Tips & Advice

3 Logo Mistakes Businesses Make On Their Website

Ryan Feyer

I began building websites in 2001. Over the course of the last 19 years, I’ve built and fixed quite a few websites. There’s one thing that every website I’ve ever built has contained: a logo.

What follows are the three mistakes I see businesses make when placing their logo on their website.

1. Using Only The Logomark

We all wish we could be like Nike or McDonalds or Apple and simply use the illustration/symbol part of our logo (aka logomark). However, your customers and, even more so, your potential customers DO NOT KNOW YOU BY YOUR LOGOMARK. You will introduce unneeded confusion to your audience. Which will cause unneeded calorie-burning in the brain. Which will cause bounces. Which will kill sales.

You MUST include your full logo, with wordmark (aka logotype), on your website. Now if you have a logotype logo (ex. Ebay, Google, FedEx, etc.), then you’re off the hook on this one.

There is one exception to this rule. I call it the half-billion dollar guideline. If you’re spending a half-billion dollars per year or more on advertising, by all means, use the symbol-only version of your logo on your website. No wordmark required.

2. Not Linking To The Home Page

When you click the logo on your website, it should bring you to the home page. 

This has become standard operating procedure for nearly every website and web app in existence. 

If clicking your logo doesn’t bring you to the home page, it should.

3. It’s Too Evocative

Brand names (and logos) typically fall into one of two categories: evocative or descriptive. Evocative brand names attempt to evoke certain emotions or values while descriptive brand names are meant to be simple and explanatory.

Think of brand names like Apple, Amazon, or even McDonalds. They are not descriptive at all. In fact, Apple could be the brand name of practically any product in existence, not just computers. It is meant to evoke, perhaps, a value of simplicity and elementary principles. It was also formerly “Apple Computer Company” which is far more descriptive.

On the flip side, brands like Bank of America, The Home Depot, YouTube, United States Postal Service, and even Microsoft have more descriptive brand names. They describe their business or products. There’s not too much left up to interpretation.

The mistake I commonly see small and medium-sized businesses make is leaving too much up to interpretation. 

A potential customer visits the business’s website…

their eyes follow the z-pattern, 

they hit the logo,

the navigation, 

the hero, 

and after spending 5 seconds of their valuable time on the site, 

they bounce. 

Because in that time period, they saw a logo/brand name that was too evocative, a site navigation that was generic, and a hero section that was undescriptive. 

They consumed all of that content and the potential customer has NO IDEA what products or services you offer, and they aren’t going to waste any more of their time trying to figure it out on their own.

So they’ll find your competitor who makes things a little clearer.

This really is a simple fix. Just add a few words next to your logo. If your logo simply says “Jack’s,” add some text near it so that it reads “Jack’s Lawn Care & Snow Removal.” Boom. Clarity engaged. Customer enlightened. Sales booming!

In conclusion…

I really don’t have much to say about the design of your logo. The spacing, the colors used, or any of that malarkey. Most of the design direction is subjective and arbitrary. What I really care about when it comes to a logo is clarity

Believe me, I love a strong, beautiful logo as much as the next marketer, but if it’s placement on your website doesn’t add clarity and reinforce the brand message, then it’s useless.

If you’re making any of these common logo mistakes, I’d urge you to explore fixing them. Measure if your bounce rate decreases and your conversions go up. What have you got to lose?

Last updated January 14, 2021.