Five Reasons to Avoid Music on Websites (With All Due Respect to Elvis)

For many businesses, a snazzy website is their announcement to the world they have arrived. They've got their act together: their website is well-written with on-target messaging, has beautifully designed graphics and professional photography, and is easy to navigate. You are tickled pink to arrive at a website that puts you at ease with their organization and general awesomeness. (You can find the definition here.)

Then they go and muck it up by playing music.

I know, I know ... some of you have music on your website right now and you LOVE it. I mean, it sounds spiffy, it seems technologically on-trend, and it was available, soooo..... why not?

Here are 5 reasons you should not use music on your website (I've developed strategic direction for and written scads of websites, so trust me on this one) :

  1.  Do you want people shopping or looking for the button to turn off your music? Most people have the attention span of gnats while they are online. One statistic says you have less than a minute to snag a potential  online customer. My professional opinion is it's probably more like 20 seconds, and the first thing most people do if a website plays music is turn it off -- so why bother?
  2. That's if they stick around. If they can't find a pause button immediately, they head over to your competition's website, where they can shop in peace and quiet.
  3.  Music can create long load times for websites. Again ... gnats.
  4. Preferences in music vary wildly. What one person thinks is art another thinks is a simulation of nails screeching down a chalkboard. (Not that we have chalkboards anymore. I wonder if anything makes a horrid noise against a dry-erase board?) Anywho, you run the risk of driving customers away simply because they don't like your taste in music.
  5. Everything about your website should enhance your users' experience.  Music distracts and detracts. Excellent writing, on-target message, visually captivating, streamlined websites enhance your users' experience every time -- invest your marketing dollars here.

If music is an integral part of what you do, or you feel strongly about creating a little atmosphere with some tunes, try building a separate music page so visitors have a music option -- something like this. Unless you are a recording artist, save the time, money and bandwidth and let your target audience get their groove on with iTunes ... while you stick to what you do best.

General Awesomeness.
PS --- If I did approve of music on websites, I would only approve Elvis.You can take the girl out of Memphis, but you cannot take the Memphis out of the girl. 

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