SEO Transition words improve the readability of your posts and they are one of the measures Yoast SEO use to help you improve your content. If you’re struggling to guess what words to use and don’t really know what the point of this is then read on.
Why bother with transition words?
The whole point of the focus on transition words is to improve the structure of your sentences and consequently better connect ideas one to another. This improves readability because it improves understanding for the reader. The purpose of the search engine algorithms is to prioritise content that answers the search query. If you have great SEO that flags up your content as looking like a good answer, but its not engaged with and read then that is not content that get priority.
So, improving the readability of your posts, improves engagement, improves your content and improves your ranking. Everyone’s a winner.
Making it easier to find the right words
I’m sure given plenty of time we could all make big improvements in our content but it’s not about perfect content. It’s about making the necessary improvements to communicate clearly what you’re wanting to. I’m not trying to write literary masterpieces but I do want to write something useful, simple to understand and read.
Let’s simplify things then.
We use transition words in the middle of sentences or at the start to do the following.
|Add to the point you’ve just made|
… “in addition” …
|Emphasise the point you’ve just made|
… “in particular” …
|Compare and contrast two points|
… “in contrast” …
… “compared to” …
|Give an example of the point you just made|
… “as an illustration” …
|Show cause and effect connected between points|
… “because” …
|Show the sequence of points |
… “afterwards” …
|Sum up the points you’ve just made|
… “in conclusion” …
If you know what connection you’re wanting to make between your points then you’ll be able to use the most appropriate word or phrase. If you haven’t thought about what the connection is then, it’ll almost certainly help if you do! You can use a single word for a transition word, like ‘because’, or ‘afterwards’ from the examples above. Or you can use a phrase, like ‘as an illustration’, or ‘in conclusion’.
Yoast SEO will check for the inclusion of specific words or phrases in your sentences and will flag up when you don’t achieve this in at least 30% of your sentences. However if you only ever used ‘in particular’ to emphasise points, your content would be very bizarre, repetitive and NOT readable.
So what you need is a one-stop SEO transition word list, grouped for each of the uses I’ve summarised above. How handy, here’s one I prepared earlier.
A one-stop list of SEO Transition Words
I’ve increased the font size in order to highlight my own preference for use. I also reduced the size for phrases that repeated in a similar way, like “in the first place”, “in the second place”, etc.
If you’ve noticed the additional category for two part transitions then you’ve spotted an extra check Yoast does for readability. Not one but both pairs of words need to be in a sentence for these to count as transition words. Whether you’ve spotted it or not I’ve deliberately used these transition pairs in all the sentences in this paragraph.
Infographic in use
I sized this SEO transition words infographic so that I can use it as a quick reference that I leave on my desktop. When I want to use it, I open it with my image viewer and, as can be seen, I zoom in to view the word groups, keeping it over on the right of my desktop. It works for me!
I’ve been using it for a while now and as a result I’ve got much better at using a wider variety of transition words. If you select the little eye icon while you’re writing content it updates in real time to show if you’re getting it right.
I hope you find this helpful. Credit where credit’s due, I’d like to acknowledge Nicole from skilledblogging.com for providing a list of Yoast SEO words on her blog.
As always, caring is sharing, so like, pin, save, and comment.