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Written by Finn Ruijter, 16 October 2020

Text-to-speech gives your website a voice

The text on your website is not convenient for everyone. People with dyslexia, users who are visually impaired or visitors who enjoy listening to your content in their cars will benefit from a read-aloud version. Text-to-speech makes this possible.

What is text-to-speech?

Text-to-speech is also known by the English term Text To Speech (TTS). This technology converts written text into speech. The software “glues” fragments of a recorded voice together, creating an infinite vocabulary.

One of the advantages of TTS is that this process is completely automated. No one has to read the text word for word. Once such a tool is installed on your website, it can read out a newly published text.

Depending on the tool and the language you choose, the voice can sound natural or robotic. So it is important to do comparative research. Regardless, this software is in constant development and synthetic voices will be indistinguishable from real voices within a few years.

Why offer text-to-speech?

With a text-to-speech tool, the knife cuts both ways. Because not only do your visitors benefit; it offers all kinds of advantages for your organization as well. We list them for your convenience.

Benefits for your visitors

  • Expand the reach
    Your website is becoming more accessible to a wider audience. People with learning disabilities, language problems or reading difficulties together easily make up about 15% of the population. That’s a lot of additional leads or customers.
  • Seniors become dependent on technology
    More and more seniors are becoming dependent on the Internet and other technological tools. Offering your digital content in multiple forms makes it easier to use by a demographic that continues to grow significantly.
  • People have different learning styles
    Some learn better by watching, some by experiencing, and some by listening. If your site’s mission is to inform or educate, TTS is a tool that helps auditory-minded visitors.

Benefits for your organization

  • Better customer experience
    Companies and institutions with a pleasant customer experience have an edge with customers. Your service becomes more accessible and personal, and your staff is relieved.
  • Larger target group
    One of the main reasons for choosing text-to-speech is the fact that it allows you to appeal to a larger audience. Not only the visually impaired, but also seniors and people whose native language is not Dutch will be grateful. Even motorists can take advantage of this feature on the road.
  • Audio changes with the text
    More and more companies are choosing to create an audio version of their content. This can be in the form of a podcast or, of course, text-to-speech. The advantage of the latter solution is that, when you make changes in the text, the speech immediately changes with it.
  • Saves time and costs
    Automated speech production means you don’t have to put any effort into producing audio versions or podcasts. This will save time and thus you will also save money.
  • Competitive Advantage
    Text-to-speech is no longer in its infancy, but the websites that use it are still rare. By deploying TTS, you stand out and have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
  • Comply with WCAG guidelines
    Government agencies must comply with WCAG guidelines. These make the Internet more accessible to people with disabilities. Text-to-speech is one of the WCAG requirements.

Best tool: ReadSpeaker

Have the text on your website read aloud? There are several tools that offer text-to-speech. As web builders, we have tested several. The application we are most satisfied with is ReadSpeaker. Not only has this software been developed since 1999, but you also have the choice of many voices and languages. So it is ideal for organizations that operate internationally. Not for nothing has ReadSpeaker been eagerly used by multinational corporations and government agencies.

We at 2manydots can also equip your website with this feature. We help you configure and implement the tool on every page. Your web design just stays the same; there will be a small widget at the top of each text with a play button. This also works well on mobile devices. ReadSpeaker is visible and discreet at the same time.