Internal links connect content in different pages on your website or domain.
The WordPress CMS platform comes with built-in internal linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, image links, archives, tags, and categories pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, an internal linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for creating extensive content linking.
This step-by-step tutorial explains the benefits of internal linking and how to create internal linking structures in WordPress using the internal content linking feature.
(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links
Internal content links are simply links added to your content to relevant sections of your website or blog.
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 great examples of internal linking)
Adding internal links to web pages has several benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal linking lets visitors view more content and ensures that search engine bots can index web site faster. Websites like Wikipedia rely extensively on the use of internal linking strategies for attracting new visitors.
Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improve Your Site Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal content links to improve site navigation and user experience.)
One of the main purposes of a website is to provide users with the content that they are searching for. By offering users easy access to other parts of your site containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the quality of your site, you also create a better experience for your site’s users.
Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out content marketing strategy, this leads to improved sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to link your company page to your contact details page.
Benefits Of Using Content Links #2 – Improve Your SEO
(Use content linking to improve SEO results.)
Adding links in your content also improves your search results. By creating internal links to other pages or posts on your website, you are helping search engine bots crawl your web pages more thoroughly, faster and more easily than if your site includes only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more traffic to your website or blog.
An effective way to improve search engine optimization is by combining internal links with relevant keywords. This can easily be achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if your blog provides wedding products or advice, you could link the key phrase “sustainable wedding gift ideas” from a post describing unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website about wedding gift registries.
Using keyword-relevant text links is 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.)
Benefit Of Content Links #3 – Get More Visibility & Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content links to increase content visibility and exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding new content, older posts get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause many of your posts to become less popular and less visited.
If there is content on older posts that you would like more visitors to read, place internal links within the content 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 your site visitors and search engines.
The more content visitors can see and search engines can access, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … and this can lead to better results!
Creating Internal Links Using The Inline Linking Feature
A linking tool was introduced in WordPress 3.1 that allows you to quickly and easily link content in posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was upgraded in WP 4.5 to include an inline link editor.
Prior to the introduction of this advanced feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually search your site for the page or post to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, performing internal linking operations inside content in WordPress is very simple.
Here’s how you do it …
First, log into your WordPress backend, locate and open the post or page you want to insert internal links into.
Next, find and highlight the text you want to add a hyperlink to.
When you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the content linking tool in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual content editor menu – content linking feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content editor, select the ‘link’ button to access the tool …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below your highlighted words …
(Inline Linking Editor)
Paste in your link URL or type in a search term to find related posts and pages …
(Type in a search term to view related posts and pages)
Click the ‘Apply’ icon to add the link …
(Inline Linking – Apply button)
Your link will be inserted …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear button …
(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced linking options)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your link URL, add the Link Text associated with the link and select whether to open your link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This feature lets you insert internal links into your content. Start typing a word or keyword related to the text you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress will automatically retrieve pages and posts containing those words …
(Type in the search term to view related content)
Select the page or post you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets added to the URL section …
(Select the post or page to link to in your content)
Notice that the feature brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to posts or pages)
But you are not just limited to standard pages or posts. If you use custom post types on your site, you can also create internal links to these …
(Link to custom post types in addition to posts or pages)
If you want to open your link in a new window, select 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 linked content in a new window or tab can be used for both internal and external links …
(You can open internal and external links in a new window – 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 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
If you want, you can also format your internal links (e.g. make the link bold, italicized, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format links if you want readers to notice them)
How To Remove Content Links
No tutorial on adding content links would be complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To remove a link from your content, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ feature on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below
(Removing links is easy … just click a button!)
Your link will be removed …
(Non-clickable content … all links removed!)
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the built-in feature.
Are there any plugins for WordPress that can do this work?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins that can do almost everything you can imagine. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you are looking for, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the kind of plugins and themes installed on your website, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Using Breadcrumbs
- Related posts
- Internal linking through 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 that can help you create internal links automatically on your website.
(Internal linking structures for SEO. Screenshot image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)
Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to create internal links to content in your WordPress posts and pages.
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum