A website or blog built with WordPress comes with built-in internal linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, tags, categories, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, an internal linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for adding extensive content linking.
This tutorial explains the benefits of internal linking and how to insert internal links into WordPress using the internal linking tool.
(WordPress Internal Linking Tool)
Internal Content Linking Benefits
Internal linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content pointing to relevant content on posts and pages on your website or blog.
Or, as defined 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 contain many internal links)
Adding internal links to posts and pages provides several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for web visitors and search engines. Internal linking lets visitors access more content and ensures that search spiders can index web pages faster.
Benefits Of Internal Links #1 – Improve Your Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal content linking to improve site navigation and create a better user experience.)
Web pages are supposed to provide users with the content that they are looking for. Providing users with easier access to other parts of your site that contain more of the content they are searching for not only makes your website easier to use and navigate, 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 creates improved sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your about page.
Benefits Of Internal Content Links #2 – Improved SEO Results
(Use internal content linking to improve your website’s SEO.)
Internal content links also improve your search rankings. Linking to other pages and posts on your site helps search indexing spiders crawl your pages faster and more easily than if your site includes only standalone pages. This can result in more traffic to your website.
An effective way to improve search engine optimization is to combine internal links with keyword relevancy. This can easily be achieved by adding keyword terms to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide wedding services or advice, you could link the keywords “sustainable wedding gift ideas” from a post about unusual gifts for weddings to another section of your site containing a directory of wedding gift registries.
Using anchor text links is effective for both search engines and visitors. You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(You can add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links #3 – Get More Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content links to increase content visibility and exposure.)
As you continue adding content to your site, your blog posts will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can cause your posts to lose popularity.
If you have content on older posts that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, you can place internal links within the content of some of your more popular pages pointing to your less popular posts to increase their exposure, and/or add links to older posts to help them get found again by 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!
How To Use The Advanced Content Hyperlink Editor In WordPress
In WP version 3.1, a link function was introduced that lets you link content inside posts and pages to other posts and pages. This feature was updated in WordPress v. 4.5 to include an inline link tool.
Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking in WordPress is very simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress dashboard, then locate and open the post or page you want to insert links into.
Next, highlight the text you would like to add a link to.
After selecting and highlighting the text, click on the chain icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual content editor menu – content link tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, select the ‘link’ button to access the feature …
(The linking feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the selected keywords …
(Inline Linking Tool)
Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword related to the page you want to hyperlink into the box to find related pages and posts …
(Type in a search term to find related pages and posts)
Click the ’Return’ icon to insert the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)
Your link has now been inserted into the content …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can also use the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking editor – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content linking feature)
This tool is divided into two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target link, add the anchor text to display with the link and choose whether to open your link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This function allows you to create internal links. Enter a word or keyword related to the page you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress automatically begins searching for pages and posts containing those words …
(Enter the search term to display related content)
Click on the page or post you would like to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be inserted into the URL field …
(Click on the post or page you would like to link to in your content)
Notice that the tool lets you link to pages or posts and shows you which item is what …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not just limited to default pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also link to these …
(Link your content to custom post types in addition to regular posts or pages)
If you want to open your linked content 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)
Note that the ability to open links in a new window or tab can be used for both internal and external links …
(Open external and internal links in new windows – even external links to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WP 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 correct the link before publishing it to your site. …
(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)
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:
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.
- 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)
To see this feature in action, watch the short video demo below:
Internal Link Options
You can format your internal links (e.g. make the link bold, italicized, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format your links if you want to catch your readers’ attention)
How To Delete Links To Content
No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To delete a link from your posts or pages, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the content editor menu as shown below
(Removing both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … just click a button!)
Your link will be removed …
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the built-in WordPress inline linking function.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can automate this task?
Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb links
- Links to related posts
- Linking using widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at several plugins you can look at for creating internal links automatically in your content:
(Internal linking for SEO. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)
Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to add links to content in your WordPress pages and posts.
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