Should Sound be Used on a Website?

Using Music and Sound on Websites

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Sound and action words make your message more memorable.

As put by the Eisenberg brothers in Call to Action,

"Sound is invasive, intrusive, and irresistible."

People have the ability to remember hundreds of songs and voices because they come into the brain through sound. Sounds tend to be remembered more easily because of the impression they make on your mind, and they also are harder to ignore. So, why aren't sounds used more often on websites?

There can be usability issues with using sound on a website. Customers might not have speakers (or they may be turned off), they might be listening to music or something else that they don't want interrupted, or they may just not want their computer to start making noise. How, then, can we put this amazing marketing tool to use on our websites?

Today, with faster connection speeds and the great popularity of video upload websites, it would appear to be a simple task to implement a video or sound clip on a website. However, some customers find noise from a website intrusive, and may go elsewhere. If you provide a way for them to choose whether or not to listen to the sound clip, many will opt not to click on the play button. You need to make it exciting and enticing in order to get someone to decide to play your video. Once they do, you also have to keep it exciting so they listen to the whole thing and so it will be memorable to them. If what they are listening to is an advertisement, you may have only one chance to make an impression; a customer isn't likely to keep watching the same advertisement over and over again.

Sound gives you a straight path into the customer's brain, but is sometimes difficult to implement effectively on websites. Using effective copy with action words can make an impression on the same part of the brain as sounds. You can use action words to entice that area of the brain more often than a one-time sound clip. So, remember the action words if you want to be memorable and move the customer one step closer to taking action.