According to SEO consulting company Moz, “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.”
The WordPress CMS platform comes with built-in internal linking functions, such as menus, permalinks, image links, archives, categories, and tags pages, search results pages, link widgets, sidebar widgets (e.g. Latest Posts), entries RSS, an internal link tool, post excerpt links, etc. Additional link features can also be added to WordPress via plugins. In short, WordPress is an ideal platform for linking content both internally and externally.
In this tutorial, we discuss some of the benefits of internal linking, and how to easily add links in your content using the WordPress advanced linking tool.
(WordPress Hyperlink Tool)
Internal Linking – Benefits
Internal links are simply hyperlinks in your content pointing to other 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’s pages are full of internal content links)
Inserting links pointing to other pages and posts provides a number of benefits, not only for the website owner, but also for visitors and search engines. Internal content links enable users to view more content and ensures that search spiders can index web pages faster. Websites like Wikipedia rely extensively on internal content linking for visitors.
Benefits Of Using Internal Content Links #1 – Improved Site Navigation And User Experience
(Use content linking to improve website navigation and user experience.)
Websites are supposed to provide users with relevant content. Offering users easy access to other areas of your site containing more of the content they are looking for not only improves the quality of your website, it also creates a better experience for your site’s users.
Improving the quality of the user experience means that visitors stay longer on your site and visit more pages. If you plan your marketing strategy well, this will lead to improved sales results.
It’s important to make sure that the information you are actually linking together is relevant for your users. For example, you may want to add links on your company page to your about page.
Benefit Of Internal Content Linking #2 – Improved Search Rankings
(Use internal content links to improve search results.)
Internal content linking improves your SEO. Linking to content on other posts and pages on your website helps search indexing spiders crawl your site faster and more easily than if your site contains only standalone posts and pages. This can result in more traffic to your website or blog.
One of the most effective ways to improve your search engine optimization is by combining internal linking with keyword relevancy. This is easily achieved by adding keywords as titles to link URLs (called anchor text links).
For example, if you provide wedding-related information or advice, you could hyperlink the keyword phrase “green wedding gift ideas” from a post that offers various tips and ideas about finding unusual wedding gifts to another section of your website listing wedding gift registries.
Using anchor text links is more effective for both visitors and search engines. You can use keyword-relevant text links on content titles, body text, image captions, and so on.
(Use keyword-relevant text links on titles, body text, image captions, etc.)
Benefit Of Using Internal Linking #3 – Increased Content Visibility & Exposure
(Use content links to increase content visibility & exposure.)
In WordPress, as you continue adding content to your site, older posts get pushed down the chronology. This can lead to posts becoming less popular.
If you have older but useful content on your site that you would like more visitors to read, consider creating 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.
The more content you have being seen by visitors and being indexed by search engines, the more visibility and exposure your business receives online … and this can lead to better results!
How To Use The WordPress Internal Link Tool
A linking tool was introduced in WP version 3.1 that lets you link content inside your pages to other posts and pages on your site. This feature was improved in WP version 4.5 to include an inline linking editor.
Prior to this 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 internal linking in 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 add internal links into.
Next, find and highlight the keywords you want to add a link to.
After selecting and highlighting the text, click on the hyperlinking tool in the WordPress visual content editor menu (< this is an internal link!) …
(WordPress visual editor menu – content link tool)
If you find yourself In the ‘Text’ tab of the WordPress content, select the ‘link’ button to access the link tool …
(The link feature can also be accessed in the ‘Text’ tab of the content editor)
The Inline Linking editor appears below the selection …
(WordPress Inline Linking)
Paste in the URL of your target link or start typing a word or keyword phrase related to the post you want to hyperlink into the field to find related content …
(Enter a search term to view related content)
Click the ’Return’ button to add your link …
(Inline Linking – Apply button)
Your link will be inserted into your content …
(Hyperlink inserted into content)
You can access the advanced linking editor by clicking on the gear icon …
(WordPress Inline Linking – ‘Link Options’ button)
This brings up the Insert/edit link window …
(Advanced content link options)
The Insert/edit link window is divided into 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 your link in a new window/tab …
(WordPress Insert/edit link tool)
Or link to existing content
This linking feature lets you create internal links. Type a word or keyword phrase related to the page or post you want to hyperlink in the Search field. WordPress will automatically begin searching for posts and pages containing those words …
(Enter the search term to find related posts and pages)
Click the post or page you would like to link to, and the item’s URL automatically gets inserted into the fields in the destination URL section …
(Click on the page or post to link your content to)
Notice that the feature lets you link to pages or posts and shows you which item is what …
(Link to posts or pages)
You are not just limited to posts or pages. You can also link to custom post types like products, categories, etc. …
(Link content to custom WordPress post types in addition to posts or pages)
If you would like to open your linked content in a new browser window, tick the Open link in a new window/tab box and click the Add Link button …
(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!)
Your internal link is now created …
(An internal 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 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, add color, etc …) using the format buttons in your WordPress visual editor menu (< there’s that internal link again! :)) …
(You can format links if you want to make them more visible)
Deleting Links To Content
No tutorial on adding content links is complete without showing you how to delete any links that you no longer want, so let’s take care of this topic right now.
To remove a link from your posts or pages, 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 editor menu as shown below
(Deleting links in WordPress is easy … just click a button!)
Your link will be removed …
Internal Linking Plugins for WordPress
So far, we have looked at how to create internal links to content manually using the WordPress link tool.
Are there any plugins for WordPress that can perform this work?
Yes … Of course! As we explain in this article, there are plugins that can do almost everything imaginable. And if you cannot find a plugin that does what you want, one can be created for you.
Also, depending on the type of plugins and themes used on your website, you can get additional SEO benefits from internal linking features such as:
- Links to related posts
- Internal linking using widgets
In a separate article, we’ll discuss additional methods of linking content in WordPress, look at the benefits and challenges of automating links in WordPress, and look at various WordPress plugins that can help you create links automatically on your site:
(Internal linking for SEO. Screenshot source: No Sweat WP Internal Links Lite WordPress plugin)
Congratulations! Now you know how to easily link content internally in your WordPress pages and posts.
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