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 …

Using The Advanced Hyperlink Tool In WordPressAccording 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.”

The WordPress platform provides great built-in content linking features, such as menus, permalinks, image links, categories, tags, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS feeds, a default linking tool, continue reading tags, etc. Additional linking functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is perfect for linking content both internally and externally.

This tutorial explains how to insert internal links into WordPress using the advanced link tool.

WordPress Hyperlinking Tool

(WordPress Linking Tool)

Internal Content Linking Benefits

Internal links are simply links in your content to other content on posts and pages on your website.

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

(Wikipedia employs content linking extensively)

Using internal links to other pages provides a number of benefits, not only for you as the website owner but also for your visitors and search engines. Internal linking enables visitors to view more content. This also ensures that search robots can index your site faster. Wikipedia is a great example of a site that relies extensively on using internal content linking.

Benefits Of Internal Links #1 – Improved Site Usability And User Experience

Use internal links to improve site navigation and user experience.

(Use internal content links to improve website navigation and user experience.)

Web pages are meant to provide visitors with relevant information. Providing users with easier access to other sections of your website that contain more of the content they want to see not only improves the quality of your site, but also your site’s user experience.

Improving user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this creates improved sales results.

Make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for users. For example, you may want to link your home page to your about us page.

Benefits Of Internal Links #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO Results

Use content linking to improve search results.

(Use content linking to site’s SEO results.)

Internal links improve your search results. By creating internal links to content on other posts and pages on your website, you are helping search indexing robots crawl your pages faster, more easily and more thoroughly than if your site contains only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more web traffic to your site.

An effective way to improve your search engine optimization is to combine internal linking with relevant keywords. This is easily achieved by adding link titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).

For example, if you provide wedding services, you could hyperlink the keyword phrase “green wedding gift ideas” from a post offering various tips and ideas about finding unusual wedding gifts to another section of your site about wedding gift registries. This helps search engines get a better understanding of what the content on your website is all about.

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

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

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

Benefit Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increased Content Visibility And Exposure

Use internal links to increase content visibility and exposure.

(Use internal links to increase content visibility and exposure.)

In WordPress, as you continue adding new content to your site, older posts get pushed further down the chronology. This can cause many posts to become less visited.

If you have content on older posts or pages that you would like more visitors to access, insert 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 indexed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business … which can lead to better results!

How To Create Internal Links Using The Inline Linking Editor

In WordPress 3.1, an advanced linking feature was introduced that allows you to easily link content inside your posts and pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WordPress v. 4.5 to include an inline link editor.

Prior to 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 posts and pages in WordPress is quite simple.

Here’s how you do it …

First, log into your WordPress dashboard, locate and open the post or page you would like to create links in.

Next, highlight the content you would like to create as a hyperlink.

Once you have selected and highlighted the content, click on the hyperlink item in the WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …

WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu - link tool

(WordPress visual editor – content linking tool)


If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the content, select the ‘link’ button to access the tool …

The link tool can also be accessed in the 'Text' tab of the content

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

The Inline Linking tool will display below your highlighted phrase …

WordPress Inline Linking

(Inline Linking)

Paste in the URL of your target link or type a word or keyword related to the post you want to hyperlink into the field to view related pages and posts …

Enter a search term to bring up related pages and posts

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

Click the ’Return’ button to insert your link …

Inline Linking - Apply button

(WordPress Inline Linking editor – Apply button)

Your link has now been added …

Hyperlink inserted into content

(Link added to content)

You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) icon …

Inline Linking - 'Link Options' button

(WordPress Inline Linking tool – ’Link Options’)

This brings up the Insert/edit link window …

Advanced content link options

(Internal link options)

You will see two sections:

Enter the destination URL

Paste in your target destination URL, type in the Link Text to display with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ check box to open the link in a new window/tab …

Insert/edit link tool

(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)

Or link to existing content

This is the advanced linking section that allows you to add internal links. Enter a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …

Enter the search term to see related content

(Enter the search term to see related content)

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

Select the post or page you would like to link your content to

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

Notice that the feature brings up both pages and posts …

Link to posts or pages

(Link to posts or pages)

But you are not limited to pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types like products, slides, etc. …

Link your content to custom WordPress post types in addition to regular pages or posts

(Link to custom WordPress post types in addition to default posts or pages)

If you would like to open your linked content in a new window, then tick 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

(Tick the box and your link will open in a new window)

Note that the ability to open links in a new window can be used for both internal and external links …

Open internal and external links in a new window - even external links to content about internal links ... whooa!

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

Your internal link is now created …

Internal content link

(Internal content link)

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)

Useful Information

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

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

Format your links to make them more noticeable

(You can format hyperlinks if you want to catch your visitors’ attention)

Deleting Links

No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to delete links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this 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’ feature on the WordPress editor menu as shown below

Deleting both internal and external hyperlinks is easy ... just click a button!

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

Your link will be removed …

Plain content ... all links removed!

(Links removed!)

Internal Linking Plugins

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

Are there plugins for WordPress that can do this task?

Yes, there are! As we explain here, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.

Also, depending on the kind of theme installed on your website or blog, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:

  • Breadcrumb navigation links
  • Related posts
  • Linking using sidebar and footer widgets

In another article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at a number of plugins you can look at for creating internal links automatically on your site:

Internal linking for SEO

(SEO internal linking. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)

Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to create internal links to content in WordPress.

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