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Transition Words in SEO: Complete Guide

Transition words are a part of speech that help your writing move along, smoothly gliding from one topic to the next. 

While you don’t want to overuse them, a few strategically placed transitions can make all the difference in your SEO writing.

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Transitions words can:

  • Help you create logical order and flow in your writing 
  • Make your writing more interesting to read 
  • Help you emphasize specific ideas 
  • Make complex information easier to understand

Just be sure to use them thoughtfully and sparingly, or you could end up with awkward-sounding writing. If you’re unsure whether to use a transition word, err on the side of leaving it out.

More on that later, but first, we’d like to walk you through the basics of using transition words in your writing.


Transition Words in SEO: Complete Guide

What Are Transition Words?

Transition words or phrases show the relationship between ideas or how sentences and paragraphs relate to each other. 

Transition words prepare the reader for what’s to come. 

For example, consider the following sentence:

The dog barked.

While this sentence is technically correct, it’s not very interesting. 

Now consider this sentence:

After the dog barked, the cat ran away.

This sentence is more interesting because it uses a transition word, “after,” to show the relationship between the two events.

It also creates a clearer picture in the reader’s mind.

Ideally, you want your transition words to do both of these things.

Examples of Transition Words in a Sentence

I don’t play chess. However, I’m willing to learn.

The transition word “however” in this sentence contrasts the first clause with the second.

I’m not feeling well today. As a result, I’m going to stay home from work.

The transition word “as a result” shows cause and effect.

I’m going to the store. After that, I’ll stop by the post office.

This sentence uses the transition word “after” to show the order of events.

I’m going to the store. Then, I’ll stop by the post office.

This sentence uses the transition word “then” to show the order of events.


Transition Words and Phrases to Improve Your Writing | Grammarly Blog

Types of Transition Words

There are thousands of transition words in the English dictionary. 

From “accordingly” to “thus,” there’s a transition word for every occasion.

However, knowing which transition word to use and when is still a challenge for many writers, especially non-native speakers still learning English. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of transition words and how to use them.

Additive Transitions: Transitions That Add More Information

As the name suggests, additive transitions add information to what’s already been stated in a sentence or paragraph. 

Additive transitions help to increase the information in your writing. 

That is helpful when you want to:

  • Provide more detail about something already mentioned 
  • Give an example of what you’re talking about 
  • Make your writing more nuanced 

Examples of additive transitions in a sentence:

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  • Mary is a great athlete. In addition, she’s an excellent student. The additive transition “in addition” adds more information about Mary.
  • First, you need to gather all of your ingredients. Next, go ahead and mix them. The additive transition “next” adds more information about what needs to be done.
  • I’m going to the store. After that, I’ll stop by the post office. The additive transition “after that” adds information about the order of events.
  • Anne is a great cook. Furthermore, she’s always willing to try new recipes. The additive transition “furthermore” adds more information about Anne.

As you can see, additive transitions are very versatile and can be used in many different situations. 

Common additive transition words include: 

Again Also And Moreover
As well as Besides Further Similarly
Equally important For instance Furthermore In the same way

Logical Relationship Transitions: Transitions That Show a Logical Relationship

As the name suggests, logical relationship transitions show the relationship between ideas. 

You can use them to:

  • Show cause and effect 
  • Show contrast or comparison 
  • Show similarity or agreement 
  • Show opposition or disagreement

Examples of logical relationship transitions in a sentence:

I lost my keys. As a result, I couldn’t get into my house. The logical relationship transition “as a result” shows cause and effect.

The weather was terrible. However, we still had a great time at the party. The logical relationship transition “however,” contrasts the first clause with the second.

Some people like spicy food. Others, however, can’t handle the heat. 

The logical relationship transition “others” contrasts the first group with the second.

I love spending time with my family. On the other hand, I also enjoy time to myself. The logical relationship transition “on the other hand,” shows opposition between two ideas.

I’m not feeling well today. As a result, I’m going to stay home from work. 

The transition word “as a result” shows cause and effect.

The logical relationship transition “as a result” is used to show cause and effect. 

