Yoast SEO assessment: Transition words

What are transition words?

Transition words are words like ‘most importantly’, ‘because’, ‘therefore’, or ‘besides’. Using transition words well makes your text much more readable, as these words give direction to your readers. Using them is like pouring cement between your sentences: the relation between two sentences becomes apparent by the use of transition words. They send a signal to your readers that something is coming up, and prepare them for the next sentence.

If you’re summarizing a discourse, you probably use words like first, second, third, etc. Your readers will understand you’re summing up things if you use these words. If you want to compare certain matters, you could use words like same, less, rather, while or either. And if you want to conclude your story, you might use words as hence, consequently or therefore.

Table 1: Examples of transition words

Relation Example of transition words
Enumeration first of all, also, another, furthermore, finally
Cause because, so, due to, for the reason that
Comparison/contrast similarly, likewise, rather, while, in contrast
Conclusion as a result, hence, consequently, therefore
Fuzzy signals seems like, maybe, probably, almost
Emphasis above all, most noteworthy, certainly, even more

What does the transition words check do?

The transition words check in Yoast SEO assesses whether or not you use enough transition words. If at least 30% of the sentences in your text contain a transition word, the bullet will be green. If more than 20% of your sentences and less than 30% of your sentences contain a transition word, your bullet will be orange. The bullet will be red if less than 20% of the sentences of your text contain a transition word. That’s less than 1 in 5 sentences.

Want to read more on how we came to the exact measurements of the transition words check and of the other readability checks? Check out our article about the methodological choices of the readability analysis.

Why are transition words important for readability and SEO?

So what’s the connection between transition words and SEO? Using more transition words in your copy won’t make your article reach a higher position in the search engines directly. It isn’t that simple. So, sorry about that. That being said, transition words do contribute to SEO in the long run, because they improve the readability and the structure of a text.
Transition words are of great significance for the readability of your text. If you use sufficient transition words, your text will become easier to read. And readability affects your SEO! Read all about that in our post about ranking and readability.

Transition words also play a crucial role in structuring your text. This leads to a better understanding of your text by your readers. Well-structured text helps to attract readers to your blog and contributes to SEO! Read more about that in our post about ranking and text structure.

Do you want to improve your use of transition words?

Using transition words probably is something you’ll do automatically. Everybody uses them. You just need these words to tell your story. However, we noticed that lots of people use too few transition words in their copy. Your text will improve if you use more transition words. You can add transition words when our checks tells you that you’re using too few. You could also make yourself more aware of your use of transition words before writing your text.
 
Read more about it in our article about improving your use of transition words ▸

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