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This series has been all about mistakes you can make that will sabotage your web marketing plans, and so far it’s been about things that can require effort and a little bit of know-how to fix. We figured you might need a break and so we’ve got a couple of things that you can correct right now, before something that is only a minor irritation drives another customer away.
Mistake #5: Forgetting You’re Not A Rock Star
We understand; we wanted to be rock stars when we grew up too. Those sweet guitar riffs still make us giddy. But we’re grown up now and we have desk jobs (sigh) so it’s time to let go of the fantasy.
Unfortunately, some of us insist on bringing a little bit of that past into the present and the next thing you know there are landscaping websites that rock, charity websites that groove and financial websites that swing.
We have one simple piece of advice: unless you’re a rock star, don’t use music on your website. Lucky for you, we also have one simple fix: if you’re not a rock star and you’re still using music, remove it from your site immediately.
We haven’t met a single customer, colleague, friend or perfect stranger who enjoys the experience of music on a website that has no relationship to music. The best anyone can say about it is, “annoying.”
Why, then, do so many people still insist on using music on their sites? We can only assume it has something to do with the title of this article: rookie. Fortunately, this is no longer you.
There’s enough going on already when you’re browsing online. Loading pages, moving images, popup advertisements. Sound is just one more diversion, one more thing that takes a customer’s attention away from the main goal of your web site.
Even if you’ve got an “off” button, it still requires your customer to take action that’s not buying your product, contacting you or joining your list.
Sound can be startling or jarring when it’s not expected. Even in non-music form – let’s say a video that auto plays – it can distract or irritate a customer. If you’ve got video or other (relevant) audio on your site, that’s great. But let your customers decide how and when to interact with it, and don’t intrude on their experience by imposing sound on them.
Drawing An Audience
You know that somewhere along the line your customers are going to be browsing your really great shopping site during business hours instead of working on that proposal or report or thing their boss asked for by 5PM. It would really stink if they got busted for browsing covertly by the obnoxious harmonica tune you decided would be really cool on your site.
Next thing you know, people from six cubicles around are staring and wondering what’s going on. And your customer quickly closes the browser and leaves your site.
We’re kidding, of course (sort of), but there’s no doubt that a sudden blare of sound from someone’s computer speakers in an otherwise ordinary room can turn everyone’s head. Maybe mom is shopping and dad is doing homework with the kids. Mom hits that site with the harmonica and next thing you know, four kids and the dog are wondering what the heck the noise is. Now you’ve got a room full of people irritated and only one of them has even been to your site. In our experience, that usually results in a closed browser, which means a lost customer.
There’s no question on this one, and it shouldn’t be a debate. If you’ve got music on your site, good intentions or not, get rid of it right now. Stop distracting or annoying your customers and don’t give them a reason to close the browser before they’ve had a chance to see what you have to offer.
It’s a common mistake, but an easy fix, so don’t delay. You’ll be done and back in time for tomorrow’s tip.
How do you feel about music on a website?
Read More In The “Rookie Mistakes” Series
- Rookie Mistake 1: Annoy Customers With Your Contact Form
- Rookie Mistake 2: Use Bad Photography
- Rookie Mistake 3: Bad Links
- Rookie Mistake 4: Dead Links Pointing To Your Site
- Rookie Mistake 5: Forgetting You’re Not A Rock Star
- Rookie Mistake 6: Too Much (Useless) Information
- Rookie Mistake 7: Dizzy Background
- Rookie Mistake 8: Misusing Technology
- Rookie Mistake 9: Mangling Your META Data
- Rookie Mistake 10: No Call To Action