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 provides built-in content linking functions, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, archives, categories, and tags pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default link tool, read more tags, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress using plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for creating extensive content linking.
Linking to other posts helps your readers discover more of your content and has SEO benefits. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced link feature.
(WordPress Internal Linking Tool)
Internal Links – Benefits
Internal linking simply means adding links in your content pointing 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 content linking)
Adding internal content links to other pages provides many benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal links enable visitors to view more content and ensures that search robots can index web pages faster. Websites like Wikipedia rely extensively on internal content linking for attracting visitors.
Benefit Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience
(Use internal content links to improve your site usability and create a better user experience.)
Web pages are supposed to provide users with the information that they are searching for. By offering users easy access to other sections of your website containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the quality of your site, but also your site’s user experience.
Creating a better experience for users means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this can lead to better sales conversions.
It’s important to make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your home page to your main products page.
Benefits Of Content Links #2 – Site’s Search Results
(Use content linking to improve search rankings.)
Adding links in your content improves your search results. Linking to content on other pages or posts on your website helps search engine indexing bots crawl sites more thoroughly, faster and more easily than sites that include only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more traffic to your website.
One of the most effective ways to improve your site’s search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This can easily be achieved by adding keyword terms to hyperlinks (called anchor text links).
For example, if your business provides wedding services or advice, you could create a post offering tips about finding unusual gifts for weddings and link the phrase “green wedding gift ideas” to another blog post on your site containing a wedding gift registry directory. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your pages are about.
Using anchor text links is an effective linking strategy for both visitors and search engines. You can use anchor text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Add anchor text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure
(Use internal content links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding new content, your posts will become older and get pushed down the chronology. This can cause your posts to lose popularity.
If there is older but useful content on your site that is not getting as much exposure as you would like, just 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.
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!
Using The WordPress Inline Linking Tool
An internal linking function was introduced in WordPress 3.1 that allows you to quickly and easily link content in pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was upgraded in WP 4.5 to include an inline link tool.
Prior to this advanced feature, if you wanted control over your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, creating linking inside content in WordPress is quite simple.
Here’s how to do it …
First, log into your WordPress backend, and find and open the post or page you would like to insert internal links into.
Next, find and highlight the content you would like to add a hyperlink to.
When you have selected and highlighted the words, click on the hyperlink button in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor menu – content linking tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, click the ‘link’ button to access the linking tool …
(The linking feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below the selected keywords …
(WordPress Inline Linking)
Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink in the field to bring up related content …
(Enter a search term to find related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ icon to add the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link has now been inserted …
(Hyperlink inserted into content)
You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …
(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Internal content linking tool)
You will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your target destination URL, add the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open the link in a new window …
(Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This linking tool allows you to insert internal links into your content. Enter a word or keyword related to the text you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress will automatically begin looking for pages and posts containing those words …
(Type in the search term to begin finding related posts and pages)
Select the post or page you want to link to, and the URL of your selected item automatically gets inserted into the destination URL field …
(Select the page or post to link to in your content)
Notice that the tool brings up both posts and pages …
(Link to posts or pages)
You are not just limited to pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types like products, categories, etc. …
(Link to custom WordPress post types in addition to standard posts or pages)
If you would like to open your linked content in a new window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(Check the box to open your link 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 external and internal links in new windows – even external links to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(Internal content link)
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 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 editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format links if you want to catch your readers’ attention)
No tutorial on adding content links would feel complete without showing you how to remove links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To remove a hyperlink from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the ’remove’ icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ tool on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below
(Deleting both internal and external 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 internal links to content manually using the WordPress link function.
Are there 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 everything you can imagine. 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 kind of theme installed on your site, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb navigation links
- Links to related posts
- Linking through footer and sidebar widgets
In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional content linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins you can check out for creating links automatically on your site:
(SEO internal linking. Screenshot 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 posts and pages.
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group