Internal links are hyperlinks that connect content in different pages on your WordPress website or domain.
The WordPress platform comes with great built-in internal linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS, an internal link tool, read more tags, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using a range of plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.
Linking to other posts and pages in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. This tutorial explains how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced linking feature.
(WordPress Internal Hyperlink Feature)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Linking
Internal content links are simply links added to your content pointing to other sections of 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’s pages provide loads of examples of internal content linking)
Inserting internal links into pages provides many benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your web visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables users to view more content. This also helps search engine bots better index your site.
Benefits Of Content Linking #1 – Improve Your Site Usability And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal linking to improve site usability and user experience.)
One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with the information that they are searching for. Providing users with easier access to other parts of your website containing more of the content they want to see not only improves the quality of your website, but also your website’s user experience.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-planned website, this can lead to better sales results.
It’s important to make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your home page to your contact details page.
Benefits Of Internal Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO
(Use internal content linking to improve your search rankings.)
Internal content linking also improves your search rankings. By creating internal links to content on other posts and pages on your website, you are helping search engine indexing spiders crawl your web pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than if your site includes only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more traffic to your site.
An effective way of improving search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if your blog provides travel-related information, you could create a post listing romantic travel ideas and tips and hyperlink the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” to another blog post on your site listing various honeymoon destinations.
Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for search engines and visitors. You can use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Using Internal Linking #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content links to increase content visibility & exposure.)
Over time, as you continue adding new content to your site, older posts get pushed down the chronology. This can cause posts to become less popular and less visited.
If you have important content on older posts or pages that you would like more visitors to read, place internal links within the content of your more popular posts 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 indexed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business online … and this can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Linking In Your Pages And Posts Using The WordPress Linking Tool
In WordPress version 3.1, an advanced linking feature was introduced that allows you to link content inside posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was updated in WordPress 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.
Prior to the introduction of this 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, adding links to WordPress posts and pages is really simple.
Here’s how you do it …
Log into your WordPress backend, and find and open the post or page you would like to insert links in.
Next, find and highlight the words, phrase, or content you want to turn into a hyperlink.
Once you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the hyperlinking tool in the WordPress visual 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 content editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the feature …
(The feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the selection …
(WordPress Inline Linking)
Paste in the URL of your target destination or enter a search term to view related posts and pages …
(Type in a search term to view related pages and posts)
Click the ’Return’ button to insert your link …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link will be added to the content …
(Link added to content)
You can access the advanced linking feature by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ button …
(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content linking tool)
You will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your link URL, enter the Link Text to display with the link and choose whether to open the link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This function allows you to insert internal links into your content. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink into the Search box. WordPress automatically begins searching for posts and pages containing those words …
(Type in the search term to begin finding related content)
Select the post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be added to the URL section …
(Click on the post or page you would like to link to in your content)
Notice that the tool lets you link to posts or pages and shows you which item is what …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not limited to pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also link to these …
(Link your content to custom WordPress post types in addition to default pages or posts)
If you would like to open your link in a new window, then tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button …
(Check the box and your link will open in a new window)
Note that the ability to open links in a new window or tab can be used in both internal and external links …
(Open external and internal links in a new window – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to content in other pages or posts …
(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)
WordPress Automatically Detects Broken Links
From WP v. 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. 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. you can italicize your link, make it bold, change the link 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)
Deleting Content Links
No tutorial on adding links to content would be 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 remove a hyperlink from your posts or pages, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating box or the ‘Remove link’ button on the editor menu as shown below
(Deleting hyperlinks in WordPress is easy … you even get choices!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
(Plain content … all links removed!)
Plugins For Linking Content Automatically
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the built-in WordPress link feature.
Are there WordPress plugins that can do this task?
Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are plugins for everything. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the type of WordPress theme used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Using Breadcrumbs
- Related posts
- Linking using widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional types of linking content in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at a number of plugins you can check out for creating internal links automatically in your content:
(Internal linking for SEO. Screenshot image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite - WordPress plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how to easily create internal links to content in your WordPress pages and posts.