Common logical relationship transitions include: 

Consequently Therefore As a consequence Despite In Contrast
As a result So Thus Hence Because
Due to Owing to As a result on the other hand In spite of

Repetition Transitions: Transitions That Repeat Information

As the name suggests, repetition transitions repeat information from the previous sentence or paragraph. 

They can be used to:

  • Introduce a new topic while still repeating information from the previous sentence or paragraph 
  • Provide more detail about a topic already mentioned  
  • Summarize the information in a sentence or paragraph 

Examples of repetition transitions in a sentence:

  • I’m getting a new car. In fact, I’m getting the same car as my friend. The repetition transition “in fact” introduces a new topic while still repeating information from the previous sentence.
  • I’m getting a new car. In fact, I’m getting the same car as my friend. The repetition transition “in fact” introduces a new topic while still repeating information from the previous sentence.
  • I’m getting a new car. What’s more, I’m getting the same car as my friend. The repetition transition “what’s more” provides more detail about a topic already mentioned.
  • We’ve never elected a woman president. Likewise, we’ve never elected a person of colour. 
  • To sum up, I’m getting a new car. The repetition transition “to sum up” summarizes the information in the previous sentence or paragraph.

Common repetition transitions include: 

In other words In fact To Repeat
That is to say Namely To put it another way
In simple terms Put more simply To sum up

Comparison Transitions: Transitions That Show Similarity

Comparison transitions show the similarity between two or more ideas. 

They can be used to:

  • Introduce a new topic that is similar to the previous topic 
  • Provide more detail about a topic already mentioned  

Examples of comparison transitions in a sentence:

  • I’m getting a new car. Just like my friend, I’m getting the exact vehicle. The comparison transition “just like” introduces a new topic similar to the previous one.
  • I’m getting a new car. What’s more, I’m getting the same car as my friend. The comparison transition “what’s more” provides more detail about a topic already mentioned.
  • I took my mum to the movies, and she loved it. Similarly, my dad enjoyed the book I gave him. The comparison transition “similarly” repeats the same information.
  • The dog has been behaving as if he knows he did something wrong. Likewise, the cat has been avoiding me. The comparison transition “likewise” shows opposition between two ideas.
  • Arnold loves junk food. In comparison, his sister only eats healthy food. The transition “in comparison” contrasts the first group with the second.
  • Compared to my last relationship, this one is much better. Here, “compared to” shows the comparison between the two relationships.

Common comparison transitions include: 

In the same vein

Likewise Similarly Just As In a similar fashion
In like manner Analogous to Equally Important As if
By comparison In Comparison Correspondingly Comparison to

Contrasting Transitions: Transitions That Show Opposition or Difference

Contrasting transitions show opposition or difference between two ideas. 

You can use contrasting transitions to:

  • Introduce a new idea different from the previous one
  • Provide more detail about a topic already mentioned  

Examples of contrasting transitions in a sentence:

I’m getting a new car. But, unlike my friend, I’m getting a different vehicle. The contrasting transition “unlike” introduces a new idea different from the previous one.

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I took my mum to the movies, and she loved it. However, my dad didn’t enjoy the book I gave him. The contrasting transition, “however,” provides more detail about a topic already mentioned.

The dog has been behaving as if he knows he did something wrong. On the other hand, the cat has been avoiding me. The contrasting transition “on the other hand,” shows opposition between two ideas.

Arnold loves junk food. In contrast, his sister only eats healthy food. The transition “in contrast” contrasts the first group with the second.

Contrasting transitions are words like “however,” “on the other hand,” and “unlike.” 

Common contrasting transitions include: 

But However In contrast On the contrary
On the other hand Rather Nevertheless Rather than
Although In spite of Unlike Contrary to
Though Nonetheless Despite On the other hand

Time Relationship Transitions: Transitions That Show the Relationship Between Two Ideas in Time

Time relationship transitions show the relationship between two ideas in time. 

They convey the order of events, time passage, or the relationship between two ideas in time. 

