Posts tagged ‘Graham Jones’

Your website visitors have music on the brain

Your website visitors have music on the brain
By Graham Jones
Internet Psychologist

Graham Jones

How many times have you heard a tune on the radio in the morning and you are still mentally humming it on the way home after work in the evening? Sometimes a ditty gets stuck inside your brain and it can’t seem to work its way out.
No matter whether you think of yourself as musical or not, your brain is. Everyone’s brain responds to music and to rhythm. Countless experiments have been conducted (no pun intended..!) to look at the effect of music on the brain. And time after time the researchers find that when we hear music the inside of our heads light up with all the activity going on in our little grey cells.
But, of course, our brains don’t actually know it is “music”; all it is really responding to is sound and the rhythm. A series of sounds, with different tone and pitch is what we label as music, but all our brain actually gets is sound.
And that’s important for your website. Not that you should have music on your site – though that might help. But that you should pay attention to the sound and rhythm you are constructing in people’s heads.
The chances are, as you read this, you “hear” some of the words inside your head. No-one is actually saying anything out loud, of course; all you are doing is reading. But part of the process of reading is to convert what we see into sounds – technically this is known as the “phonological loop”. We “hear” what we are seeing. So, if what we read is difficult, cumbersome, poorly constructed then what we hear is disjointed and without rhythm. The best writers are those who produce good sounds in our head with their words, whilst constructing good images in our mind with the same words.

Online, few business sites achieve this. They use long words, when short ones will do; they use long sentences, when a phrase will do; and they use technical jargon when it simply isn’t necessary. The result is that your brain can’t produce good sound. In other words the language of most websites is not very musical.
But does it need to be? Well, when we read “musical writing” we engage with it much more. We also remember it more easily and, if it is trying to persuade us, we are more likely to act on it. That’s because our brain processes music by connecting what we hear to our emotional centre and to the part of our brain which represents our physicality. In other words, music makes us feel good AND it makes us feel “human” because it joins up the emotional response we have to parts of our body. So, sometimes, music can literally make your heart thump, or get your foot tapping, or make you clap your hands. Music involves your whole body.

How many times have websites done that to you? How often have you found yourself so emotionally engaged with a website that it makes you cheer out loud? How often have websites forced you to jump up from your chair, punch your fist in the air and shout “YES”? How often have websites made your heart thump?
Probably, these things are rare – if not extreme. The reason is that the words on the website have no rhythm, no emotional connection – in short, they have no music.
Make your websites “musical” and you will find a dramatically increased connection between you and your audience because they will be hearing you, rather than reading you. And if they hear the right thing, their brain will transfer that to their emotions and to their body. And once you have done that you have them hooked.

Graham Jones helps businesses succeed online using psychological techniques. He provides consultancy, advice and mentoring to help companies improve their sales and marketing via the Internet. You can find out more at: He is the author of Effective Email ( which helps you ensure you have an efficient and effective email system which avoids time-wasting.


February 8, 2010 at 18:02 Leave a comment