How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Learn about the SEO benefits of internal linking and how to create internal links in posts and pages using the WordPress linking tool …

Creating Internal Links Using The WordPress Link EditorAccording to Wikipedia, “an internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain.”

The WordPress platform provides great built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, archives, tags, and categories pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS feeds, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.

Linking to other posts in your website or domain has many SEO benefits. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to insert internal links into WordPress using the internal link feature.

WordPress Built-In Linking Feature

(The WordPress Internal Hyperlink Tool)

Internal Linking Benefits

Internal content linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content pointing to relevant sections of your WordPress site.

Or, as explained by Wikipedia …

“An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination. Generally, a link to a page outside the same domain or website is considered external, whereas one that points at another section of the same webpage or to another page of the same website or domain is considered internal.” (source: Wikipedia)

Wikipedia's pages provide loads of examples of internal linking

(Wikipedia uses extensive internal content linking extensively)

Using internal links to pages and posts provides several benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content linking allows visitors to view more content and helps search engine robots index site faster.

Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improved Website Usability And User Experience

Use internal content links to improve site navigation and create a better user experience.

(Use internal linking to improve website navigation and user experience.)

The main purpose of a website is to provide visitors with the content they are searching for. By offering users easier access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the usability of your site, but also your user’s experience.

Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out sales funnel, this can easily result in more sales conversions.

It’s important to make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to link your company page to your about page.

Benefit Of Using Internal Links #2 – Improved SEO Results

Use internal linking to improve your SEO results.

(Use internal linking to improve search results.)

Adding links in your content also improves your search engine optimization (SEO). By creating internal links to content on other pages or posts on your website, you are helping search engine robots crawl sites faster and more thoroughly than sites that contain only standalone posts and pages. This can result in more traffic to your site.

An effective way to improve your site’s search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This can be easily achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding products, you could link the key phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” from an article about unusual gifts for weddings to another section of your site containing a directory of wedding gift registries.

Using keyword-relevant text links is more effective for search engines and visitors. You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.

Use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(Add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefits Of Using Internal Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use content links to increase content visibility and exposure.

(Use internal content links to get more visibility and exposure for your content.)

As you continue adding content to your site, your blog posts will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to many posts becoming less popular.

If there is older content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, add internal links within the content of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular pages to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by your site visitors and search engines.

Having more of your content being seen by visitors and accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … and this can lead to better results!

Using The WordPress Link Tool

In WP 3.1, a linking function was introduced that lets you quickly and easily link content inside pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP 4.5 to include an inline link tool.

Prior to the introduction of this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, adding internal links to content in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress dashboard, then find and open the post or page you want to add internal links into.

Next, find and highlight the keywords, phrase, or content you would like to add a link to.

After you have selected and highlighted the content, click on the insert/edit link feature in the WordPress visual editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress visual content editor - linking feature

(WordPress visual editor – content linking feature)

Important Info

If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the link tool …

The linking feature can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the content

(The linking tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor)

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

Inline Linking

(Inline Linking Editor)

Paste in the URL of your target destination or enter a search term to view related content …

Type in a search term to find related content

(Type in a search term to bring up related content)

Click the ’Return’ (Apply) icon to insert your link …

Inline Linking tool - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link has now been added …

Link added to content

(Link inserted into content)

You can also access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear icon …

WordPress Inline Linking - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal link tool

(Internal linking options)

You will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, type in the anchor text associated with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open your link in a new window …

Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the linking function that allows you to create internal links to your content. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the post or page you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress will automatically display posts and pages containing those words …

Type in the search term to see related pages and posts

(Enter the search term to view related pages and posts)

Select the title of the page or post you want to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets added to the destination URL field …

Click on the post or page you would like to link to in your content

(Click on the page or post you would like to link to in your content)

Notice that the tool shows you which items are pages and which are posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

You are not limited to standard pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types like products, testimonials, etc. …

Link content to custom WordPress post types in addition to default posts or pages

(Add internal links to custom WordPress post types in addition to pages or posts)

If you want the link to open in a new browser window, tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button

Check the box to open your link in a new window

(Tick the box to open your link in a new window)

Note that the ability to open links in a new window can be used for both internal and external links …

Open internal and external links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

(You can open external and internal links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)

Your internal link is now created …

Internal content link

(Internal content link)

WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links

From version 4.6, WordPress now automatically checks when you add hyperlinks to detect broken links. If you add a broken link (e.g. add a space in the URL), WordPress will let you know, allowing you to fix the link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

Info

WordPress can automatically detect if you type in a broken link but it can’t detect whether a correctly entered link leads to a ‘not found’ page error or a destination page that can’t be accessed (e.g. server down or website deleted).

To learn how to detect and repair broken links, see the tutorial below:

Link Boundaries

In version 4.8, WordPress introduced a new feature called Link Boundaries that fixes common issues users experience when trying to update a link or the text around a link and can’t seem to edit it correctly.

These include:

  • Editing text after the link and finding that the new text also ends up linked,
  • Editing text in the link but finding that text ends up outside of the link.

Link boundaries create a ‘shield’ around the link to help streamline the link editing process …

New WordPress Feature - Link Boundaries

(New WordPress Feature – Link Boundaries)

To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:

(Link Boundaries)

Internal Link Options

You can format your internal links (e.g. make the link bold, italicized, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format hyperlinks if you want to make them more visible

(You can format your hyperlinks if you want to make them more visible)

Deleting Links

No tutorial on adding links to content is complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this right now.

To delete a link from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks in WordPress is easy ... you even get choices!

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)

Your link will be removed …

Hyperlinks is gone!

(Non-clickable text … all links removed!)

WordPress Plugins For Creating Internal Content Links Automatically

So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the WordPress linking tool.

Are there any plugins for WordPress that can automate this work?

Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the type of plugins and themes used on your site, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb links
  • Links to related posts
  • Internal linking through widgets

In another article, we’ll discuss additional types of linking content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a few plugins you can look at for creating links automatically on your site.

SEO internal linking

(SEO internal linking structures. Screenshot image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - plugin for WordPress)

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to create internal links to content in WordPress.

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"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie

Originally published as How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool.