Unless You Are in the Music Business, Don’t Play Background Music On Your Site
Ever call the doctor or dentist and the office staff puts you on hold? If you live in the United States, you have had this experience. Even. If. You. Are. A. Health. Care. Professional.
While you are on hold you are either enjoying their music on hold or hating it – either way patients don’t want their health care provider to remind them of that experience when on that provider’s website. That aside, there are many other more compelling reasons to keep your website professional and not play background music to your visitors.
Always keep in mind that the primary purpose of your website is to make money – either by converting visitors to new patients or selling products to the public. For instance, many dermatologists sell privately branded skin care products from their website.
Reasons to Keep Music Off Your Website
Following are some of the key reasons not to play music on your website.
Nothing says Internet “newbie” more than a non-music industry website playing music. As a health care provider, you want your website to reflect your professionalism, education, and philosophy of caring for patients. Visitors to your site are not visiting to hear music, they are visiting to get information that you as a healthcare provider hopes encourages prospective patients to click on the “Make an Appointment” button. Credible websites such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo, and other giant companies do not play music on their sites and this choice is not impeding their online success. In fact, perhaps the fact that they don’t play music contributes to their success. Now, think of the sites you know that do play background music – how many of those sites do you consider credible? Well, okay, a few might be for a local business you do commerce with and think highly of, but, in general, the type of websites that play music lack professionalism.
Visitors to your site do not ask for music when visiting a dental or a medical website. Don’t force your music upon them like the image below.
Do you know that streaming a full version of a single song is resource intensive? Background music can cause your website to load slowly and display a less than ideal site as the music takes so much in the way of bandwidth. If your site load speed is too long and then the display is choppy, don’t count on too many visitors coming back – so, forget the music.
If you wonder why your website is as slow as a sloth, music is probably the main culprit.
Your favorite performer is Weird Al Yanukovych, and you find it hard to believe that the rest of the world may not agree. But, since there is variety in musical taste, why take the chance of driving someone away from your site because they don’t share your musical palate?
A man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The opposite is also true.
Someone needs your professional attention and lands on your website while at work. Your page loads and the music from the original Godzilla movie blasts from your visitor’s computer at work. While you will succeed in embarrassing the visitor, you will fail to convert him or her to your practice.
Music that is loud and pulsating does little to show anything more than the “tech creds” of your website designer and offers nothing in getting visitors to call for an appointment.
Music That Repeats, Repeats…
Many website designers encourage using a 15 to 20-second song segment to save on page loading time within the site. While this tactic is good for your site loading speed, it will make most people nuts by the time they’ve heard the sound-bite for the fiftieth time.
A boring website will drive your visitors away. And they will tell their friends to stay away from your website.
People Enjoy Their Own Music
Many folks listen to music on their computers, from CDs, Internet radio, and MP3 collections that they chose because they like it. Your music selection at best will be an annoyance and most likely result in their fleeing your site.
Did You Get Permission to Play the Music?
Most music is copyright protected. Do you really want the hassle and legal liability accompanying your onsite background music? Probably not. So, unless you have this desire to play music and royalties, don’t play the music.
Everything, including the image below, is copyright protected.
Music files come in a variety of ways. So many that some browsers cannot play every type of music file. This means that if the file is unrecognized it won’t play or if it does the music will be jumpy and distracting. This does not instill in your site visitors a sense that you’re a professional.
When someone lands on your website and their browser is hijacked by your site that auto-plays your site’s music is blatantly arrogant. When visiting a physician or dental office website, the last thing one expects is for their browser to start playing music – why insult your visitors with arrogance when silence is an excellent alternative?
When It is OK to Use Music on Your Site
As bad as music is on health care provider websites, there are some places where music makes sense. They are,
- Web sites for musicians and bands – of course, your visitors want to hear your music, especially if they are looking to book a gig with you.
- Establishments and events that revolve around music and/or feature it – such as a dance club or a bar with music available.
- Your own personal website – no one cares, but, if they do you can be sure they will tell you so.
Even music company rarely use music on their website. Even when they do, it’s often for short-term advertising.
If You Insist on Music
Experience is one of the best teachers. If you decide that music is a necessity, prominently display sound control buttons that include “Stop” “Play” and “Volume.” Never allow music to auto start on your site.
- The main purpose of your site is to give relevant information about diseases you treat and your health care practice, to site visitors driving them to click on the “Make Appointment Now” button or the “Buy Now” button.
- Sites that do not play music are more professional than those that do.
- Forcing a visitor to listen to auto-play sounds and music tracks is rude and not welcome.
- If you feel you must have music, make sure that it does not auto-play automatically, and you have included controls.