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How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Internal links connect content in different pages on your website or domain.

A WordPress blog comes with built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS feeds, an internal link tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for adding extensive content linking.

Linking to other posts and pages in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal content link feature.

(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)

Internal Content Linking – Benefits

Internal links are simply hyperlinks in your content to relevant pages and posts on your WordPress site.

Here is how Wikipedia defines internal linking …

“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 employs extensive content linking extensively)

Adding content links to other pages and posts has several benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal content linking lets visitors view more content. This ensures that search robots can better index your site.

Benefits Of Using Content Links #1 – Improve Your Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience

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

One of the main purposes of a website is to provide visitors with the information they are searching for. Offering users easy access to other areas of your site that contain more of the content they are searching for not only makes your site easier to navigate, but also your user’s experience.

Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this can easily result in more sales or sales enquiries.

Make sure that the content you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your home page to your main services page.

Benefits Of Internal Content Linking #2 – Improved Search Rankings

(Use internal linking to improve search rankings.)

Adding internal content links also improves your search engine rankings. By creating internal links to other posts and pages on your site, you are helping search engine indexing bots crawl your web pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than if your site includes only standalone pages and posts. This can drive more web traffic to your website or blog.

One of the most effective ways of improving your site’s search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding keywords as titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).

For example, if your blog provides wedding-related information, you could hyperlink the key phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” from a post listing unusual wedding gifts to another article on your website listing wedding gift registries. This will help search engines gain a better understanding of what your web pages are all about.

Using anchor text links is a lot more effective for visitors and search engines. You can use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, and so on.

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

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

(Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding new content to your site, your entries will become older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to your posts losing popularity.

If you have older content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, you can place internal links within the content of your more popular posts 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.

The more content visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … which can lead to better results!

Creating Internal Linking Using The WordPress Advanced Link Editor

An internal linking feature was introduced in WP version 3.1 that allows you to link content in your posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP v. 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, linking to pages and posts in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

Log into your WordPress site, locate and open the post or page you want to insert internal links into.

Next, highlight the text you want to create as a hyperlink.

After selecting and highlighting the words, click on the insert/edit link item in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

(WordPress visual editor menu – content linking feature)

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

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

The Inline Linking tool appears below your selection …

(Inline Linking)

Paste in your link URL or begin typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink into the field to find related posts and pages …

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

Click the ’Return’ icon to create the link …

(Inline Linking – Apply button)

Your link will be created …

(Link inserted into content)

You can also access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) button …

(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

(Internal linking feature)

The Insert/edit link window is divided into two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your link URL, enter the anchor text to display with the link and select whether to open your link in a new window …

(Insert/edit link tool)

Or link to existing content

This feature allows you to insert internal links. Enter a word or keyword related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically display pages and posts containing those words …

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

Select the title of the post or page you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets added to the URL field …

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

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

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not just limited to pages or posts. If you use custom WordPress post types on your site, you can also link to these …

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …

(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 update 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:

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:

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:

(Link Boundaries)

Internal Link Options

If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

(Format your links if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)

Removing Content Links

No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to remove 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’ tool on the editor menu as shown below

(Deleting both internal and external links is easy … you even get choices!)

Your hyperlink will be removed …

(Links removed!)

Plugins For Automating Internal Content Linking

So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the inline link function.

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

Yes … Of course! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress plugins for just about everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the type of theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a few WordPress plugins that can help you create links to content automatically.

(SEO internal linking. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - plugin for WordPress)

Congratulations … now you know how to easily link content internally in WordPress.

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