There’s a big secret that nobody wants you to know about content marketing. Are you ready for it?
There are no rules when it comes to how you write content.
Yes, that’s right. All those things you ignored in your high school composition class? Totally irrelevant. Well, almost.
You still want to ensure you’re writing good content that’s easy to understand and read.
This is why adding little elements like proper spelling and grammar is a big deal. Trust us, your customers will notice.
And one way to make your production shine is with transition words.
What are these, you ask? Well, that’s what our Rock Content team is going to dive into right now with this guide.
Here’s an explanation of what transition words are and why they are necessary for the best SEO content.
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What Are Transition Words in SEO?
Transition words are those additions to a sentence that show a connection between two phrases or sentences.
In some cases, they can even show a connection between paragraphs. Usually, they include some sort of direction or connection to context.
Need an example? We just used two in the paragraph above. “In some cases” and “usually” are both instances where transition words are used.
Here are a few more:
- As a result of the changes to our website, our sales skyrocketed in the third quarter.
- I enjoy the color aqua because it reminds me of the ocean.
- Moreover, the process of improving your search ranking starts with a few optimization techniques.
Transition words make it easier to understand where in the process the reader is at and where they’re going.
Some literary experts also refer to them as signposts, as they are an indication of where a particular thought or process in the content you’re at.
What Are the Types of Transition Words?
If you thought all transition words were simple, you would be mistaken.
In fact, there are multiple different types that you need to be aware of.
Remember when we mentioned ignoring that class in high school? Yeah, these are typically covered there.
In case you were napping or just need a refresher, here are a few of the most common.
Cause and Effect
These transition words pull together two ideas that show a cause-and-effect relationship.
“I’m hungry. Thus, I’m going to order a sandwich.”
➤ Other Transition Words to Consider: Therefore, as a result, consequently, and so
With clarification words, the goal is to further explain the previous sentence or idea in a second manner of speaking.
“The summer heat was sweltering. In other words, it was the time of year in which one would want to stay inside the air conditioning all day long.”
➤ Other Transition Words to Consider: That is to say, to clarify
Contrast transition words and compare two thoughts against each other.
“I’m not a fan of cats. However, Sophie’s new kitten is super adorable.”
➤ Other Transition Words to Consider: But, on the other hand
An example transition statement helps make it easier to show the next line is an actual example of the thought you’re trying to express.
“As an example, the number of red cars in the parking lot tells you how many people prefer the color over green.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: For instance
With emphasis transition words, it is all about placing a high priority on a particular idea or thought.
“There are many reasons to use digital marketing to grow your web presence. Above all else, to outpace your competition.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: Most importantly, certainly
Enumeration transition words make it easy to see a group of ideas classified together.
“I’ll show you around the office complex. In addition, I’ve left a list of important phone numbers and extensions on your desk.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: Firstly, secondly, thirdly, next, and, moreover
Time transition words are sometimes tricky, as they are closely related to enumeration. However, they convey an order of operations to a set of instructions or processes.
“I’m going to start by boiling the water. Next, I’ll add the pasta to the pot.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: Meanwhile, during, subsequently, after that
As you might guess, similarity keywords compare two alike thoughts together.
“Similarly, both women had red hair and wore green shoes.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: Likewise, in the same vein
Finally, there are summarizing transition words. These give finality to a specific thought or summarize a topic.
“In conclusion, the zookeepers determined that porcupines do not make good team players.”
➤ Other Words to Consider: In short, to summarize, to sum up
Why Do You Need to Use Transition Words in Your Content?
If there aren’t requirements for SEO content writing, why do you need transition words?
The truth is that they make the language more exciting.
Not only do they offer more information in fewer words, but they also flow more as people talk in everyday audible language.
Transition words and phrases in SEO are designed to give as much good data as possible, without stringing together entire paragraphs of abrupt, clunky sentences.
Furthermore, transition words offer a polished and formal approach to language, even if the statement you’re making is rather boring or blunt.
All of this contributes to the readability of a text that will respond better to a user’s intent. And that is great for your SEO strategy.
Do Transition Words Work in Other Languages?
The answer is yes and no.
Each language has a different set of rules for how two phrases or ideas eloquently flow together.
When you’re translating information from English to another language, it is important to work with someone who is fluent to help guide you through the process.
This is just another example of how complex the English language can be compared to other native tongues out there.
What to Do and What Not to Do When Using Transition Words
When considering the readability of your content, creating a flow is essential for the reader and also to improve your SEO. Understanding what transition words are and the value they provide is only the first step, however.
It also helps to know the best practices for using them effectively. Below are some do’s and don’ts.
Do’s for Using Transition Words
To ensure you are using transition words successfully, keep the following in mind.
#1. Do become familiar with all the transition words
Knowing the transition words available to you to use in your content will be beneficial during the drafting and editing stages. While you may be familiar with most of them already, grasping that they are categorized as transition words can provide you with a set of specific tools to access when writing SEO content.
