What are transition words – SEO copywriting training
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What are transition words – SEO copywriting training

In this video, we’re going to tell you
what transition words are and how you should use them. If you ended up in this trial lesson from
our transition words article on yoast.com, you may consider skipping this video
and moving on to the second video. In that video, we’ll really get to work
with lots of examples. But first things first:
what are transition words? Transition words are words like ‘and’, ‘but’,
‘so’ and ‘because’. They show your reader the relationship
between phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs. Transition words make it easier
for your readers to understand how thoughts
and ideas are connected. They also prepare your reader
for what’s coming. This makes it much easier for your readers
to understand your text. In a way, transition words are the glue
that holds your text together. They improve readability,
and therefore, your SEO. Now, to see how transition words work, let’s look at some example sentences
without and with transition words. “I was invited to a party on Saturday night.
I wasn’t feeling well, I decided against it.” Now, let’s include some transition words:
“I was invited to a party on Saturday night. However, I wasn’t feeling well,
so I decided against it.” As you can see, the example with transition
words is much easier to read. The word “however” immediately tells you
that things didn’t go as planned. It also clearly shows you what the second
sentence has to do with the first sentence: you’re going to read
that something came up. Later in that same sentence,
the same goes for the transition word “so”. After this word, you know you’re going
to see a conclusion of some sorts: and indeed, I decided not to go. Knowing what to expect in advance
makes for much easier reading. And this is just a very simple example. As your text starts to get more complicated, transition words become more
and more important to guide the reader. Transition words don’t always have to be
placed at the beginning of a sentence. Consider the following example: “He’s a very nice guy. He took us out
to dinner yesterday, for instance.” In this example, ‘for instance’ is placed
at the end of the sentence. Nonetheless, it still provides
the reader with information as to how the two sentences are related. And a second example: “I enjoy his company because he always
tells interesting stories.” In this example, ‘because’ doesn’t connect
two sentences, but two clauses (a clause is basically any part of a sentence
that could stand alone as a separate sentence). Transition words can connect anything
from short phrases to entire paragraphs. Now, there are lots of different types
of transition words. Some describe cause and effect
relationships, like “because”. Others provide clarification “that is to say”,
or a contrast “on the other hand”. And there are even more ways
to connect sentences. We’ve added a big list of transition words
to the reading materials to provide you with all kinds of transition
words that you can use in different situations, including example sentences. If you’re not familiar
with a lot of transition words, we advise you to go through this list
before watching the next video. So let’s explore how you can improve. There are several potential problem areas
when it comes to transition words. Let’s start
with the good news: everyone uses transition words
in some way. There are very few authors who never use
the words ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘or’, and the like. Using them correctly
or frequently enough, however, doesn’t come natural to everyone. Using transition words correctly
requires a couple of things. You have to
know the transition words, obviously; Have a clear idea of the relationships between separate thoughts
and ideas within your text; And know how to apply transition words
properly and in context. Let’s start with the first one:
knowing your transition words. Actually knowing the transition words is most commonly a problem
for non-native speakers. However, many native speakers
could also benefit from studying the less frequent
transition words. In any case, it is easy to do. You simply study the list of transition words
we provide in our reading materials. Don’t underestimate it, though! Transition words are often quite nuanced and really depend on context,
as we’ll explore later. Secondly, you should be aware of how your
thoughts and ideas relate to each other. In the blog post assignments people hand in
for feedback in this course, we see a clear pattern. People who have a better idea
of the structure of their text also use more transition words,
and do it more effectively. Too often, people just start writing
and then basically just see what happens. In the next video, we’ll show you
how to tackle this problem. The third thing I mentioned, is that you have to know how to apply
transition words accurately in context. Knowing when to use which transition word
can be quite difficult. We often see people
using transition words incorrectly, even after they’ve read up on the theory. Honestly, the key to mastering this
is practice, practice, practice. Write sample sentences in which you
connect two sentences with each other using transition words. Do the gap-fill exercises
this lesson provides. And if you really want to be sure
you’re doing the right thing, hand in the writing assignment we provide
in this course and get real-time feedback! In the next video, we’ll bridge the gap
between theory and practice by discussing some good practices and further exploring
how transition words function within a text.

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