest for sales and brand awareness. When HSN needed to reach a new audience for their show The List, they used Pinterest as a way to fuel it. Read more at the official Pinterest business blog.
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