Examples of time relationship transitions in a sentence:

  • Before I go to bed, I always brush my teeth. The time relationship transition “before” introduces an event that happens before another event.
  • After she graduated from college, she got a job. The time relationship transition “after” introduces an event that happens after another event.
  • As soon as I wake up, I will change the world. The time relationship transition “as soon as” introduces an event that happens after another event.
  • I’m going to bed early tonight so that I can wake up early tomorrow. The time relationship transition “so” introduces an event that happens after another event.
  • I’ll go and warm the food. Meanwhile, you can set the table. The time relationship transition “meanwhile” introduces an event that happens simultaneously as another event.
  • Kamaru Usman is still the welterweight champion. At the same time, he is also ranked as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. The time relationship transition “at the same time” introduces an event that happens at the same time as another event.

There are three main types of time relationship transitions: sequential, concurrent, and coterminous. 

Sequential transitions show the order of events, time passage, or the relationship between two ideas in time. 

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Example in a sentence:

  • First, I’m going to make breakfast. Then, I’m going to take a shower. After that, I’m going to get dressed. The sequential transition “first” introduces an event that happens before another event.

Concurrent transitions show two events happening at the same time. 

  • While I’m cooking dinner, she’ll be doing the laundry. The concurrent transition “while” introduces an event that happens at the same time as another event.

Coterminous transitions show two events happening at the same time or one event happening in the middle of another event. 

  • After she wakes up, she’ll make breakfast and then shower. The coterminous transition “after” introduces an event that happens after another event.

Common time relationship transitions include: 

Before After Soon Until
As soon as Whenever Finally In time Finally While
In the meantime So that And Earlier Then Meanwhile Subsequently 
Consequently Continually Now Before Beginning Last time

Common sequential transitions

First Next Then
After that Finally

Common concurrent transitions: 

While At the same time Simultaneously

Common coterminous transitions: 

During As

Example Transitions: Transitions that Show an Example

Example transitions introduce an example or paint a picture of events. 

Example in a sentence:

For example, I’m going to the store. The example transition “for example” introduces an event that happens as an example of another event.

Common examples of example transitions include: 

For instance For example
As an illustration Such as 
To demonstrate To illustrate

Common examples of example transitions in a sentence: 

  • We visited many places in Europe, for instance, we went to Paris, Rome, and Madrid. 

The example transition “for instance” introduces an event that happens as an example of another event.

  • As an illustration, let’s say you’re writing about your experience at a concert. 

The example transition “as an illustration” draws paints a picture of what you’re trying to say.

  • To demonstrate, I can use this example. 

The example transition “to demonstrate” introduces an event to clarify or explain another event.

  • To illustrate, I will use the example of a time when I was lost in the city. 

The example transition “to illustrate” draws paints a picture of what you’re trying to say.

The reason, Cause, and Effect Transitions: Transitions that Show Reason, Cause, or Effect

The reason, cause, and effect transitions show the reason, cause, or effect of something happening. 

  • Why is something happening? 
  • And what’s the result of it happening? 

The reason, cause, and effect transitions answer these questions.

Example in a sentence:

  • The flowers need water because they’re thirsty. The transition “because” tells us why the flowers need water.
  • Aids is a severe disease. As a result, many people are dying from it. The transition “as a result” tells us the effect of aids.
  • She was late for her date. Consequently, she missed her train. The transition “consequently” shows the result of her being late.

A common reason, cause and effect transitions: 

Because As a result Thus As such Therefore
Consequently So that Accordingly Hence Thus
Hence Accordingly To these ends Because Effectively

Common examples of reason, cause, and effect transitions in a sentence: 

  • I’m studying for my test. Thus, I can’t go out tonight. 
  • A lot of people were sick. As a result, the doctor was very busy.  
  • He didn’t study for his test. Consequently, he failed it.

Facts Stating Transitions: Words that Assert Obvious Truth or Grant Opposition

Facts stating transitions are words that assert something to be true. Some also grant opposition. They don’t introduce new information. Instead, they restate what’s already been said, but differently. 

Example in a sentence:

All dogs are animals. Obviously, this is true. The transition “obviously” tells us that the statement “all dogs are animals” is true.

Of course, I will go to the party with you. The transition “of course” tells us that the speaker will go to the party with the person they’re talking to.

Naturally, birds can fly.

Conceding that, I still think you’re wrong. The transition “conceding that” admits that the opposition has a point but still disagrees.

