Date: 11 - 8 - 21
When you think of creative ways to attract and retain new visitors to your blog, you may only consider a few familiar tricks: creating more opinionated content, using catchy headlines, and hooking readers with a killer first paragraph, to name a few. While these are all excellent ways to lure more readers and get your blog rocking, you’ll need to go a step further to keep visitors engaged and deliver content to new audiences. Luckily, incorporating Text-to-Speech into your blogs is an easy and inexpensive way to address these challenges.
Not every visitor will read the whole of every article you publish. Some can’t be bothered to read for themselves, while others might not have a long enough attention span. But what if your content had an audio version that visitors could listen to while working out at the gym, driving to work, or doing chores around the house? Better yet, imagine visitors listening to a smooth, relaxing voice so lifelike that they can’t tell whether it’s a human or a robot. They would likely be in-tuned with every word and eager for your next post.
That’s the beauty of Text-to-Speech. It makes your content more dynamic and accessible and gives visitors a choice to experience your blog posts in multiple ways and on numerous devices. It’s no wonder why more and more websites and blogs have started taking advantage. Before exploring the various benefits of adding Text-to-Speech to your blog or website, let’s first understand what text-to-speech technology is and how it works.
Text-to-Speech, or TTS in short, is a type of technology that translates digital text into natural-sounding, human-like speech. Also known as “read-aloud” technology, TTS essentially takes written text on a computer or other digital device and reads them aloud as spoken word.
What’s intriguing about TTS is its simplicity and accessibility. It works with nearly every personal device: smartphones, laptops, desktops, tablets, you name it. Furthermore, it is usually designed to aid people with specific disabilities but can benefit kids and adults struggling with reading, writing, editing, and focusing online. Besides, all kinds of text files can be read aloud, including Word or Page documents, or even online web pages.
Whether you are a blogger or a blog owner, adopting Text-to-Speech can work wonders for your website or blog. Here are eight key benefits you can receive from embedding Text-to-Speech software into your web pages.
Increasing readership and user engagement is a common struggle for most blog and website owners. This has much to do with the abundance of information online, making reading very time-consuming. On top of that, the world has gotten so busy that many of us feel we have to multitask to get as much done as possible, even when reading. Then you have those individuals who simply can’t find sufficient time to read. Whatever the case, adding Text-to-Speech to your blog allows readers to listen to your content in the background while they’re busy on the go, driving, at home doing chores, or even having a shower. But that’s not all; it also increases the likelihood that visitors will consume (and maybe interact with) your content from start to finish.
One of the most considerable benefits of TTS is that it can significantly increase accessibility on your website or blog. Turning your “text blog” into an audio blog gives readers the option to read or listen to your content. Providing different methods for visitors to consume information on your website makes your brand more likable, improves its ratings, and helps bring your content to a broader audience, from individuals suffering from visual impairment to those with language proficiency issues.
Did you know that an estimated 285 million people worldwide have some form of visual impairment, 39 million of whom are blind? Yes, you heard it right. But by enabling TTS technology, those with reduced vision or who cannot read from a screen can access your content by listening to it. Individuals who read for extended periods can also benefit from the reduced visual strain due to less screen time.
In addition, over 750 million youths and adults worldwide lack reading skills or deal with illiteracy, and between 15% to 20% of the global population has a language-based learning disability. Still, some members may understand some of your content but may still have difficulty reading everything comfortably. Giving your audience the option to hear any piece of your content makes it easier for people across different literacy levels to access and understand your message.
TTS allows visitors who speak different languages to read your content the same way a business can transact across borders. For instance, some TTS tools have a feature that detects the language of your text and translates it to the one the visitor speaks and understands. By delivering assisted language learning, your content can be understood by non-native users of the language.
TTS allows visitors to listen to your content nearly everywhere they go, whether picking up groceries at the supermarket, lifting weights at the gym, or strolling down the Old Town Road. Today’s readers don’t always want to be glued to their screens to consume content. They enjoy the convenience of accessing digital content on the go or while multitasking without missing a beat.
In light of this, Text-to-Speech converts words that a reader would otherwise need to focus on keenly into crisp, clear audio they can listen to wherever they go. This is very helpful because studies show that we’re spending record time plugged into audio content, from listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks to relying on smart audio speakers for news updates and informational audio content (like weather reports and recipe lists) – all while juggling tasks around the house.
Search engines love content with high user engagement. They value it higher than those with high bounce rates because it shows you’ve taken the time to include helpful content the audience enjoys, and users realize its value. By adding Text-to-Speech services to your website, there’s a higher chance for your blogs to rank better in search engine results on Google and other search engines. That’s because, while TTS does not inherently increase a page’s search engine ranking (according to Google’s John Mueller), it increases the amount of time a user spends on a page before navigating away from the site, something Google began measuring as of May 2021 as part of its Core Web Vitals update. Essentially, user experience has become an important SEO factor. If a user stays on a page for a long time before bouncing back to the search engine results pages (SERP), that page is likely more valuable than others.
If your content is kids-friendly, you’ll be happy to know that TTS is an exceptional tool for kids. The thing is, printed materials, like books and handouts, can create obstacles for kids with reading issues. That’s because some kids struggle with decoding and understanding printed words in books or other materials. Long paragraphs and “big” words can also make word identification difficult and bring confusion. By highlighting words as they’re read aloud, TTS allows children to view, observe and hear words at the same time and follow along, creating a multisensory reading experience. According to researchers, this provides a list of incredible benefits, such as:
What’s even better is that TTS does not slow down child learning and reading skills. It actually helps them with memory, focus, and education problems. TTS also benefits children with physical disabilities or autism and cannot associate with devices and digital programs.
The aged population is increasing quickly. Still, over 60% of senior citizens use the internet in the U.S. alone. With many of our elderly folks suffering from low vision, blurry sight, blindness, or other visual impairments, enabling content to be read out aloud makes for a better user experience for them. A UN report titled ‘The World’s Aging Population’ predicts the aging population to double by 2025. Should this happen, we’ll likely see more internet users from the senior age group. Thankfully, TTS can make accessing content more easily for elders, even on devices with small screens.
With the sudden rise in audio listeners and innovations in audio technology over the past year (thanks in part to the pandemic), many visitors need an audio-based channel to access your information comfortably. Otherwise, they will not be able to fully enjoy and absorb it. Providing Text-to-Speech services on your website or blog will give you a unique opportunity to attract those people who prefer listening over reading. Ultimately, you’ll be giving any reader what they genuinely desire as they consume your content: convenience, choice, and freedom.
Text-to-Speech is perfect for blogs and websites in any niche. This is especially true when you consider the characteristics of many of today’s readers and the incredible benefits audio content has to offer.
There’s no question that TTS is a game-changer. In fact, it is among the most cutting-edge advances made in modern audio technology. What’s more, it has a promising future that’s encouraging for bloggers, marketers, website owners, and consumers alike.
Happier readers and more ad revenue create more incentive to create more content, which, in turn, provides more topics that entice more readers (it’s a lot of “more’s,” but you get the point). As the Text-to-Speech trend continues to thrive worldwide each year, we expect to see more bloggers and website owners adopting the technology and more visitors begin warming up to audio content than ever before.
If you are a blogger or website owner, consider adding Text-to-Speech to your website. Not only does it add a “voice” to your content, but it provides a host of other benefits, from increasing engagement on your website and enabling content consumption on the go to aiding early childhood learning and catering to the aging population. Even if you are a devoted reader who sees a need for TTS on your favorite blogs, let them know so you, as their valued audience, can tune in to their content whether you’re exercising, commuting, working, or cooking up a storm in the kitchen.