Audio on the Web

Author: Nola Young

More and more Web sites are using sound as a means to promote an image, present a point or to quite simply entertain you. The use of sound can enhance a site and make it more interesting. The question is, should you incorporate sound onto your Web site? Consider the following uses of sound on Web sites:

  • On-line music vendors can present audio samples of their products.
  • New musicians can provide samples of their music to attract new customers.
  • Businesses can provide interviews with employees or customer testimonials.
  • On-line merchants can use sound to elicit a particular emotion to aid in the sale of their product or service.

There are two ways to add sound to your page. One way is to link to the sound file so the user downloads and plays it when he/she clicks on a link. The other way is to embed the sound file so that it begins to load when the page loads.

When linking sound files it’s important to let your users know what to expect. It’s good practice to indicate the file types and sizes of sound files. If you choose to embed sound files into your Web site, keep in mind that a sound playing over and over again can become annoying. It may be better to set the maximum number of times a sound will loop to something like three, rather than looping continuously.

The real advantage of adding sound to your site is its ability to provide a more interesting multimedia experience for visitors. In the Internet world, as in all other forms of marketing, it is crucial to attract and hold the attention of potential customers. Audio (sound) can encourage visitors to remain at your Web site for a longer period of time, thus making them more likely to take the action you want them to take. And that’s one sound you’ll never tire of hearing.

  1. If you choose to add sound to your Web site, remember that a sound playing continuously over and over can become annoying.
  2. Sounds can take a long time to download over a slow Internet connection, so think carefully about your target market before you add large sound files to your site.
  3. When linking to sound files, it’s important to let your users know what to expect. You should indicate the file types and sizes of the sound files.

Nola Young is the president of KW Digital Solutions. Send your comments or questions by email or call 519-741-7641.

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