Common examples of fact-stating transitions: 

Indeed In fact Evidently Of course
Naturally Obviously In Reality True
Granted (that) Conceding (that) To tell the truth Certainly
Of course In fact As a matter of fact Undoubtedly
Without any doubt no doubt A point in fact Truthfully
  • In fact, I have always wanted to try that new restaurant for a long time. 
  • I couldn’t come to your party. Of course, I’m sorry. 
  • I’m not feeling well today. Nevertheless, I’ll go to work.
  • He’s a good basketball player. In fact, he’s the best on the team. 

Summarizing Transitions: Words that Show Conclusion

Summarizing transitions signals that something is coming to an end. They draw a conclusion, recap key points,  or make a final statement. 

Example in a sentence:

  • In a nutshell, I think we need more time to decide. 

The transition “in a nutshell” summarizes everything said.

  • All in all, I had a great time at the party. 
  • Finally, I want to thank you for your help. 

Common examples of summarizing transitions: 

In conclusion Lastly All in all
In a nutshell To sum up In Short
To Conclude Finally As a result

Common examples of summarizing transitions in a sentence: 

  • I want to thank you for coming to my presentation. In conclusion, I just want to say that I appreciate your time. 
  • We had a lot of fun at the park. Lastly, we went home and had some ice cream. 
  • If things don’t improve, I’m going to quit my job. To sum up, I’m just really unhappy with the situation.

Emphasizing  Transitions: Words that Intensify or Strengthen

Emphasizing transitions place a high priority on a particular thought or idea. They’re like a highlighter for important points.

Example in a sentence:

  • Most importantly, I need you to be there for me. 

The transition “most importantly” emphasizes the importance of the speaker’s request.

  • Above all, we need to be careful. 
  • Indeed, that was a close call. 

Common examples of emphasizing transitions: 

Certainly No doubt Of course
Needless to say Undoubtedly

Common examples of emphasizing transitions in a sentence: 

  • I’m so happy that you’re here. Certainly, it’s been too long. 
  • No doubt, she’s the best candidate for the job. 
  • I’m tired. Of course, I didn’t sleep well last night. 
  • You need to clean your room. Needless to say, it’s a mess.

Clarifying  Transitions: Words that make the meaning of a thought or idea clearer

Clarifying transitions helps to explain the speaker’s thoughts or ideas. They can also show how two things are related. 

Example in a sentence:

  • To clarify, I’m not interested in dating you. 

The transition “to clarify” explains the speaker’s thoughts more clearly.

  • In other words, I don’t want to go to the party with you. 
  • Put simply, I don’t understand what you’re saying. 

Common examples of clarifying transitions: 

In other words To put it another way
That is to say To paraphrase
Let me explain

Common examples of clarifying transitions in a sentence: 

  • I’m not sure if I can come to your party. In other words, I might be busy that night. 
  • To put it another way, I don’t think I can go to the party with you. 
  • I don’t understand what you’re saying. To paraphrase, can you explain it to me like I’m a five-year-old?

Enumerating Transitions: Words that Group Ideas, Thoughts, Points, or Flow of Events

Enumerating transitions allows you to group ideas,  thoughts, or points. They’re often used when listing things or giving examples. 

Example in a sentence:

First, I need to finish my homework. Second, I need to take the dog for a walk. And lastly, I need to go to bed. 

The transitions “first,” “second,” and “lastly” are used to enumerate the speaker’s thoughts.

Common examples of enumerating transitions: 

First Second
Third Next
Last Lastly
To begin with In the first place

Common examples of enumerating transitions in a sentence:

  • I have a lot of things that I need to do today. First, I need to go to the grocery store. Second, I need to clean my house. Third, I need to do some laundry. 
  • I’m going to give you some advice. To begin with, you should always be honest. Second, you should never give up on your dreams. Lastly, you should always try your best.
  • My mum went to the shop and bought all the things we needed in the house. She started with the bread, then she got some milk, and next she got some eggs. And lastly, she bought cheese. 

Transition Words & Phrases: The List and Usage Guide | Solvid

How Transition Words Apply in SEO

Yoast recommends including at least 30% transition words in your content to make it more readable.

That’s about 1 in 3 sentences.

