According 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.”
A website or blog built with WordPress comes with built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), entries RSS, a default linking tool, read more tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for linking content both internally and externally.
Linking to other posts in your WordPress website or domain has many SEO benefits. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced content linking tool.
(WordPress Internal Linking Function)
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links
Internal linking simply means adding hyperlinks in your content pointing to other 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)
Inserting internal links into posts provides a number of benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links let visitors access more content and helps search engine bots better index pages.
Benefits Of Content Linking #1 – Improve Website Usability And Create A Better User Experience
(Use content linking to improve site usability and user experience.)
Websites are supposed to provide users with the content that they are looking for. By offering users easier access to other sections of your site that contain more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation of your site, but also your user’s experience.
Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-planned website, this can easily result in more sales conversions.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your home page to your main products or services page.
Benefits Of Internal Content Links #2 – Improve Your Search Rankings
(Use content linking to improve your SEO.)
Adding links in your content also improves your SEO. By creating internal links to other posts or pages on your site, you are helping search indexing spiders crawl your pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than if your site contains only standalone pages and posts. This can drive more traffic to your website.
One of the most effective ways to improve your search engine optimization is by combining internal links with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide travel-related information or advice, you could link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” from a post where you describe different types of vacations to another section of your site listing various wedding destinations.
Using keyword-relevant text links is effective for both search engines and visitors. You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Add keyword-relevant text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use content linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)
Over time, as you continue adding new content to your site, your posts will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to your posts becoming less popular and hence attract less visitors.
If there is important content on older posts or pages that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, 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.
Having more of your content being seen by visitors and accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … which can lead to better results!
Using The Advanced Link Editor In WordPress
In WordPress version 3.1, an internal linking tool was introduced that allows you to easily link content on your posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP version 4.5 to include an inline linking tool.
Prior to this feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, creating internal content linking in WordPress is quite simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress admin, locate and open the post or page you would like 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 hyperlinking button in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress WYSIWYG editor – content linking feature)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor, select the ‘link’ button to access the linking feature …
(The linking feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content)
The Inline Linking tool appears below the selection …
(WordPress Inline Linking Tool)
Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the post you want to hyperlink into the box to find related posts and pages …
(Type in a search term to view related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ (Apply) button to create the link …
(Inline Linking tool – Apply button)
Your link is now created …
(Link added to content)
You can access the advanced linking tool by clicking on the gear icon …
(Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Internal content linking tool)
By default, you will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your target destination URL, type in the anchor text to display with the link and choose whether to open the link in a new window/tab …
(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This is the feature that lets you add internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …
(Type in the search term to display related content)
Click the post or page you want to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets inserted into the destination URL section …
(Select the post or page to link to in your content)
Notice that the feature shows you which items are pages and which are posts …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not just limited to regular pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types (these are post types that you create to display specific information), like products, image galleries, etc. …
(Add internal links to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard pages or posts)
If you would like to open your linked content in a new window, then select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(Tick the box to open your link in a new window)
Note that the ability to open linked content in a new window or tab can be used in both internal and external links …
(Open internal and external links in a new window – even external links to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(Voilá … an internal link!)
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 your 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, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual content editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format your hyperlinks if you want to catch your readers’ attention)
How To Delete Links
No tutorial on adding content links would feel complete without showing you how to remove any links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.
To delete a link from your content, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ feature on the editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … just click the button!)
Your hyperlink 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 function.
Are there plugins for WordPress that can do this job?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. 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 plugins and themes used on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Using Breadcrumbs
- Links to related posts
- Internal linking using widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a number of plugins you can check out for creating internal links automatically in your content:
(SEO internal linking. Image source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite)
Congratulations! Now you know how to easily create internal links in your WordPress pages and posts.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)