Create a list or table of these words to refer back to occasions when you are looking for just the right words to make those sentences and paragraphs flow better.
#2 Do understand the relationship between things you want to connect
Transition words allow you to connect sentences and paragraphs and complete thoughts more fully in your written content. To use them efficiently, you first must understand the connection or relationship between them all and how they are meant to fit together.
How does one relate to the other? Once you can answer this, choosing the type of transition word to use will be easier.
#3. Do prepare an outline
One writer’s technique to consider using when creating content is to prepare and plan an outline. Preparing an outline before you start writing allows you to visualize and plan out your content and show you where transition words can be utilized to connect ideas.
It can also show you where you can add additional information to flush out an idea with the help of these transition words.
Don’ts for Using Transition Words
While transition words are beneficial, there are some things to avoid as well.
#1. Don’t forget to practice your writing
For transition words to become part of your content without spending excessive time thinking about them, don’t forget to practice your writing.
The more you practice creating flow with your words and phrases, the more natural it will become. Incorporating transition words will become natural as well and become a part of how you share information in an effective manner with your readers.
For each type of transition word, practice writing a few paragraphs with them included. Soon, you’ll be using them effortlessly as you convey what is needed to your readers.
#2. Don’t start all your sentences with transition words
The last writing technique you need to do is to start all your sentences with transition words. Instead, spread them throughout your content as needed to convey relationships and connections between sentences or paragraphs.
If all sentences begin with a transition word, it will interrupt the flow, distract the reader, and make your content annoying and unprofessional.
#3 Don’t use lots of transition words
While including transition words is necessary, so too is the need to avoid using lots of them in your content. Only use them where they count and fit into the flow of your writing.
Reread anything you write to determine if you are using transition words only where they make the meaning of something clearer or more precise for the reader.
The Way You Write Your Text Makes All the Difference in SEO
The text structure is essential not only to the readability of your content but also to SEO. The way you write directly relates to whether it is readable or not. While Google and readers scan your text in different ways, essentially, they are looking for the same thing – well-structured writing.
Always pay attention to what you write and keep the reader in mind at all times. A few more tips include:
- Order your content so that it flows naturally
- Always begin with a strong lead
- Limit paragraph length
- Avoid tedious or redundant sentences
- Write more in active voice
- Make the first sentence of each paragraph strong
- Use transition words to flush out thoughts and ideas to provide a clearer or more in-depth meaning
In addition, once you’ve written a piece of content, always do a review. It will help to read it out loud so you can hear how it flows (or not). During your review, be sure to look for any repetitive content and make edits if needed. Also, recognize if transition words are missing and incorporate the right type to provide a clearer meaning.
The more time readers spend on your content page enjoying it, the more chances you have to boost your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
If the writing is bad, unstructured, and overrun with transition words or grammatical and spelling errors, visitors will leave quickly and seek other sources.
How to Use Transition Words to Benefit Your SEO Strategy
Now that you know the importance of using transition words in your content, let’s look at transition words SEO.
What does this mean? Well, it refers to the way you use transition phrases to try to improve your search engine ranking.
Here are a few tips:
1. Know the Most Common Transition Words
The first step in using transition words to make your text more readable is to understand what those words are.
We’ve included quite a few examples above, but there are many more to consider.
Once you have a clear understanding of what they are, you can start to add them in areas where they make the most sense for the message you’re trying to convey.
2. Have an Understanding of the Connection Between Your Ideas
The real trick to using transition words is to understand the connection between your sentences and ideas.
In order for these transition words to make sense, there has to be some common thread between the two different thoughts you’re presenting.
If not, the text won’t make much sense.
3. Know When Something Doesn’t Fit
Understanding when a transition word doesn’t fit is just as important as knowing when to use one.
If you have any doubts as to whether a specific transition doesn’t mesh well with your ideas, try reading it aloud.
Most native English speakers automatically detect when a transition sounds awkward or clunky once they hear it in an audible fashion.
4. Avoid Using Transitions in Every Sentence
Once you get the hang of transition words, you might be tempted to use them a bit too much.
Instead, opt for the occasional short and abrupt sentence as a way to provide emphasis or prove a point. Like this.
Need Help with Your Content Writing?
Whether you are an agency or company, today you need lots of content to get noticed by both potential clients and customers and also to be recognized by search engines. It takes time to learn good writing and incorporate the essentials to boost SEO.
Fortunately, today you have easy access to freelancers who focus on these skills and will help you reach your content goals. Why not try out the Writer Access 2-week trial starting today? Our freelancers are ready to get started.
Wrap Up: Use Transition Words for Improved SEO
Now that you’ve learned about transition words SEO impact, it is a good time to go back and review your content.
In many cases, you’re probably already using them without even realizing it!
However, if not, it might be a good idea to add a few in where they make the most sense.
If you’re unsure of how well your SEO is currently working on your page, it might be time for an evaluation.
Our SEO maturity assessment is designed to help you spot issues and determine where you might need to make a few changes.