An internal link is a hyperlink that connects content in different pages on your own website or domain.
A WordPress blog comes with great built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, text links, tags, categories, and archives pages, site search pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), comments RSS, an internal linking tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link functionality can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for creating extensive content linking.
Linking to other posts and pages in your own website or domain has many SEO benefits. This step-by-step tutorial explains how to add internal links to WordPress using the internal content link tool.
(WordPress Hyperlinking Tool)
Internal Linking Benefits
Internal content links are simply links added to your content pointing to relevant sections of your website.
Or, as Wikipedia defines 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 employs extensive internal linking extensively)
Inserting internal content links into pages provides many benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal links let users view more content and helps search engine spiders index site faster. Wikipedia pages are great examples of using internal linking.
Benefits Of Using Internal Linking #1 – Improve Your Website Navigation And Create A Better User Experience
(Use internal content links to improve your website navigation and create a better user experience.)
The main purpose of a website is to provide users with relevant information. Offering users easier access to other areas of your website containing more of the content they want to see not only makes your website easier to navigate, it also creates a better experience for your site’s users.
Creating a better user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more of your web pages. In a well-planned website, this creates improved sales results.
Make sure that what you are linking together is relevant for your users. For example, it makes sense to add links on your company page to your contact details page.
Benefit Of Using Content Linking #2 – Improve Your Website’s SEO
(Use content links to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO).)
Adding internal content links improves your search engine rankings. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your site helps search engine robots crawl web pages more easily, faster and more thoroughly than sites that include only standalone posts and pages. This can drive more web traffic to your website.
One of the most effective ways of improving SEO is to combine internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (these are called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide wedding information, you could create an article offering ideas on where to find unusual gifts for weddings and hyperlink the keyword phrase “eco wedding gift ideas” to another section of your site listing wedding gift registries. This helps search engines get a better understanding of what your pages are about.
Using keyword-relevant text links is more effective for both visitors and search engines. You can add keyword-relevant text links to titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Internal Content Links #3 – Increase Visibility And Exposure For Your Content
(Use internal linking to increase content visibility and exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, your blog posts will become older and get pushed down the chronological table. This can cause many posts to become less visited.
If you have content on older posts that you would like more visitors to see, add internal links within the content of your more popular pages 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.
Having more of your content being seen by visitors and accessed by search engines means more visibility and exposure for your business online … which can lead to better results!
Using The WordPress Inline Linking Tool
A link tool was introduced in WP version 3.1 that lets you link content in pages and posts to other posts and pages. This feature was upgraded 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 search your site for the page or post you wanted to link to, then copy its URL and manually paste and add a link to it in your content. Now, linking to WordPress content is really simple.
Here’s how you do it …
Log into your WordPress admin section, then find and open the post or page you want to insert links in.
Next, highlight the words, phrase, or content you would like to create as a hyperlink.
After selecting and highlighting the text, click on the linking feature in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< here’s an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual content editor – content linking tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor, select the ‘link’ button to access the linking tool …
(The link tool can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress editor)
The Inline Linking tool appears below your highlighted phrase …
(WordPress Inline Linking)
Paste in the URL of your target destination or type a word or keyword related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the field to bring up related content …
(Type in a search term to view related posts and pages)
Click the ‘Apply’ icon to create the link …
(WordPress Inline Linking – Apply button)
Your link will be inserted …
(Hyperlink added to content)
You can also use the advanced linking editor by clicking on the ‘Link Options’ button …
(Inline Linking – ’Link Options’)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Internal linking options)
You will see two sections:
Enter the destination URL
Paste in the URL of your target destination, add 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 …
(WordPress Insert/edit link editor)
Or link to existing content
This section allows you to insert internal links. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search box. WordPress automatically begins looking for pages and posts containing those words …
(Enter the search term to begin finding related content)
Select the title of the page or post you want to link to, and the URL of the selected item automatically gets added to the destination URL field …
(Select the page or post to link to in your content)
Notice that the tool brings up both pages and posts …
(Link to pages or posts)
But you are not just limited to standard posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types like products, categories, etc. …
(Link content to custom post types in addition to regular pages or posts)
If you would like the link to open in a new browser window, select the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button to create your internal link …
(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 new windows – even external links pointing to content about internal links!)
Congratulations … you have created an internal link to your content …
(Voilá … an internal 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 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
You can format your internal links (e.g. you can italicize your link, make it bold, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress WYSIWYG editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(Format your links if you want readers to notice them)
Removing Content Links
No tutorial on adding links to content is complete without showing you how to remove links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this right now.
To delete a link from your pages or posts, just click anywhere on the link and then click either the little cross icon on the link editor floating bar or the ‘Remove link’ button on the editor menu as shown below
(Removing both internal and external hyperlinks in WordPress is easy … just click the button!)
Your hyperlink will be removed …
(Hyperlinks is gone!)
Internal Linking Plugins
So far, we have looked at how to create links to content in WordPress manually using the inline linking tool.
Are there any WordPress plugins that can automate this job?
Yes, there are! As we explain in our comprehensive overview of WordPress plugins, there are WordPress 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 installed on your site, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Breadcrumb website navigation
- Related posts
- Internal linking using widgets
In another article, we’ll discuss additional SEO linking strategies in WordPress, examine the pros and cons of automating links in WordPress, and look at several WordPress plugins that can help you create internal links automatically on your website.
(Internal linking structures for SEO. Source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how easy it is to create internal content links in your WordPress posts and pages.
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