How To Use The WordPress Internal Linking Tool

Learn about the SEO benefits of internal linking and how to create internal links in posts and pages using the WordPress linking tool …

Creating Internal Links In WordPress Using The WordPress Advanced Linking EditorAccording to Moz, the SEO consulting company, “internal links are hyperlinks that point at (target) the same domain as the domain that the link exists on (source). In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.”

WordPress provides great built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, text links, tags, categories, and archives pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Recent Posts), comments RSS feeds, an internal linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for adding extensive content linking.

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn about the benefits of internal linking and how to insert internal links into WordPress using the internal linking tool.

WordPress Hyperlink Tool

(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)

Benefits Of Using Content Linking

Internal linking simply means adding links in your content to other content on 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 employs extensive internal content linking extensively

(Wikipedia uses content linking extensively)

Inserting links into your content provides a number of benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal links allow users to access more content. This helps search robots index your pages faster. Wikipedia is a great example of a website that relies extensively on internal content linking.

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

Use internal links to improve website navigation and create a better user experience.

(Use internal linking to improve your site navigation and create a better user experience.)

Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with the relevant content that they are looking for. By offering users easy access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they are searching for, you not only improve the usability of your site, you also create a better experience for your users.

Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-planned website, this creates better sales conversions.

It’s important to make sure that the information you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your contact details page.

Benefit Of Internal Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO

Use content linking to improve your website's search engine optimization (SEO).

(Use content links to improve your website’s search results.)

Adding links in your content also improves your search results. Linking to other posts and pages on your site helps search indexing spiders crawl your site faster and more easily than if your site contains only standalone pages and posts. This can result in more traffic to your site.

An effective way to improve SEO is by combining internal links with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding link text to hyperlinks (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide travel-related services or advice, you could create a post listing romantic travel ideas and tips and link the phrase “romantic cruises” to another section of your site about honeymoon destinations. This will help search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your website is all about.

Using keyword-relevant text links is an effective strategy for search engines and visitors. You can use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.

Add anchor text links to content titles, body text, image captions, etc.

(You can add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.)

Benefits Of Using Internal Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure

Use internal links to increase visibility & exposure for your content.

(Use content linking to increase visibility & exposure for your content.)

As you continue adding new content to your WordPress site, your blog posts will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can lead to many posts becoming less popular and hence attract less visitors.

If there is old but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to access, add internal links within the content of some 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 your site 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 online … and this can lead to better results!

Using The Advanced Content Link Tool In WordPress

In WP 3.1, a linking function was introduced that lets you link content in pages and posts to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was updated in WordPress version 4.5 to include an inline link tool.

Prior to this feature, if you wanted to control your internal linking strategy, you would have to manually look for the page or post you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually link to it in your content. Now, adding internal links to WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how to do it …

First, log into your WordPress site, find and open the post or page you want to create links in.

Next, highlight the phrase or sentence you want to add a hyperlink to.

After selecting and highlighting the words, click on the hyperlinking button in the WordPress visual editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress WYSIWYG editor - linking feature

(WordPress visual editor menu – content linking feature)

Idea

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

The link feature can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the WordPress content editor

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below your highlighted keywords …

Inline Linking

(WordPress Inline Linking)

Paste in the URL of your target link or start typing a word or keyword related to the page or post you want to hyperlink into the field to find related content …

Type in a search term to bring up related content

(Type in a search term to bring up related pages and posts)

Click the ‘Apply’ button to insert the link …

WordPress Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking tool – Apply button)

Your link is now added to your content …

Hyperlink added to content

(Hyperlink added to content)

You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …

Inline Linking tool - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Internal content linking tool

(Advanced content link tool)

By default, you will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in the URL of your target destination, enter the Link Text to display with the link and choose whether to open the link in a new window/tab …

WordPress Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the feature that lets you insert internal links. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the title of the post you want to hyperlink into the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …

Enter the search term to display related pages and posts

(Type in the search term to view related content)

Click on the page or post you would like to link to, and the URL of your selected item will automatically be inserted into the URL field …

Click on the post or page to link your content to

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

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

Link to pages or posts

(Link to pages or posts)

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

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

(Link content to custom post types in addition to regular pages or posts)

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

Check the box to open your link in a new window

(Tick 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 internal and external links in new windows - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

(Open internal and external links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)

Congratulations … you have created an internal link to content in other posts or pages …

An internal link

(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)

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 fix the link before publishing it to your site. …

WordPress automatically detects broken links

(WordPress automatically detects broken links. Source: WordPress 4.6 Features)

Info

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:

  • 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

(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 WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …

Format your links if you want to make them more visible

(Format hyperlinks if you want to make them more visible)

Deleting Links To Content

No tutorial on adding links to content 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 remove 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 box or the ‘Remove link’ icon on the WordPress editor menu as shown below

Deleting links is easy ... you even get choices!

(Deleting hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)

Your link will be removed …

Hyperlinks is gone!

(Non-clickable content … all links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress

So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the built-in WordPress linking tool.

Are there any plugins for WordPress that can do this task?

Yes … Of course! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress plugins that can do almost 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 plugins and themes installed on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Links to related posts
  • Linking through widgets

In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional ways to link content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating content links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically on your site:

SEO internal linking structures

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

Congratulations! Now you know how to easily add links to content in WordPress.

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