Transitions words are also suitable for SEO because they help connect ideas and thoughts, making your content easier to read and understand. That can help improve your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Do’s and Donts of Using Transition Words

Transitions may seem like a small detail, but they can make a big difference in the quality of your writing. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind when using transition words:

The Dos for Using Transition Words:

  • You can use transition words to introduce new ideas and concepts. Use them at the beginning of the paragraph or sentence to prepare the reader for what’s to come.
  • For each idea, you introduce, use a different transition word. That will help to keep your writing interesting and easy to read. You can also use transition words to link closely related ideas and add coherence and flow to your writing.

However, you want to avoid overusing them, or your writing will sound contrived. A good rule of thumb is to use them sparingly, about 1-2 times per paragraph.

  • After writing your first draft, go back and see if there are any places where you could add a transition word. That will help to make your writing even smoother and more cohesive.

You want to read your work out loud to see how it sounds. That will help you catch any awkward phrases or choppy sentences. If something doesn’t sound right, see if you can add, remove or replace a transition word to make it flow better.

  • Before you get down to writing anything, create an outline of your ideas. That will help you determine what transition words you need and where to use them.

The idea is to break down each idea into a point you can then elaborate on. The idea is to create a road map for your writing to know where you’re going and what you need to get there.


The Don’ts for Using Transition Words

So, what shouldn’t you do when using transition words?

  • Don’t use too many transition words: Otherwise, your writing will sound contrived. You risk coming across as trying too hard to sound “smart” or “academic.”
  • Don’t use them in every sentence: That will make your writing sound choppy and difficult to read. Use them judiciously to draw attention to important points. But, at the same time, don’t be afraid to go a few sentences without one.
  • Don’t use the same transition word repeatedly: That will make your writing sound repetitive. Again, the key is to vary them to keep things interesting.
  • Don’t Depend on them to Show the Relationship  Between Ideas: Instead of using a transition word to signal the relationship between ideas, get the ideas to flow naturally. The ideas should naturally fit together. The transition words should just be there to help the reader – and only if necessary.
  • Don’t Use Transition Words at The Beginning of Every Paragraph: You don’t want your writing to sound formulaic or like you’re just filling up space. Learn to use transition words thoughtfully to enhance your writing, not just check a box.

What is SEO search engine optimization? 2020 Version - Rays Technology Blog

How to Use Transition Words to the Benefit of Your SEO Strategy

Now that we’ve gone over the dos and don’ts of using transition words, let’s look at how you can use them to benefit your SEO strategy.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

Well, first of all, it means you should focus on creating well-written and cohesive content. That’s what search engines are looking for. They want to see that you have something to say and that you’re saying it in a way that is easy for people to understand.

So, how can you use transition words to benefit your SEO strategy:

Know the Most Commonly Used Transition Words 

Try to go through as many transition words as possible. Learn how to use them and when to use them. That way, you’ll be able to mix things up and keep your writing interesting.

We’ve covered a few of these transitions above, but there are many more. Study them individually, and then try to use them in your writing. See how they change the flow of your sentences and paragraphs. 

Understand How they Connect Ideas

When you use transition words, you’re essentially connecting two ideas. 

Are they contrasting ideas? Are they sequential? Are they cause and effect? 

Knowing how the ideas are related will help you choose the right transition word.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Remember, your goal is to make your writing sound natural. So, don’t try to force a transition word where it doesn’t belong. 

And, as we mentioned before, don’t use the same transition word over and over again. That will make your writing sound repetitive and boring. 

Instead, take your time to choose the right word for the job. The goal is to use transition words thoughtfully and sparingly.

Edit ruthlessly

Once you’ve written your piece, it’s time to edit. And one of the things you should be on the lookout for is how well your transition words are working. 

Are they helping to connect your ideas? Or are they just taking up space? 

If you find that you’re using a lot of transition words, or if you’re using them in every sentence, go back and edit. See if you can find a better way to connect your ideas.


Final Thoughts on Transition Words in SEO

Transition words are a valuable tool, but they should be used sparingly. 

Your goal should be to create well-written and cohesive content. And, if you can do that, transition words will just be the icing on the cake.

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