March 17th, 2006
Catchy title isn’t it? Let me explain…
In the web development world there’s a term called the “sticky factor” or “stickiness.” Simply put, it means keeping visitors on your web site (sticky, stuck, not going anywhere). Any decent web site statistics package out there can actually track how long a visitor stays on your web site. You may want to log in to your web hosting control panel and check out your stats package to see how long visitors are hanging around on your web site.
As with most of the posts so far in the “Band Biz” section, I encountered another “no-no” (a pet peeve of mine) on a band web site that was the inspiration for this post.
I was sent an email to check out a particular band’s web site that they are getting ready to launch. Cool enough, I’m always up for checking out a new band site. I think I lasted about eight seconds on the site, period. I hit the back button on the browser and went about my business (actually I said, “Ah ha, the next MetalAges band biz post!).
Bands, if you are going to include streaming audio on your web site, give the visitor the choice of starting the audio stream. Do not automatically have music start playing because it leaves a bad impression with most visitors. Maybe the visitor was already listening to some music and didn’t want it interrupted, maybe they are surfing from work and don’t want to get busted (especially if they accidently have their speakers set on a high volume!). If anything, just think of it as being considerate to your visitors.
Now, if you just cannnnnn’t resist having your audio start streaming automatically, then please, please have the proper audio controls so that the audio can be stopped if the visitor wishes (translation, give me a STOP button!). That’s what I encountered this evening on this band’s web site, automatic audio and no stop button. Poof, I’m gone! I was watching a TV show and didn’t want to be bothered with audio at that moment. I didn’t even make it past the front page, and the whole eight seconds was spent looking for a stop button.
I hope you take this into consideration the next time you think you’re adding a cool feature to your site. Your definition of cool may not be that cool with your visitors (who are your potential customers as well).