Internal links connect content in different pages on your website or domain.
The WordPress CMS platform comes with built-in content linking features, such as custom menus, permalinks, text links, archives, tags, and categories pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS feeds, a default linking tool, read more tags, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for adding extensive content linking.
In this tutorial, we discuss the main benefits of using internal linking in your content, and how to easily link content in your pages and posts using the WordPress hyperlinking tool.
(WordPress Linking Tool)
Benefits Of Content Linking
Internal links are simply hyperlinks added to your content to relevant sections of your WordPress site.
Or, as Wikipedia explains it …
“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 uses extensive content linking extensively)
Using content links to posts and pages provides a number of benefits, not only for website owners, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content linking lets users view more content and ensures that search bots can index web site faster. Wikipedia is a great example of sites that rely extensively on internal content linking.
Benefit Of Internal Content Links #1 – Improved Site Usability And User Experience
(Use content linking to improve site navigation and user experience.)
Web pages are supposed to provide visitors with relevant content. By offering users easier access to other parts of your site containing more of the content they want to see, you not only improve the navigation of your website, you also create a better experience for your site’s users.
Improving user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. In a well-thought-out content strategy, this creates improved sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the content you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your main services page.
Benefits Of Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO Results
(Use content links to improve your search engine optimization (SEO).)
Adding links in your content improves your SEO. Linking to other pages or posts on your site helps search engine indexing robots crawl web pages faster and more easily than sites that include only standalone pages. This can result in more traffic to your site.
One of the most effective ways to improve SEO is by combining internal links with relevant keywords. This can be easily achieved by adding link titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if your business provides travel-related services or advice, you could create a post where you describe romantic travel tips and link the keyword phrase “romantic cruises” to another article on your site listing various wedding destinations.
Using anchor text links is a lot more effective for search engines and visitors. You can use anchor text links on titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Add anchor text links to titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefits Of Internal Links #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal content linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)
As you continue adding new content to your site, your posts will get older and get pushed further down the chronological table. This can cause your posts to lose popularity.
If you have important content on older posts that you would like more visitors to access, 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 your site visitors and search engines.
The more content you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business gets online … and this can lead to better results!
How To Use The Link Tool In WordPress
In WP v. 3.1, an internal linking function was introduced that allows you to quickly and easily link content in pages and posts to other posts and pages. This feature was updated in WP v. 4.5 to include an inline link tool.
Prior to the introduction of this advanced feature, if you wanted control over 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 internal linking to WordPress is quite simple.
Here’s how to do it …
Log into your WordPress admin, find and open the post or page you want to insert internal links in.
Next, highlight the content you want to add a link to.
After selecting and highlighting the words, click on the insert/edit link icon in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual content editor menu – content link tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the editor, click the ‘link’ button to access the linking feature …
(The link tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below the selected phrase …
(Inline Linking Tool)
Paste in your link URL or type a word or keyword related to the title of the page or post you want to hyperlink in the field to bring up related pages and posts …
(Type in a search term to find related posts and pages)
Click the ’Return’ icon to add the link …
(Inline Linking editor – Apply button)
Your link is now inserted …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear (‘Link Options’) icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content linking options)
This tool is divided into two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in your target destination URL, add the anchor text associated with the link and tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab’ checkbox to open the link in a new window/tab …
(Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This section allows you to insert internal links into your content. Begin typing a word or keyword phrase related to the text 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 begin finding related pages and posts)
Select the page or post you want to link to, and the item’s URL will automatically be added to the destination URL section …
(Click on the page or post you would like to link your content to)
Notice that the feature indicates which items are pages and which are posts …
(Link to posts or pages)
But you are not limited to standard pages or posts. You can also link to custom post types (these are post types created to display specific information), like products, slides, etc. …
(Link your content to custom post types in addition to regular posts or pages)
If you want the link to open in a new browser window, tick 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 or tab can be used for both internal and external links …
(Open internal and external links in new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Your internal link is now created …
(An internal link … sublime and beautiful!)
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 correct 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. you can italicize your link, make it bold, change the link color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format your links to make them more noticeable)
Deleting Content Links
No tutorial on adding content links would feel complete without showing you how to remove links that you no longer want, so let’s cover this topic right now.
To remove a hyperlink 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’ tool on the WordPress content editor menu as shown below
(Removing both internal and external hyperlinks is easy … you even get choices!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
(Plain text … 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 WordPress linking function.
Are there any WordPress plugins that can do this work?
Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress plugins for just about everything you can imagine. And if you can’t find a plugin that does what you need, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the type of theme installed on your website or blog, you can benefit from additional internal linking features such as:
- Using Breadcrumbs
- Related posts
- Linking using footer and sidebar widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional types of linking content in WordPress, look at the pros and cons of automating content links in WordPress, and look at various plugins that can help you create internal links automatically.
(Internal linking for SEO. Image sourced from: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite)
Congratulations … now you know how easy it is to create internal links in WordPress.
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